Europe Highlights

Ok. So, I learned it’s not so easy making videos and writing articles on a regular basis especially while on holiday and especially when there are so many places to go, things to see, learn, experience. I really wanted to make last Autumn’s trip meaningful in not just a selfish travelers way. But after the year Stef and I had just

Strawberry Fields Forever

before the trip, we realized very quickly that it was necessary to take that moment out of our lives to decompress and just see a part of the world we had never seen.

Having said all that, there are some really great 180 Forward nuggets that came out of the trip! Stef and I visited eight countries, slept in 32 different beds, and tackled the museum and cafe scene like it was our job.

Sometimes we as Americans, and especially the eco-minded types like ourselves, tend to look across the pond and see a panacea of environmental hope. There is plenty to back up this claim. For example, E.U. GMO laws, 50% of produce grown in Austria is Organic, Germany is a major world leader in solar, not to mention the vastly superior public transportation system.

However, for all you ‘Europe is the panacea of environmental hope’ folks, I’ll just have you know, the U.S. puts on a pretty good showing too. We were the first nation to create National Parks, the fist nation to have an Environmental Protection Agency, and over the past few years the U.S. has quietly, and not so quietly, grown both a $40+ billion dollar Organic Food industry and a Renewable Energy industry which produced 13.44% of all U.S. domestic energy last year (hey, it’s on a growth trend).

Mont Blanc still has a glacier!
Mont Blanc still has a glacier!

Here’s the reality on the ground in the old country, we saw about the same amount of natural food stores as in the U.S., Meat production and consumption was on par, both have a changing energy industry, and an increasingly eco-educated populous. Yes, both also have industrial and establishment resistance to change, but isn’t that how history books are written.

Change and Resistance!
Persistence!

It’s no secret that at least part of the reason so many modern environmentalist see Europe as this panacea mentioned above is because the political winds in the Americas have blown so far in the other direction. Being a conservationist in the U.S. means you harbor such a taint in the mainstream that you are obviously a communist, socialist, faggot, or so hyper-intellectual that you are on the fringe of extremism. All the while, those in Europe have caught up to us and often surpassed us legally and even have legitimate Green Parties in many countries.

Having been many places across the globe, I am convinced that if the human community is going to continue to build upon these ecologically conscious advances, it’s going to come, at least in large part, from the U.S. We must do this. The ball is rolling in the right direction. Is it too late? I don’t know. Who cares. It’s never too late!

 

Check out this Living Wall we saw at the World’s Fair in Milano, Italy

4 thoughts on “Europe Highlights”

  1. Looks like you had some fun and learned some things, too–that’s the best! That living wall is really cool. Is the movement for tracking the sun? How in the heck is it watered? Makes me want to get going on planning a trip! Thanks for sharing.

    Steve

    1. Thanks Steve!
      Yeah, the movement was for both sun and ventilation. The whole thing was watered through drip/mist lines in the frame. These bad boys were part of the U.S. display on “energy and food for the future.”

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