Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's Time To Shut Up And Do Something

   Our garden is about two months behind last year, which was a horrible growing season. Yesterday I was able to hang the laundry outside for the first time this year -- that's about two months behind the norm. It's not just the Puget Sound. While in Nebraska, every time I commented on how beautiful it was (it really is) I was told how wet and cold it had been and generations of folks would say, "It's never this green this time of year".

   There are tornadoes in Arizona, the Missouri River is experiencing record flooding, and the entire state of Texas has been declared a disaster area due to drought and wildfires. Oceans are rising. It seems pretty obvious that Ma Nature is not cooperating with human "business as usual".

   People in Canada and Australia are concerned about what we need to do about it. It was only a few years ago that the majority of Americans believed that climate change was an important issue that needed to be addressed. Then two things happened: the economy took a dive and a democrat was elected President. This is important because climatologists still insist that we need to address the causes of climate change immediately, if it's not already too late. But a handful of people have decided to use the issue to further polarize political parties and now the number of climate change deniers is going up.

   This is insane and I don't understand the reasoning.

   Okay, so a few strange weather occurrences does not necessarily mean anything. I get that and if that's what we were talking about, that'd be one thing. But we aren't. We're talking about a growing body of evidence and a majority of scientists who agree that climate change is happening and we are responsible.

   "We can't afford to do anything about it right now". The economy is in the toilet, sure, but who is going to be glad we focused on that when millions of people start getting displaced, we can't grow food, and drinking water is scarce? It's as if people don't understand we are talking about losing our basic necessities: food and shelter. We are talking about a world that can not longer sustain not just us, but the plants and animals that we rely on. I really want my 401k to take care of me when I retire, but if it's a choice between that or food, I'll find a way to make ends meet.

   I read somewhere someone called climate change a hoax and suggested that it was some kind of liberal plot to make people spend money. First of all, if you want plots, turn to the advertising companies. Marketers have gotten us all to spend so much money on crap -- much of which is bad for us -- I can't understand where anyone has the energy to spend on a conspiracy theory around climate change. Second, these are the same people bitching about the economy. Guess what? Investing in new energy sources CREATES JOBS. We should be creating new jobs in solar, wind, and hydro manufacturing and installation and putting people back to work! Why is anybody against these new jobs?

   If we really buckle down and try to deal with this problem the worst case scenario is this: the economy gets a shot in the arm with new jobs, we create cleaner energy, the air and water are cleaner, we all become a little more responsible, our children have better lives, and it was all for nothing -- either it really is too late and we can't change it, or it was all just a myth.

   Here's the other worst case scenario: droughts, floods, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and rising sea levels displace the majority of the world's population over the next decades, our agriculture and natural resources are wiped out, and you, me, and our children become part of the sharpest population decline in human history.

   Do we have our priorities straight?

   Further reading:

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