The Eagle Blog

You Only Live Once!

One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Braveheart, when Mel Gibson tells the beautiful Princess that “Every man dies. Not every man truly lives!” Anybody that knows me has probably heard me say that at least once.

The Bishop of London recently told the Sunday Times that it is a “sin” to fly on holiday, to drive a “gas-guzzling” car or fail to use energy-saving light-bulbs. Wow … I guess I am a sinner, and in defiance of all of the recent press about the ecology, about green solutions and saving the environment, let me just say … what about fun?

I am supposed to stop riding my high powered motorcycle! I am supposed to not drive gas guzzling cars at fast speeds, I am instead supposed to drive hybrids (that in my estimation are expensive vehicles that use maybe a little less gas than their regular counterparts) and I should ride my (man powered) bicycle to work.

I certainly understand the issues around global warming and the effect that emissions are having, but a focus on “gas guzzlers”, SUVs and those nasty people (like me) that drive performance cars is misplaced. Modern technology at work means that the “gas guzzler” and performance vehicle of today probably emit far less “nasty stuff” than half of the “clunkers” I see every day.

Fun is accelerating down the highway away from the other vehicles … and please note this is very easily done within the speed limits! Fun is accelerating around tight bends and leaning into the corners … at the speed limit! Fun is chatting with the gawking teenage kid (or 40 year old) when you pull up in your nice sports car, or on your 200HP motorbike. Fun is feeling like that teenager as you whip down the road on a nice warm Summer day.

Sorry but I work too hard to give up my fun. Go pick on the old clunkers. Go pick on the factories spewing into the atmosphere. Go pick on the landfills of old computers from the hardware manufacturers that don’t build recycling into their plans.

This sinner will be zipping down the highways and grinning like a Cheshire cat!


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10 thoughts on “You Only Live Once!

  1. I agree that it’s important to have fun. The question is at what cost? Don’t ALL citizens of the world have a responsibility to ensure that the next generation has it better than the current (incl. the state of the environment?)

    I agree that we should focus on the big polluters, but maybe the goods we’re buying that enable us to ‘have fun’ are sourced from some of these nasty companies? (i.e. gas in cars require LOTS of energy to prepare and transport to the end consumer, let alone the devastation created by ‘mistakes’ such as the Exxon Valdez spill in the late 1980s)

    Is it purely the burden of government to legislate best environmental practices or does the consumer also need to take action without being ‘told’?

  2. I agree that it’s important to have fun. The question is at what cost? Don’t ALL citizens of the world have a responsibility to ensure that the next generation has it better than the current (incl. the state of the environment?)

    I agree that we should focus on the big polluters, but maybe the goods we’re buying that enable us to ‘have fun’ are sourced from some of these nasty companies? (i.e. gas in cars require LOTS of energy to prepare and transport to the end consumer, let alone the devastation created by ‘mistakes’ such as the Exxon Valdez spill in the late 1980s)

    Is it purely the burden of government to legislate best environmental practices or does the consumer also need to take action without being ‘told’?

  3. I too agree that everyone is entitled to their share of fun. That being said though, do you not think it is possible for you to find a balance between being able to have fun and make some personal changes that can help restore your environment? Small steps like changing your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs can have a large impact – if the preservation of your environment isn’t motivation enough, perhaps you could consider the savings to your wallet?

    The way I see it, and I’m not a fanatical ‘Green’ person, too many people have already said “go pick on someone else” and now look at where we are. While I realize that it was the actions of plenty of others who got us into this environmental predicament, the responsibility lies with us to try and correct it so future generations can have fun as well.

    Considering that you like to enjoy so much of your “fun” outside from the sound of it, perhaps you should take more of an interest in trying to preserve it.

  4. I too agree that everyone is entitled to their share of fun. That being said though, do you not think it is possible for you to find a balance between being able to have fun and make some personal changes that can help restore your environment? Small steps like changing your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs can have a large impact – if the preservation of your environment isn’t motivation enough, perhaps you could consider the savings to your wallet?

    The way I see it, and I’m not a fanatical ‘Green’ person, too many people have already said “go pick on someone else” and now look at where we are. While I realize that it was the actions of plenty of others who got us into this environmental predicament, the responsibility lies with us to try and correct it so future generations can have fun as well.

    Considering that you like to enjoy so much of your “fun” outside from the sound of it, perhaps you should take more of an interest in trying to preserve it.

  5. I agree that we live in a free-will world and that every person has the right to do what they want with their time and money. We all dream of the big house, fast cars, and trips around the world. It is also true that the “small” pollution from your bike/car will not destroy the world today; however all these “small” pollutants add up to a very big one.

    In a world where we know that future generations will be punished for our luxuries, it is hard to just sit back and not think of our consequences, regardless of how small or insufficient they seems to be at the time.

    For people who enjoy life’s luxuries (or for those that want to restore the energy they are using), there are websites & companies that offer “Carbon Pollution Calculators”. In exchange for your contribution to pollution, you can actually find out how many trees need to be planted to counteract your pollution.

    Finally, in the spirit of your book recommendations, I would like to recommend Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth”.

  6. I agree that we live in a free-will world and that every person has the right to do what they want with their time and money. We all dream of the big house, fast cars, and trips around the world. It is also true that the “small” pollution from your bike/car will not destroy the world today; however all these “small” pollutants add up to a very big one.

    In a world where we know that future generations will be punished for our luxuries, it is hard to just sit back and not think of our consequences, regardless of how small or insufficient they seems to be at the time.

    For people who enjoy life’s luxuries (or for those that want to restore the energy they are using), there are websites & companies that offer “Carbon Pollution Calculators”. In exchange for your contribution to pollution, you can actually find out how many trees need to be planted to counteract your pollution.

    Finally, in the spirit of your book recommendations, I would like to recommend Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth”.

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