The Good, the Bad and the Truly Ugly…

Posted on December 31, 2010 by


Everyone, or nearly everyone, will spend a few moments reflecting on the close of the first decade of the 21st Century before beginning the next decade with a an awe inspiring hangover. We, here in the land of green opportunity, are no different. Let us review the events of the past decade in all their glory, or ignominy, as we prepare for a fresh new decade of environmental success.

Proving veggies can be sexy, sales of organic foods rose from $1 billion in the previous decade to over $24 billion by 2009.

A former Vice President becomes an environmental rockstar while tossing his automaton personality in the recycle bin.

The Supreme Court dismissed President Bush’s greenhouse gas policy declaring the Environmental Protection Agency has the right to do its job. The poster child of conservative business, the insurance industry, declares climate change is real.

Fancy phrases like “impacts of biodiversity loss on Ocean ecosystem” translates to no fishsticks, or tuna sandwiches, for you.

Consumer protection arises out of necessity with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s active participation in helping you find seafood you can eat – guilt-free.

Detroit joined Japan on the green bandwagon by offering hybrid and electric cars families could, and would want to, buy. At the same time, shortsighted legislators in congress did away with tax incentives.

LA county, San JoséSan Francisco, and other jurisdictions join Baltimore and Paris to ignore State legislators in bidding farewell to the plastic bag. Oregon is ready to become the first state in the new decade to ignore the American Chemistry Council.

Legislators in California listened to the American Chemistry Council in rejecting Assemblymember Julia Brownley’s proposed  ban on plastic bags.

  • A new industry rose as carbon neutrality became a mainstay. UPS took green shipping global.

Rainforests caught a break as options to deforestation became more popular.

  • The first decade of the 21st Century proved to be the warmest on record (that is, since we began record keeping in 1850). This means all manner of pesky problems like: Arctic ice disappearing at a record pace, translation: Santa is being evicted, polar bears are drowning, and nasty invasive species are finding new homes.
  • Despite the continuing rise of the iPad, Kindle, online newspapers and the paperless office - paper consumption has not decreased

    And finally, who could forget

    • BP. The economic cost now ranges between $40 billion and$200 billion. Paying this debt may be relatively easy for BP, with little debt and an estimated $26 billion in cash flow next year, but the question remains. Can we afford the real loss of small business, tourism, food safety, environmental degradation and economic loss?

    Just for grins, let’s see how polar bears take care of the high tech toys meant to help:

    Let us know if we’ve left off your favorite environmental moments of the past decade.

    {To ring in the new decade Lisa Jensen has plans to join friends in downtown San José for a walking tour of planned musical festivities, then ride a bike or maybe live large and take a pedicab for a predawn breakfast.}