My name is Michael Searcy, and I live in central Florida in the United States. I work in the IT industry by trade, and my formal education is in electrical engineering. I have always been fascinated by the natural and living world that surrounds us, and for that I blame my father. He grew up on a rural family farm in North Carolina and would walk with me and my sister as kids through the woods of the family property there. We would enjoy the variety of trees that can be found in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, while listening to running streams and the myriad of sounds from the living, breathing forest that surrounded us.
While our family lived in central Florida, I would return with my father on many trips to the North Carolina homestead, often gathering firewood in the fall for my grandmother to provide warmth through the winters. During these trips he also passed on an appreciation for star gazing where the mountain air provides a much clearer and unobstructed view of an immense number of stars that is impossible to perceive in any city or suburban setting. It remains a consistently solid practice for finding humility in the face of the great depths of space that expand beyond our planet.
Living in central Florida provides exposure to much different views on the natural world. From sandy beaches touching the Gulf of Mexico to swamplands teeming with wildlife including alligators, herons, and turtles, I spent my youth and continue to spend my time surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. It’s impossible to grow up in such an environment without developing an appreciation for the natural world.
There are a few reasons actually. I discovered that the more you read on the science of climate change (and I mean the science not the mainstream media and opinion pieces), two things tend to happen. First you realize the magnitude of the problem and its implications and that it can get a whole heckuva lot worse very, very quickly. Second, you notice the amount of confusion and disinformation there is out there, and you see the same arguments raised again and again in opposition to accepting accountability for being the dominant residents of this planet and working to minimize our impact on it.
I have a strong faith, and most mornings find me reading passages from my Bible seeking God’s direction in my life. I see the Earth as a gift from Him, one that has been provided for our benefit but also one we are expected to treat responsibly.
While I consider myself an environmentalist, I’m also a realist. I don’t plan on going off the grid to live in a thatch hut and grow my own food using my own compost and knit my own clothes from non-animal products, and I don’t expect others to either. For that matter, I also don’t plan on giving up cheeseburgers any time soon, though I’m sure I’d be much healthier for doing so.
As a result, some of my feelings on subjects may surprise you. While a frequent rider, I’m against bike lanes that impede on roadways. I’m for the construction of more roadways as long as they are built responsibly and effectively. And while I’m against drilling for oil in Alaska, I’m still open to nuclear power.
In my opinion, we can make immense strides simply through the pursuit of efficiency. For all of our innovations throughout the industrial era, we are grotesquely inefficient. And improvements can be made in all facets of our lives, without costing a fortune and without mandating immense changes to our lifestyles. Only purchase food that you’ll eat. Don’t throw away something that can be recycled or, even better, reused. Minimize the energy needed to run your home. Buy a fuel-efficient car. Plan your trips. And so on. And, as I mention in the “Act Now!” page, this pursuit of efficiency extends to your workplace and your employer. Small changes performed repeatedly by hundreds of millions of people can make a world of difference.
I hope you find the site to be informative and useful.
The biggest impact to overcome is the fact that I live in the United States. Per capita, the U.S. is one of the largest generators of carbon emissions in the world. However, I try to live by as many of the actions I recommend as possible.
The thermostat in my home is on a timer which adjusts based on time of day. Many of both our interior and exterior lights have been replaced with CFL’s. We utilize Energy Star appliances. My wife and I both work from home, so we have very little car usage, and neither of us travels for business. As a result, we can limit the number of showers we need to take. When we do go out on errands, we plan them ahead to limit the need for multiple trips and backtracking. We purchase locally grown food, and we pay many of our bills online.
In my job, I work to improve the efficiency of computer data centers. As more and more of the world gets driven by computer systems, these systems are housed in centralized data center environments. Unfortunately, data centers, and the computer systems housed in them, are terribly inefficient. My job is to help change that. More efficient data centers reduce power consumption and reduce the need for construction of new centers, both greatly lowering greenhouse gas emissions from these centers.
Like what you read? Find mistakes? Want me to add something? Just want to vent? Get it out! I can be reached using the contact page.
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