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WAG YOUR BELL for GWOPO
WAG YOUR BELL for GWOPO*
by Mick Winter
People love acronyms, particularly in the United States where acronyms like GWOT (Global War on Terror) are household words—at least if your house is a big white one.
Other popular acronyms are YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary), WAG (Wild Ass Guess), RTFM (Read the F--- Manual), BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer) and my personal favorite TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It).
Acronyms are good for time-saving shorthand and as memory devices. They also often help avoid the need for real thought and communication.
I'd like to propose a very comprehensive acronym for the things that each and every one of us can do to deal with Peak Oil. I call it:
W (Walk) - Or bike. Drive less, or not at all. Car pool, car share, hitchhike, ride public transit. More you, less oil. Walking is healthy, bicycling is efficient, internal combustion engines suck.
A (Air) - Breathe it. Exercise to get more of it. Grow plants in your home to keep it clean. Drive less to help keep it clean outside.
G (Garden) - Plant a garden. In small planters (even hydroponic or herb) in your kitchen. On your deck. In your yard (de-lawn it if you have to). Start a community garden in your apartment complex or neighborhood.
Y (You) - It's your life, your family, your home, your neighborhood, your community, your country, your planet. Think the government will come to your rescue? Ask the people of New Orleans. It's up to you. Get started. Learn self-employment skills. Cut down on expenses. Get out of debt. Walk. Grow food. Do something. Do anything. You.
O (Organize) - Organize your neighborhood. Make it as cooperative and self-sufficient as possible. Make it more walkable. Share tools, skills and car trips. Start a newsletter. Plant a neighborhood garden. When you're done with your neighborhood, move on to organize your larger district or the entire community.
U (Use Less) - Less water, less energy, less gasoline, less heating, less cooling, less electricity, less paper, less packaging, less money, less shopping, less stuff. Less.
R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) - Buy less. Keep using it or give it to someone else who will. Repair when possible, recycle when not.
B (Birth Control) - Use it. We can't even feed all of the 6.5 billion people we already have. Have no more than one child. We don't need more people, we need fewerparticularly in industrialized countries that use lots of stuff.
E (Energy) - Use less, make more. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Turn the water and heat down and the air conditioning off (get fans). Plant trees for cooling. Generate solar, wind and hydro energy in your home or business. Support energy farms in your neighborhood/community.
L (Localize) - Buy locally, farm locally, make locally, vacation locally, barter locally, decide locally, act locally.
L (Lobby) - Lobby local, state and federal elected government officials for P.O. action. If lobbying doesn't work, throw them out at the next election and replace them with new ones that will take action.
*Yes, GWOPO does mean Global War On Peak Oil
Mick Winter is host of www.DryDipstick.com, www.SustainableNapaValley.org, and the author of Peak Oil Prep and Sustainable Living, Or, as he likes to say, DDSNVPOPSL (pronounced "dee-dee-sniv-pop-sul").