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Updated on January 4, 2010
photo by Jim Bauer copyright 2009
photo by Jim Bauer copyright 2009

"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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    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      True, though the scientists seem to be leaning more on the side of climate change NOT being man made than BEING man made. As I said, I think climate change is a reality, I just don't think that man has much, if anything, to do with it.

    • sparkster profile image

      Marc Hubs 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      An controversial subject which so many researchers and scientists seem to oppose each other's opinions on.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I'm still not buying the global warming story. There's a ton of science that actually now suggests we're cooling. But as I stated here, I DO subscribe to climate change. Though I'm sticking with my belief that it is as a result of natural, rather than human, causes.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    • greenatheart profile image


      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      The media and politicians do exacerbate the idea of climate change and/or global warming. They make it seem the world is going to end now, or sooner than we think. I do believe it is slowly happening. I'm not doubting scientific facts, statistics or the extinction of polar bears in the Antarctica, but I do believe Global Warming is real. And it is happening.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Or fail to see the logic of the opposing view. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion.

    • Sufidreamer profile image


      8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Good hub, Springboard - I agree fully that the whole issue has been muddied by extremists at both ends of the scale, and money taints the whole affair. The good science is long since buried beneath an almighty crap pile.

      I am pretty undecided about whether man is the largest contributor - there is decent research supporting both viewpoints. Ultimately, I share your great attitude and try to be personally responsible for changing my own habits. Sadly, there are always extremists who make a lot of noise :(

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I too listen to science. They are a far smarter lot of people than I could ever hope to be. This issue of climate change, and particularly of global warming, its causes and concerns, are actually all hotly and widely debated among scientists. No one has drawn a definitive conclusion yet. There's even been a strong shift in the scientific community that we're actually cooling.

      But the dialogue is certainly open. That I can agree with.

    • Russell-D profile image


      9 years ago from Southern Ca.

      I agree -- as keepers of the planet, it is our responsbility to keep it for the generations that follow us. I lean in the direction of good science. Gore served an important role by raising the dialogue to where more people have become aware of our responsibility. There are those - many - who argue a position that waxes on niceties of speech. Or irresponsible buck saving. I vote with scientists world-wide, wiser than me by far. Act now. David Russell

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Don't we need more taxes Hmrjmr1? :)

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Springboard - Great Hub and philosophy. We are only recently figuring out how the 'Earth Axis Wobble" which is a 20,000 year cycle that effects things like the Greening of the Sahara and Ice ages etc. To blame it on Human Carbon Production is specious at best. I also concur that we have to be responsible and encourage and foster change we know will be useful, instead of making another new industry of taxation waste. Great Job.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I actually don't believe the data supports warming necessarily. It's part of the reason they are now giving it the name "climate change," and certainly climate change is much easier to point to better proof. Because climate change IS real, as I stated. Just not something that I believe is man-made.

      But again, curbing pollution and being responsible citizens of the earth is a very important thing. I do believe that we're doing plenty to hurt at least the ecosystem, and it could have a profound impact on even our own lives. But the gloom and doom stuff is just a lot of focus on hocus pocus and I think its simply the wrong way to approach the underlying issue of pollution and the effects it could have on environment.

    • outdoorguy38 profile image


      9 years ago from Brookings,Oregon

      While I agree wholeheartedly with the green movement, I cannot help but feel that it is too late. Over just the last 100 years we have raped and pillaged this planet to the point of driving thousands of species to extinction. Every living thing is having to mutate in order to allow humans their survival here and to what good? So that we can fight over oil and money?

      You talked about Global Warming, I believe that it is our concrete jungles that are attributing to the "speeding up of time" when it comes to global warming. When I was a kid and I would visit Reno, the hot days were in the 80s, now the hot days are in the 100s, there is no doubt about the impact we have had on nature. It is only fair that Mother Earth should eradicate us and take her planet back.

    • Springboard profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I really like the planting new trees idea. It would be an especially interesting agenda in industrialized areas that would also serve to beautify.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      9 years ago from USA

      Springboard - You are right on as to the continued need to reduce air and water pollution, as well as to control them. If it needs reduction, atmospheric CO2 concentration can be reduced by planting more trees (etc.) and less concrete. This was a very fine article. Gus :-)))

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago

      Just another scare tactic for a select few to line their pockets. I'm all for the green movement and the healthier lifestyle it promotes but I think the earth will find a way to balance itself with or without our help like its been doing for millions of years.


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