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Chasing Sustainability

Added: Monday, March 3rd 2008 at 2:02am by cdelr

David Chameides’ New Year’s resolution isn’t one of the most common ones you usually hear. It has nothing to do with trying to quit smoking, he isn’t staying away from alcohol, and he isn’t practicing abstinence to raise sexual education awareness, he’s simply going to keep all of his trash in his basement for a whole year.

The idea might sound a little crazy to the common person, but then again Chameides isn’t your regular American. He is a resident of the greater Los Angeles area where he works as a steadicam operator for TV programs and is also a freelance journalist for the automotive website www.Edmunds.com. His contribution to the website primarily consists of articles about alternative vehicles and alternative fuels.

 Chameides is part of an eco-blogging community that promotes sustainability through everyday consumer activities, and on Feb. 27th he brought his concept of sustainability through renewable energy sources to Chico State University.

“This isn’t some new thing I made up, this is something that is being done for years,” Chameides said. “The point is I need to live my life and I need to think about the decisions I make when I buy something and the effects it can have on my children.”

His topics ranged from a can of Poop-Freeze that had “environmentally friendly” written on it to a statistic about how the U.S. alone used 12.8 terra-watts of electricity in 1998 and is projected to be running at 25 terra-watts if it remains on the track its currently on. There were 440 power-plants that year and would need to double in order to reach the 25 terra-watt mark.

“I have to think about what might happen to my children and also their children down the line,” Chameides said. “If I’m living my life in a manner that, seven generations from now, they cannot live hopefully better than me but at least the same, then I’ve got a problem.” 

The presentation also focused on the growing concern of petroleum dependence in the U.S. and how two thirds of the petroleum used here is imported.

This was the first time i could actually say i was absorbed by the presentation, most of the other environmental seminars ive been to never packed the punch that this one did. Probably the lecturers never were as real or genuine either, but Chameides' delivery of the material had alot to do with how you took in the information.

He wasnt trying to just be statistical, he wasnt trying to just be informational, and he wasnt trying to sell you something, he was just being himself. If something didnt make sense to him he said, "it doesnt make sense!". There wasnt any beating around the bush about how were all united in the cause and we have to support each other in the process talk, it was simply the way we live our lives now is unsustainable, so why not change it?

I especially enjoyed the early part where he told us what he was going to talk about and what he wasn’t, global warming wasn’t one of them. He said global warming is such a massive event now that a single individuals contribution to help the cause, such as his own, is useless. Even if the entire room of people he explained were to unite against it there wouldn’t be a significant change. Chameides said global warming is on an international level now, if we work together we work as countries and that’s just the jist of it. If we really want to combat it we have to do it globally, hence the term global in warming.

Overall a great seminar and as I said, for once it was one that actually had me thinking about how I would want to live now and more importantly in the near or far off future. His most solid argument is completely right though, if we teach our children mannerisms in sustainability then we raise a generation already years ahead of the change and the problems would end with us.





User Comments

Nice job.  Thanks.


Thanks so much for the great write up and more importantly for getting involved. The changes to come are going to take a massive collective shift in thinking and I think you folks are posed to cause that to happen. A few slight corrections if I may (having said that I realize i throw a lot out there, so some of it can be confusing - my mouth gets tripped up by me brain I fear).


In 1998 the US used 3.3 TW of power vs the entire planets 12.8 TW. Still monstrous. Also, the 440 number is the number of nuc power plants alone.

Also, i'll have to relisten cuz maybe I did say this, but if i did, I apologize. It's not that citizens can't effect Global Warming, or thaat we shouldn't try, quite the contrary, it's just that there are so many other reasons to do this stuff, you don't need to do them to ease global warming alone. Sustainability is tied into it, but is about so much more. That said, it's such a huge problem that governments are going to have to step in.  Having said that, we are the government so should we lead them or they lead us.


Bottom line, thanks for listening and thanks for picking up the torch.







hey no prob, thanks for the comment. sorry if i misinterpreted anything, i wrote this pretty late that night, (or early 2am), but nonetheless i hope my opinion and message got across clearly. You presentation was really something else, im majoring in journalism so when i got home that night i did as much research as i could about all that and through your website. I know its easier to say all this than actually do anything but like you said we are the government so we decide when to progress and how, i think alot of people have forgotten that.

hey if its possible could i get your email it would be awesome to keep in touch. thanks


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