Q: (from stormcloud) So, I have a question about the motive behind
saving the planet, or however it's called. I've been told that humans
are a scourge on the planet, we're so evil and uncaring, and stuff like
that–but, aren't we part of nature, too? Isn't everything we do a part
of Mother Nature's plan, plastic and all? Don't get me wrong, I do
believe we should do everything to take care of the planet . . . but are
we really taking care of it? Or are we just making it better for
ourselves? I'm sure life would learn to exist on a planet with a sick
atmosphere, and some plants might die from cleaner air. Who knows. These
thoughts and stuff have been kind of confusing me for a long while, but
I've never been able to ask anyone about it. So, what's your take on
this? I don't know if it's a too complicated question or not, because I
honestly don't know that much about enviromental, er, stuff (good thing
I've found your blog, no?) so, answer at your own leisure!

A: This is a great question. I don't claim to be an expert in
environmental matters, but I think that the issue has often been clouded
by too much information. It's basically a very simple issue (although
not necessarily with simple solutions) that requires nothing more than a
bit of objectivity and common sense. Some of what I'm about to say might
be a bit controversial, but here is my humble opinion….

The eco-green-sustainability movement is usually assumed to be talking
about saving the planet, but the planet doesn't need saving. We humans
have made a right royal mess of it in the short time we've been here,
but the Earth has been through worse and survived. Give it a few
millennia and the planet will be just fine, the brief human infestation
just a bad memory.

Because Stormcloud, you're right – the issue isn't about saving the
planet, it's about saving humankind. At the moment we're killing
ourselves slowly, by a thousand million cuts. Why did we ever think it
would be okay to pollute and poison our natural habitat? When there were
just a few million of us, and all our waste was biodegradable, it didn't
matter too much what we did – our impact was still negligible. But now
there are 6.5 billion of us, consuming like crazy, and much of our waste
lasts a very long time. Our attitude to consumption has changed (more,
more, always more) but our attitude to disposal hasn't.

And it's coming back to bite us.

You ask – aren't we a part of nature too? Yes, we are, but we've been
given special abilities and inclinations – or at least an opposing thumb
and an extra-large brain – that set us apart from other inhabitants of
the natural world. And – most important of all – we have been given free
will that allows us to decide how we are going to use our special
status.

I believe this is the key to it: we need to use our unique ability of
self-awareness to step outside ourselves and see with clarity what we
are doing. Right now, our behavior suggests that we are short-sighted,
arrogant, and addicted to conspicuous consumption. But we can also be
creative, inquisitive, ingenious, and endlessly amazing. We have so much
worth living for, it would be a tragedy if we continue our path towards
collective suicide.

We need to rise to be our better selves, using our free will, our power
of reason and our inner wisdom to get ourselves out of this
unsustainable situation. We already have all the technologies we need to
create a sustainable future. We don't need to wind the clock back to a
pre-industrial age – better instead to forge ahead and create a new
style of living that combines the best of the old with the best of the
new, allowing us to live in balance with nature in a way that is
infinitely sustainable.

It's time we woke up to what we're doing and did something about it. My
interest in sustainability is utterly selfish. I want to live a long,
healthy life on a pleasant, clean, thriving planet. And I'm willing to
do whatever I can to help make that happen.

[photo: a lovely cloudscape during the best part of today's
ever-changing weather]

Other Stuff:

A mixed bag of weather today. I woke up to leaden skies and dismal rain
that looked like it wasn't in any hurry to go anywhere. But it did – by
this afternoon I had the sun canopy and was enjoying an amazingly varied
cloudscape. Conditions weren't conducive to major mileage, but I made
another 10 miles or so towards the Equator, and a useful bit of
eastwards too. Another squall tonight (so still no crescent moon
sighting – sorry, UncaDoug!), so the weather still has a few tricks up
its sleeve, but all in all, a good day at the office. (But uh oh, as I
write this I see I am being pushed north. But I can't row all night –
I'll just have to suck it up and deal with it in the morning…)

Eco Champ of the Day award goes to Steph, who is doing one of the BEST
things you can do to reduce the amount of plastic you use:
"I wanted to let you know you've inspired me to stop buying bottled
water, and use my own bottle instead."
I do this too, when I'm on land. I use a Brita water filter jug that I
keep in the fridge, and just top up my water bottle. Or get them to
refill it in the coffee shop or gas station. It's no hassle, and saves a
LOT of plastic.

Thank you to all the Rozlings for the wonderful comments. It's great to
see how many people are reserving their Larabar bookmarks. I'm doing my
side of the bargain by munching my way through 4 a day here – tough job,
but someone has to do it! I've got quite a bagful of wrappers
accumulating and when I get back to dry land we'll set to work signing
and laminating. Thanks also for all the words of encouragement,
environmental wit and wisdom, and everything else. I feel that I have
some true friends back on terra firma.

Sue the Psychlotherapist of Cirencester – lovely to hear from you. For
sure I will drop in the next time I am in your part of the world. Last
time I was so grateful for your warm hospitality – and the laundry
service!

Lorrin Lee – thanks again for the goodies you bought for me in Hawaii
just before I left. I found the spirulina crackers by Go Raw a couple of
days ago. They were SOOO good!

Quick answers to quick questions:

Q: Is there a reason you are not eating fish you can catch or squid that
land on the deck, for instance, to add to your diet (and diversity of
activities)? Are you a vegetarian?
A: No, I'm not vegetarian. But I would have defied anybody to find an
appetite for the roadkill squid! As for fishing, I just don't really
fancy it. Not until necessity dictates.

Q: What do you dream?
A: A lot of random stuff – often about food! And it's amazing some of
the people that pop up in my dreams, people I haven't even thought about
in years. Quite fun – like a trip down memory lane!

Weather report:

Position at 2145 HST: 04 07.862N, 175 04.296W
Wind: Mostly E, between 0 and 20 knots
Seas: 4-6ft E
Weather: rain, then sun, then rain again

Weather forecast courtesy of weatherguy.com:

Using last night's Feedblitz blog email (22 Jul), reported position was:
04 32N 175 19W as of 22Jul 1930HST. Your are still in the ECC which is
good because you might want to be at this latitude for as long as you
can.

As of Thursday, 23 July 2009. Wind predictions still uncertain while
in the area of the Equatorial region. According measured data, there is
SE winds 15-17kts over your area. To the SE (between 01N to 04N and
168W-170W) of your position, there was a patch of measured winds of
40-50kts in rainshowers.

It would appear you are almost through the southern boundary of the
ITCZ. According to satellite imagery, there is minimal convection south
of 05N. There is one exception.the patch of high winds to the SE. This
is associated with downdraft winds in convective cloud activity.

Movement eastward should be viewed as positive because south of the
Equator the prevailing E to SE winds will carry you westward with no
problem. If you are too far to the west already, potential landing spots
in the southern hemisphere might be missed. So just hang on for the ride
and take the Eerly current as long as it lasts.

Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Isolated rainshowers, squalls,
and possible thunderstorms.

Forecast (low confidence due to extreme variability in Roz's position
and the fluctuations in wind direction/speed in the Doldrums)
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
23/1800-25/1800 SE 12-17 3-7
25/1800-28/1800 ESE 10-15 4-6

Next Update: Monday, 27 July

33 Comments

  • Roz,

    I find your answer to the motivation of the eco movement so compelling, I would like to pass it on to others.

    I have also found it surprising some people do not care about the effects of our pollution and destruction of large tracts of wild spaces. The greatest effect has been the complete elimination of entire species of animals. Those who do not care seem to believe it is our right as humans to cause such destruction. We must cure ourselves of this arrogance.

    Your efforts are part of the cure. Best wishes!

    Rick

  • Roz, your answer is right on, to the dot, complete and compelling. I'll share it with my two boys. Thank you, for everything that you are doing.

  • Hi Roz,

    Good answer! It seems baffling to me that you'd have to give one, but there it is. The argument needs to be made to everyone and preferably before it's punctuated by the loss of natural wonders, famine, etc. In the Bible it states mankind is the steward of this world. The story of Joseph's stewardship in Egypt for the king that held him in bondage is just one of many examples of what that means. To take it down a few intellectual notches for the Vulgarians, it can be summed up as "Don't shit where you eat."
    Anyways, keep up the good work. And remember my house offer stands open if your plans change. Nicole has the contact details.

  • I think the answer to that difficult question was pretty good. What I would of added, simply, is that things and places, no matter what or where it is, should be left better than one finds them for the next users/generations, at the very least as a courtesy. Consider what we think of the generations that began this whole mess. Collectively, we don't think of them very highly. Why? because they put us in this mess, and we have to clean up after them. What will the children and future generations think of us? Especially when they come across our plastics floating around hundreds of years from now?
    But if we can turn the tide, clean up after ourselves, be sustainable, leave the place better than we found it, we just might gain a little respect, and future generations will want to do the same, leaving behind a better, cleaner earth.
    Earth will survive, as precious and fragile as she is, I have a feeling her life will be around a lot longer than us.

  • Roz, your response today is just one more example that you are an informed, thoughtful, caring, fully functioning, loving person.

    Your post, as well as the others, help explain why I observe the crescent moon each month. For me, observing the moon is a way to get in touch with earth and participate in a larger global community.

    It puts things into perspective and is a reminder …

    What I witness will go on with us or without us. Creatures come and go, structures are erected and crumble, societies flourish and disintegrate, mistakes are made and forgotten … we humans tend to go with the flow like a school fish, a flock of birds, a colony of bees that swim in unison and swarm and turn in an instant. We humans unthinking make incremental decisions without considering or understanding all of the consequences of each small change … until the accumulated consequences are obvious. Those seeming inconsequential changes when magnified by our increasing numbers are no longer inconsequential. They have become devastating … but we are waking up to the problem. Our understanding and awareness is increasing.

    Seeing the crescent moon and taking part in the MoonWatch project is not only about getting outside to see a part of nature unfold over 3 or 4 days and the serendipity of encountering the unexpected … it is being part of a community of people doing the same thing at the same time all around the globe, united in a seemingly small endeavor.

    Not entirely unlike being a Rozling.

  • To Grimaldi and others asking about having a bookmark although they purchase the book locally, I think we can do something for you. Please send an email to bookmark@rozsavage.com, with your name, address, email address, and some sort of assurance when you have ordered the book, and I will keep a record. If we have to mail them any distance we may need to make a charge for doing so. Thank you for asking! Rita Savage.

  • I have been catching up on your last dozen blog posts this quiet Sunday morning in the San Francisco bay area. One of the past comments encouraged us to write our local newspapers to help increase awareness of your epic journey. I've been doing my small part with the following template signature on all my emails:

    "Cindy
    I'm following Roz Savage, as she rows solo across the Pacific Ocean. https://www.rozsavage.com/"

    It's amazingly effective!
    Godspeed!
    Cindy Maxwell

  • Roz has nothing on her boat that can used as a sail. Remember she is trying to set a record as the first female to row from US to AU and there are rules she must follow. This save the earth deal is just another talking point for her motivational lectures which is how she earns her money.

  • Thanks for your eloquent response to that question, Roz.

    On the book tour, publicity front, Barnes & Noble is doing a new type of author promotion with their Facebook page. The first one will be on Wednesday, July 29, "Meet Suzanne Brockmann" (another one of my favorite authors). Nicole and Rita, it might be worth checking out to see if it would be something worthwhile to try to schedule for Roz when the book comes out.

    Brockmann has been a fairly prolific writer and has a large fanbase, and I think the NYT top 10 is practically a given (she also urges her readers to pre-order, which contributes to the high placement) for her book releases.

    Since Brockmann is primarily an author, not an adventurer, she's got more time to devote to promotional tours. A couple years ago she got a minivan type vehicle with one of those graphic wraps for cars promoting her latest book, and she and her husband and her entourage (aka her friend Eric) got in and did a highway version of a barnstorming tour down the east coast. I don't know how well is panned out for her in book sales, but the fans loved it. She's very accessible if you ever want to talk to another writer who's done a lot of her own promotional efforts.

    Hoping you don't drift too far northward overnight.

  • It bothers me that comments are being deleted if they're not 100% cheerleading Roz's row. Why would my comment be deleted just because I say I don't like the term, "Rozlings"? I've had at least 2 other comments deleted. I could see creepy lecherous comments getting the heave-ho, but my comments? It gives the appearance of Roz's community being more of a cult, all worshipping Roz. Is Roz's mental state that fragile that she couldn't handle a little comment about "Rozlings?" If so, then, she's in worse shape than I thought!

  • This "trans oceanic rowing ," truly is mind boggling ! I have been following Roz and her ventures since San Fran leg #1 .
    "Saving the planet,"?
    How is this rowing going to "save the planet?
    China emits a billion tons of pollution mindlessly into the atmosphere yearly. Children are being "hacked to death," while their mothers are raped in Rwanda,". North Korea is a prison state where no form of humanity is valued .
    Where does Roz receive her money from ? Who underwrites these excursions that at best are a human interest story ?
    To me this is "self promotion," and a way to earn money by the following of like minded individuals, " .
    Truly Roz is a gutsy determined woman whom I admire as an adventures' " .
    But "To save the Planet, " ? Pah-lease!!!!
    God Speed Roz..
    A.R.. Chicago Il.

  • Poof … was there perhaps something else you said or perhaps the way you said it that might have been negative or insulting? If the post above is a clue, it sucked the positive energy from the page and insulted the rest of us … casting a dark shadow from a black ominous cloud. There are ways to shed light on a subject without assphyxiating it. These three posts should be annihilated. Poof!

    AllHat

  • A.R. certianly has a way with words and she obvioiusly did not read — or has no interest in understanding — what was said about this not being about saving the pah-lanet. Re-read Pah-lease!!! Poof to you too!

    AllHat

  • I saw your tweet "awake early this morning. calm, lovely night. time to row!" and it really got me off on a wonderful Sunday morning and then Winnie the Poohf threw a wet blanket on it, followed by A.R in Chicago. You answered stormcloud's question really well. Too bad A.R didn't understand it. You are raising awareness about our on the planet. Keep rowing, you're on the right track, Roz.

    AllHat

  • Roz-
    I just found your blog only a few days ago and wanted to "drop in" and say hello!. I am now living vicariously through you, loving every moment of it. To keep things short and sweet, here has been my reactions to the few posts I have been able to go back and read:
    Squid, EWW!
    Shark, Cool!
    Hair, Ouch!(when trying to comb it) and 'Been there, done that, know the feeling' after washing it.
    Setbacks, "dang-it"!
    Triumphs, YEAA!
    I also liked your answer to todays question. A very simple answer to a very rabid topic. You spoke your thoughts, knowing there are people with other opinions reading as well. Debate: another thing that sets us apart from the rest of the Earth's animal kingdom!
    Keep your head up, Enjoy your adventure!
    Michele
    Montana, USA

  • @ poof
    I don't think that everyone is Roz worshiping. I have several blogs that I publish and as a blog owner I have the right to delete any comment that I so desire. The admin of this blog can do so as well.

    Regards,
    Gregory

  • Thanks, Bitter Betty, for pointing out that somewhere in our education system there's a school that seriously needs to work on its students' reading comprehension skills. I don't know how anyone could follow this blog for two summers, read today's Q&A post, and completely misunderstand it or think that by any stretch of the imagination that this will end up as a big money-making venture.

    I don't envy Rita her job as blog comment moderator today. In her role as the mum of someone who's risking her life to try to spread a message of positive change, she can delete whatever she bloody feels like deleting.

  • The fact that some posts are deleted has nothing to do with Roz's feelings but everything to do with the rest of us. Some identify her as their heroine, others simply admire what she has achieved and is attempting. Some acknowledge her influence on their attitudes to wastefulness. I can assure anyone (from personal experience) that Roz Savage is more than ready to argue her position but simply cannot do so while at sea because of the communication limitations.

  • Roz, do you have a plan if a typhoon should come your way? Do you think your boat would hold together in winds of 150 mph and falling off waves of thirty feet? As far as the environment goes, yea carbon based energy is not sustainable. Nuclear is the way to go. The wind stops blowing the sometime the sun don't shine so those alternate energy generation means just won't do for large scale consumption. Nuke is it.

    Fair winds

  • Roz, I was hoping to see you near the 4th parallel but there are no breadcrumbs since early this morning — only crumbs of a different sort — and only a tweet mid-afternoon Grrring squalls. Judging from what I see here, tomorrow will definitely be a better day. Suggestion: turn the other cheek ;-D

  • Roz, your 7:39 PM breadcrumb just appeared. That is a 12 hour gap … and you made 4.5 whopping miles due south. Well done! Must have been a grueling day — you have a right to be proud! You are tenacious!

  • Oh! The good news I was looking for is right there … you are 3.5 miles from the 4th parallel … hmmmm, just a day's row. Mañana! you'll be there by supper time.

  • Is anyone working on the website issue regarding Internet Explorer? I have been following RozSavage.com for several years and can no longer access via home account, lap top account or work account. All Internet Explorer.

  • Just to set the record straight: I am not the one who "censors" Roz's blog comments this time round, due to the fact that I had to be in hospital part of the time, and also living in a very different time zone. Roz has a team of people working for her, and the responsibility for monitoring is carried out in Hawaii. I am so grateful to those who now share responsibility for assisting Roz. Rita Savage

  • I thought this response (from my brother-in-law) was a good answer to my question to him (which was essentially: "what's all this about pagan earth worship and the anti-christ being the center of environmental responsibility and pursuit of clean/renewable energy, etc.?") And I thought it would be helpful to share in the context of Stormcloud's question, and my response to it. Now, for the record, I am 100% committed and invested in "renewable energy", I am working for a wind turbine manufacturing start up as Director of Finance. It is a start-up, which means I don't get paid. I truly believe in the need for renewable energy and see an opportunity to make money at it at the same time.

    Here is the commentary from my question:

    ==
    I think there is some of that kind of thinking among some christians. I think it is really a political thing, though rooted in (a way) in theology…here’s what I mean.

    Political: The original environmental movement was driven a lot by hippy-types, traditionally anti-authority, countercultural, iconoclastic, left-leaning (all the stuff that makes some conservative Christians very nervous) this makes them hold the environmental movement very suspect.

    Add to this the reality that there are some people who are “extreme environmentalists” who do happen to be neo-pagans, wiccans, etc some of them are extreme in their views and are anti-christian in what they say. They act as if a fish is a person is a butterfly (there is no inherent higher value to humans, and humans are really the problem and we’d be better off getting rid of humans if it would help preserve mother earth. (Extreme emphasis on carbon footprint, acting as if environmental impact were the only measure of worth etc (This adds to the us-them dynamic).

    Theological:
    God did give “dominion” over the earth to man. In some ways the Christian worldview has historically contributed to the tacet belief that it doesn’t matter how we treat natural resources since they are only there for our pleasure and we are their master (Has probably contributed to environmental abuses or neglect since the industrial revolution). The thing is, this doesn’t seem to be a Biblical view of creation.

    Here’s what we’re seeing now: An emerging view among christians that sees the earth as a precious gift from God that needs to be stewarded by us. Sometimes referred to as Creation-Care. This looks a lot like environmentalism (it matters what we do, we need to care for the resources, be thankful for the gifts) but creation care doesn’t make the (athiestic-paganistic-scientific materialist) mistake that people have no inherent value among creation. If we are ‘Stewards” it means we are in charge. (And our task is to be judicious in our use and care of our resources).

    People like the “contenders of the faith” web site…(I didn’t even read it, I suspect are missing it in my estimation. Wind turbines are not Gaia worship (only “worship” is worship-coming up with alternative energy sources is NOT worship). Also, God made the wind as much as he made the dinosaurs, I don’t think He has a preference for “burning” (engines) over “turning” (turbines).

    Check out a very environmentally active Vineyard pastor Tri Robinson for more on Creation care…
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/09/evangelical_min.php
    http://www.vineyardboise.org/
    http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Gods-Green-Earth-Responsibility/dp/0974882585

  • Hello All,
    Regarding Stormcloud's discussion points, I thought this response (from my brother-in-law) was a good answer to my question to him (which was essentially: "what's all this about pagan earth worship and the anti-christ being the center of environmental responsibility and pursuit of clean/renewable energy, etc.?") And I thought it would be helpful to share in the context of Stormcloud's question, and the responses to it. Now, for the record, I am 100% committed to and invested in "renewable energy", I am working for a wind turbine manufacturing start up as Director of Finance. It is a start-up, which means I don't get paid until we are successful in making and erecting turbines. I truly believe in the need for renewable energy and see an opportunity to make money at it at the same time.

    Here is the answer to my question:

    ==
    I think there is some of that kind of thinking among some christians [i.e. is the "green" movement anti-God?]. I think it is really a political thing, though rooted in (a way) in theology…here’s what I mean.

    Political: The original environmental movement was driven a lot by hippy-types, traditionally anti-authority, countercultural, iconoclastic, left-leaning (all the stuff that makes some conservative Christians very nervous) this makes them hold the environmental movement very suspect.

    Add to this the reality that there are some people who are “extreme environmentalists” who do happen to be neo-pagans, wiccans, etc some of them are extreme in their views and are anti-christian in what they say. They act as if a fish is a person is a butterfly (there is no inherent higher value to humans, and humans are really the problem and we’d be better off getting rid of humans if it would help preserve mother earth. (Extreme emphasis on carbon footprint, acting as if environmental impact were the only measure of worth etc (This adds to the us-them dynamic).

    Theological:
    God did give “dominion” over the earth to man. In some ways the Christian worldview has historically contributed to the tacet belief that it doesn’t matter how we treat natural resources since they are only there for our pleasure and we are their master (Has probably contributed to environmental abuses or neglect since the industrial revolution). The thing is, this doesn’t seem to be a Biblical view of creation.

    Here’s what we’re seeing now: An emerging view among christians that sees the earth as a precious gift from God that needs to be stewarded by us. Sometimes referred to as Creation-Care. This looks a lot like environmentalism (it matters what we do, we need to care for the resources, be thankful for the gifts) but creation care doesn’t make the (athiestic-paganistic-scientific materialist) mistake that people have no inherent value among creation. If we are ‘Stewards” it means we are in charge. (And our task is to be judicious in our use and care of our resources).

    People like the “contenders of the faith” web site…(I didn’t even read it, I suspect are missing it in my estimation. Wind turbines are not Gaia worship (only “worship” is worship-coming up with alternative energy sources is NOT worship). Also, God made the wind as much as he made the dinosaurs, I don’t think He has a preference for “burning” (engines) over “turning” (turbines).

    Check out a very environmentally active Vineyard pastor Tri Robinson for more on Creation care…
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/09/evangelical_min.php
    http://www.vineyardboise.org/
    http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Gods-Green-Earth-Responsibility/dp/0974882585

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