As we break into deep January, it's not too late to think about what a crappy year 2010 was and how we can improve things in the year ahead. If you are optimistic about the future, another way to look at it is: what are some things you can do to muff it up?
Don't watch the weather reports
If the volcanoes, New Year's Eve tornadoes, California mudslides, Australian floods, polar air of minus 40 degrees or century blizzards haven't grabbed your attention yet, they will soon. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predicts that one of the impacts of climate change will be larger, more unpredictable weather ahead. Even the insurance industry is beginning to take notice of the potential for its ability to keep up. We may not see out-of-season tornadoes or another Katrina for awhile, but then out of nowhere — kablooey! You get walloped
Buy that gas-guzzling car you've secretly wanted
Oil experts are predicting we'll pay $5 for a gallon of gas within a year or so. You don't believe it? Oil reserves are being used up while demand and oil prices are rising with the economic recovery. Tree hugger environmentalists say it's one impact from "peak oil," the point where half of the Earth's oil has essentially been depleted. (It's explained by the old supply and demand equation.) And when oil and gas prices go up, transportation, durable goods and everything from food to fertilizer — anything that is made from crude oil, which is pretty much everything — costs more. Unless you are one of those people who can afford anything, or you are living off the land, now is a good time to think about living more efficiently. If you plan ahead, you will be glad you bought that greener car.
Stay apathetic about our genius leaders in Washington
American voters just elected a new freshman class in the House, but don't be so sure much will change anytime soon. Why do normally positive folks like us take a skeptical view on this? Because the same laws and regulations that bring us influence-peddling in the name of free speech, high self-awarded congressional salaries and benefits, and earmarks (even by a different name) persist. It's time to get politically active
if you want change to happen!
Ramp up your couch potato exercise routine
Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity remain public enemies to personal wellness, which is the absence of illness. The longer the human body goes without regular exercise and a good diet, the more prone to chronic disease it becomes. The more consistently we do 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day, the less disease we have. Start getting exercise
now to improve the quality of the rest of your life.
Leave retooling your résumé to chance
From China to Mexico to the U.S., the global marketplace is changing the employment picture. Our demand for affordable stuff fuels economies in parts of the world where hourly wages are much lower than in the U.S. The careers of the past are being replaced by more automation and more competition with lower wages elsewhere. When jobs disappear, employees will have to relocate or retrain if they want to find or create new jobs and careers. The green energy sector
will continue to be a growth area if you are looking for a job.
Put off learning sustainable gardening
There is a growing library of literature showing that our water and food supply is increasingly unsafe, not nutritious, and not sustainable. This is a result of peak oil, environmental degradation, climate change, political instability and other reasons. All of these factors (and more) will create more uncertainty in safe water and plentiful safe food production, and result in higher water and food prices in the future, to say the least. A political conflict could create disastrous consequences, since all 7 billion earthlings need food and water on a regular basis. It is high time to learn how to grow your own food
and conserve water