CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ISSUE OF THE FALLING SKY
"It would appear to me that the only emissions that Al Gore's really afraid of in the way of CO2 is a hard question about the environment, and I think global warming might in fact be caused by all the smoke he's been blowing up our collective derriere about it over the last eight years." -Dennis Miller
It's a debate that lately has become a real hot topic, pardon the pun. But turn on any news show, open up the pages of your local newspaper, surf the Internet, and you're sure to hear terms like climate change and global warming, disappearing ice caps, even disappearing polar bears. And when you take it all in it's some pretty scary stuff. I mean, if you listen to all the banter, it would seem likely we're all doomed for sure to a very horrific fate. We'll all be washed up in torrents of water. California will become a place where you can only visit with the aid of SCUBA gear! Storms the likes of which we could never even imagine would become an uncontrollable force that would destroy our way of life, and our world to boot. It seems all too clear that we're in for a world of hurt. It's got me so tensed up I've been looking into building a rocket and seriously considering whether or not I could survive on say, Mars.
Though even there, being that I'm a fan of Doctor Who, and considering the last episode "Waters of Mars," perhaps that's not such a good idea either.
The truth is, I've been a long time advocate for being environmentally responsible. I think it is, without question, our duty as the intelligent species on this planet to be stewards of this planet. We owe it to our children and to our grandchildren, and great grandchildren to turn the planet over to them the same way that we found it. Majestic, intact, and able to sustain life.
I also agree that climate change is real. I mean, we really cannot dispute that, can we? I think the evidence is overwhelmingly clear that the planet will not be tomorrow what it is today, and certainly is not today what it was yesterday. There's plenty of evidence in our geological record alone to support that. We've been through tropical periods and ice ages. There are bodies of water now where once there were deserts, and deserts now where once there were bodies of water.
The question, then, is not, does climate change exist? It is rather, is human activity to blame for it? It's here where I have found problematic the hypothesis and the hyperbole. It's here that I stop and say; look, I get it that there are mountains of scientific data to suggest that something is happening. But is it because of me? Is it because of CO2? And by the way since when did CO2 become the great poison? It's in the air we exhale and it's turned into life-giving oxygen by plants—and let's not even get into what my beer would be like without it!
There is, of course, the issue of money and carbon trading, and that could be fueling much of the whole CO2 thing. And CO2 also does happen to be one of the larger contributors to the greenhouse effect. It's also probably the most easily controllable emission.
I go back to what I said earlier, "I have long been an advocate for being environmentally responsible." I think we are indeed polluting the air we breathe, the water that we drink, and certainly there are many environmental issues that concern our health and well being. And there are factors regarding polluting our environment which could have a profound impact on the entire balance of our ecosystem. When we talk about pollution reduction, these are the issues and concerns that we should be focused on.
So, what really is the motivation behind climate change and the whole green movement? I'm honestly not sure. But I do have a thought that climate change, or global warming, or whatever we are calling it now aims to target the human psyche. It puts us, the human race, directly into the path of disaster. Climate change is about global catastrophe and it aims to scare the hell out of us. It wants to scare us into going green and to reduce harmful pollutants to save ourselves. Before when we talked about environmental concerns we simply said "hey, what's a few less trees?" or "do we really need frogs?," and we told ourselves "this is progress man, get over it."
We didn't have ourselves planted in the doom scenario. Now it's not just about the frogs or about the trees. It's now man against planet. And no one believes any science man can dream up can save us if the planet becomes a raging, polluted monster. So, it gives us pause. And perhaps out of that we have a better chance of really addressing environmental issues.
I hope we indeed do something. In fact, I think we will. It's simply the smart thing to do. Even if we'll have our climate change anyway, and we will. The world in which we have to survive will at least be a world more on the order of nature's intention.
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