From Vision to Reality: Family Fights over Global Warming

August 11th, 2008

Last Monday, we celebrated a fantastic gathering of green voices here at OrganicMania. The Green Moms Carnival on Global Warming brought bloggers together to talk about steps we can take to slow, reduce or eliminate global warming.

I don’t know about you, but I was fired up to see so much passion and commitment. So not being one for a lot of blather, I set out to implement some of the ideas proposed by my fellow Green Moms, “Mothers of the Earth,” and “sons of Mothers.

Then reality intervened.

Changing patterns is hard. Doing things differently from other people is difficult. Living sustainably is a challenge.

Fighting with your kids over global warming? It’s the secret reality. I learned long ago I’m not all that unique – so if I experienced some recalcitrant behavior from my six-year-old, I could not have been the only “Green Mom” going through this.

It all started with a change in behavior – my DH normally drops our son off at camp on his way to work. This particular day, he was walking to metro, about 15 minutes away. Big Boy was running late, but he told me “not to worry,” that he could just be driven over to camp after Dad left and still make it on time.


“What? Why not? I don’t need to walk. I get plenty of exercise at camp.”

“No,” I responded. “It’s not good for the environment. Driving cars too much is what’s causing global warming. You either walk now with Dad or you walk later, but no one’s driving you over there.”

Well, just imagine six-year-old rebellion.

“But all the other kids’ parents drive them there!”

“Maybe those parents are dropping their kids off on their way to work. But your Dad’s not driving today. So we’re not driving you today. We have to take care of the Earth. And sometimes that means not driving.”

It’s amazing how “mean” I’ve become since he turned six. Why do mothers change so when their sons hit six? Suddenly, I’m a real “meanie.”

Well, he did end up walking with Dad, but the ensuing drama caused DH to be late to metro. So all of a sudden, I wasn’t just arguing with my son, but now my DH was annoyed too. Even though DH agreed with me (but of course).

You need to be organized to be green.

You need to change your patterns. You need to plan. You need to think ahead.

It’s not easy. And if at first you don’t succeed, don’t beat up on yourself either. After all, I’m not one for beating ourselves up with “eco-sins.” I much prefer the term Eco-Mistakes.

So how’s the battle against global warming going on your end? What changes have you made to your daily routines? Enquiring minds want to know.

— Lynn

12 Responses to “From Vision to Reality: Family Fights over Global Warming”

  1. Mick on August 11, 2008 9:03 pm

    Telling your kids about Santa Claus is one thing, but telling him that a trace gas comprising a few thousandth of a percent of the atmosphere has dominated the climate to the point of crises is something else (trace gas v the Sun mmmmmm).

    You may end up losing some serious credibility with your children when they find out you’ve been involved in the greatest scientific scam in modern history.

    Hi Mickey, Divergent view points always welcome here. How do you explain the melting glaciers? Frankly, I don’t tell my young children that we are in a crisis…I don’t want to scare them. I talk to them about things like taking care of the Earth. I do use the term global warming, as it is something the older one hears anyway. I would not regret any of the steps I’m taking even if we discovered that climate change was caused by something other than fossil fuel emissions. — Lynn

  2. Mick on August 11, 2008 9:05 pm

    That is, the human component is a few thousands of a percent, because the vaste majority of C02 follows temperature. Increasing temperatures release C02 and cooling temperatures lower levels. This is why the C02 levels have dropped since last July during the current cooling cycle.

  3. Beth Terry on August 11, 2008 11:17 pm

    It’s hard to watch the person you love most in the world stand at the sink chatting with you as the water runs and runs and runs and runs and not say anything because the last time you said something he got miffed and said that living with you is really hard sometimes and that maybe you (and by “you” I mean “me”) could let up once in a while.


    I hear you!

    Yes, in my household I’m known as the “OrganicManiac!” I have to find like-minded souls on line. Just jesting (well, maybe a bit….) — Lynn

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    […] From Vision to Reality: Family Fights over Global Warming Last Monday, we celebrated a fantastic gathering of green voices here at OrganicMania. The Green Moms Carnival on Global Warming brought bloggers together to talk about steps we can take to slow, reduce or eliminate global warming. I don t know about you, but I was fired up to see so much passion and commitment. So […] Natural Life Recent Additions […]

  5. MamaBird/SurelyYouNest on August 12, 2008 6:12 am

    Oh, I so empathize! The whole ‘being better organized’ to be green so resonates with me. More time and more space to do things = more conscious actions. It’s so funny how the two are interrelated. And, as for cutting yourself slack? So funny, that’s what I just posted about today for the APLS Carnival on sustainability.

    Great post, MamaBird at your site today! And like you, I sent this post over there too as my contribution! Folks, check out this carnival at: Today is the last day to send over submissions for the carnival at: aplscarnival at gmail dot com.

  6. Sue on August 12, 2008 10:38 am

    Believing in global warming aside, taking care of our environment is always a good idea. It is our home after all. I applaud your stick-to-it approach and not taking your car to camp today. I have to admit, driving is my biggest eco-sin. I get some push back from my kids because I ask them to use only 1 glass (per kid) in the evenings. SO if you drink 2 different drinks, you have to rinse the glass out first. I’m amused at the snarky-ness of a nearly 9 year old boy. Now I’ve been trying to get them to wear PJs and non-dirty clothes a bit more before washing…so amazingly the 9 year LOVES this idea.

    Keep up the non-driving….perhaps I’ll get to that point someday too.

  7. Janelle on August 12, 2008 10:50 am

    I recently sat down with my 5 and 8 yr old girls and watched the Green Gorilla cartoon about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and we had a big talk about plastic. Now I’m being constantly scrutinized as it’s almost impossible to grocery shop without buying things wrapped in plastic. My 5 yr old is relentless (“Mommy, that’s plastic. Mommy, isn’t that plastic? Mommy, that’s plastic, too…) It’s a real conundrum.

    They’ve even started whispering to eachother when they see other people using plastic bags (cuz even if we can’t avoid all plastic, we do use reusable bags). So, they’ll see someone else get a plastic bag and start whispering and pointing and when we leave the store, they’ll gasp in utter shock, “Mom, did you see that person get the plastic bag?”

    Again, even if we can’t be plastic-free, I’m happy to instill in them a plastic bag taboo.

  8. Green Bean on August 17, 2008 8:01 pm

    No!!!!! Don’t say moms turn “mean” when their sons turn 6. I’ve only got another 4 months to go until mine hits that age. :(

    That said – I love this “You need to be organized to be green.” You are so right. It is when I’m not organized that I run out of time and end up having to skimp on something green.

    We all do our best and, with kids, it is especially hard. I figure if I just make them aware, if we just do as much as we can, well, that has to be enough.

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