Monday, March 14, 2011


So in other news,

I'm always looking for ways that individuals (myself primarily) can make an impact in regards to climate change. The thing is, the grandeur of the problem makes it very difficult for any one person to do anything significant that isn't involved politically, as an activist, a home owner, or in a position of power.

In the same regards, we seem to have dug ourselves into such a deep hole that the solutions to the problem (and there are many) are all very complex. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you don't even know which way is up.

That being said, you have to start somewhere. So for the past few years, I've made small adjustments to my lifestyle. For example, using dimmers, replacing bulbs with LED or compact fluorescents, buying appliances with the highest energy rating. The problem, however, is that even though I'm sure these little changes do make a difference, they are dwarfed by the fact that our government is still building gargantuan dams to supply greedy fat Americans (for almost nothing, I might add).

So, I started a recycling program at a summer camp. I gave talks about social and environmental responsibility to young adults as well as showing them how to educate children about nature and human impact. Education is one of the best tools at our disposal, yet you have to be able to put yourself in a position to do so. At the time, I was fortunate to be around lot of young adults and children, so I made the best of it by teaching what I could about the problem.

I've read a lot of books, visited websites, and watched movies about climate change. And after all I've seen and done, there seems to be one habit of mine that really makes the most impact: riding a bike. But I don't feel good about it. The reason is simple. I'm broke. I often wonder: "If I wasn't broke, would I own a car?". It's easy to say no, but then again, who knows. I'm making an impact now by not driving a car, but only by necessity.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. There's one thing I'm not doing, and neither is anyone I know. It's by far the most elegant way to make an impact. It's also the most effective. I'm talking about planting a tree. It's the best way to reduce CO2, reduce your impact on climate change, reduce the impact of others, reduce pollution and dust, beautify, it will probably outlive me (the way I bike around the city), create habitat for wildlife, and produce fresh air.

My family's cottage up North is surrounded by trees. The ground is covered with saplings of all sorts. The thing is, many of them won't make it to adulthood since competition for space is fierce. So I have an abundance of trees to plant that wouldn't normally make it. I'll be going up in about a month's time.

I'm recruiting my fellow 19ers for two things. First of all to come up North with me, harvest young trees, and maybe plant some around the property. But more importantly, to bring them back to the city. I've decided to do a little guerrilla gardening this Spring, and plant trees around the city in abandoned or unused areas.

So if your interested in dressing up like a ninja and biking around the city equipped with a spade and a bag full of trees, let me know, because I've resolved to do it and could always use the company. Also, start looking for potential spots and coming up with funny explanations to give to the cops when they try to tell you that you're doing something wrong.


Dementor said...

The idea looks good, but theres more to tree planting than meets the eyes. For instance, you're not necessary helping the trees if you plant a new one too close to the others. Some trees just cant be planted in cities as they have huge roots that destroy everything around. Also, most green spaces in montreal are well managed I find. Theres actually people paid to do this, and I think they're doing a good job. So I dont know. Show us the places you have in mind.

Napoleon Bonerpants said...

Also, down the road, we'll have to protect them from them pesky gophers, the mutant sap thirsty city kind.

Master of the Craw said...

Not to mention at some point those unused spaces will be reclaimed to make way for some 20 floor deluxe yuppie condo megaplex with an army of ED209's designed specifically to keep undesirables away and an interior decoration selected to enhance that smug sense of superiority.

I like the idea. I also like hot female ninjas and biking around, breaking the law and all that. What we should do is just start throwing trees into every parked car we see, especially if it's an SUV. There's thousands of them in Westmount.

Dementor said...

Now THATS an idea.

Planting trees on cars.

Count me in.

Barbarosa said...

Or just putting then in a tail pipe.

Karl, I am down with your plan.

I'm thinking if we just keep an eye out for juicy empty, vacant lots we can do some good things.