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I recently made a family discovery which sparked a good-hearted email debate and is best summed up with: “Mom, your husband says CO2 isn’t causing climate change.” She groans audibly, shakes her head, and says “Well, Kelda, he could be playing devil’s advocate, he could be sincere, he may be listening to that guy on KIRO, who knows?”

What a revelation, some folks believe differently than scientific majority, the IPCC, and every other developed country that signed the Kyoto protocol. Fair enough.

In response, an analogy: deforestation and development did not cause the recent flooding of the Chehalis. No, rain did that. But, the deforestation and development didn’t give the rain very many options, right?

The same thing can be said about greenhouse gases and the sun’s heat.

What the climate issue boils down to is: the economy, land-use/transportation, and the potential that the global poor who live in drought or flood-prone regions may have to carry a great injustice.

So, about the economy, here’s a new phrase I heard about healthy-for-earth jobs: “green- collar workers”. A fancy name! It’s better than ‘hippie tech geek, useful in backwoods or during economic collapse” kind of title. After all, investing in neighborhoods and fruit trees may not be such a bad idea.

People want these green-collar jobs (though they are under-funded, under-paid, barely legal). And Puyallup School District, I love you, but we seem woefully ill-prepared. I continually meet young people wanting internships building passive solar homes, or installing graywater systems. Who here will teach them?

In the last year I’ve found no environmental clubs, no green technology teachers, and often a blank stare. If there are teachers out there who know what I’m talking about, please email me, as there’s a potluck I’d like to invite you to.

And, to move on to land-use/transportation, that’s an easy one to fix. Who wants to drive a car all the time, or be surrounded by roads and asphalt? It sure doesn’t look like fun.

It’s also worth mentioning that many non-vehicular women agree: ‘real men don’t drive.’ I dream of seeing a guy biking downtown Puyallup while hauling a trailer full of such heavy items as: a sack of local potatoes, a happy toddler, and a marine battery (for the home solar panel system, of course). Now, that’s hot.

Or, if you’re bad at bicycling, like I sometimes am, bike-related injuries are great conversation starters while riding the 402. Sure, it’s better for the environment. But more than that, one doesn’t even notice any South Hill traffic if you’re heartily engaged in a ‘gnarliest bike scar’ contest with new friends.

Calendar: TONIGHT 1/31 ‘Focus the Nation’, Evergreen-Tacoma. Exciting conversation about climate change with Ladenburg, Baarsma, Farrell, etc. Bring friends, it should be a fun evening. 2/6 Graham farmer’s market discussion 847-4614. 2/7 Tacoma ‘Green Drinks’, Engine House #9. 2/9 & 10 Sustainability Summit, UW-T. Also 2/9 Democratic caucus, Ballou Jr. High. (Kucinich or no, I’ll still be stumping his excellent platform).

Kelda Miller loves emails at

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Page last modified on January 31, 2008, at 02:59 PM