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Great Goal, Even If Misguided

September 2, 2014

I’ll start by saying this: the climate is changing. Argue it all you want, science supports this. There is an undeniable bias from the corporations with much to lose, and they fund many publicity campaigns to prevent the regular person from knowing we must change our wasteful ways as a society. That fact is itself probably the reason we don’t take climate change as seriously as we should, overall, and why the commoner is not really given the means to alter anything about the larger dynamics at play here. I must add some qualifiers, however. 1. The term “global warming” is not accurate. We should never use it. The climate change happening to Earth is not consistent, either, as it has different affects in different places. It may not have a measurable affect everywhere, either. So, even if it is more apparent in one part of the world than another we must reduce the poison we pump into the air (to say nothing of the garbage making islands in the ocean and pollutants from slovenly methods of procuring resources underground), it isn’t the case everywhere. This makes it a harder sell for the place it is getting cooler, or not changing enough to matter. Don’t expect us to latch onto an idea if we see no real discernible trend supporting your conclusion ourselves in our lifetimes. 2. I, personally, dispute the contention humans are a primary cause of any global climate change. We may be causing things like the depletion of the Ozone, but even if we are, it’s not directly linked. We influence the world, maybe to a measurable degree even, but I seriously doubt we are so critical as to cause such a fundamental shift in the entire world’s function. George Carlin said it best in one of his rants sometimes referred to as “Save the Planet.” Simply put–you really should listen to it yourself, if you can find it–humans are too insignificant technologically to cause changes in nature to this scale in the time we have been burning coal or oil-based products for fuel. It is just too little to have such a drastic effect, I think. We are not that influential to the world ecosystem. These things said, though, I’ll explain the title of this blog posting. Although I believe the science of global climate change is undeniable, interpretation of the causes and full impact of this change are matters of opinion. Scientists have no control setting to prove our pumping carbon dioxide into the air is itself the cause of climate change. It could be a symptom of the coming ice age. We are due for one. Think about that a minute. We don’t know how long it takes the world to settle into an ice age or, with any precision, exactly how this happens. All we know is we are due for one and they can be weird on occasion. So, what does that mean? We can argue whether or not we are the cause of global climate change because we don’t know enough to be certain either way. Regardless, is it a good idea to pump poison into the air on the massive scale we do? No. Is it wise to pollute the ground with fracking, or clutter parts of the ocean the size of New Hampshire with our trash, or pile up our garbage in landfills until we have no more room for landfills? Clearly not. It doesn’t matter if we are the cause of global climate change or not. It is self-destructive to burn fossil fuels the way we do, create tons of waste the way we do, and turn a blind eye to the long-term consequences of these choices. It is immaterial if we are making the global environment different by these things. These things are bad at the local level, at least, and we need to stop doing them. However, here’s another qualifier: it wouldn’t matter if every common person in the industrialized world had the compulsion tomorrow to reverse this irresponsible behavior. We can’t, in fact, and the industries like it that way. We have no practical recourse but to burn fuel to get to work, or we go hungry after we’re evicted from not paying rent. (That would be me too, by the way.) We can only choose between this plastic packaging or another in most cases, and it won’t matter enough to bring a cloth bad to a grocery store. That would help, but the issue is much larger than that. We are not given the choice of a less damaging lifestyle because the structure of our society doesn’t allow it. That is undeniable, as well. Try getting a job without a car. You can walk to work? Great. That makes you one of about 10% or less of the labor force. The rest need a ride and a bike won’t cut it. Take the bus? Besides the fact few families can function without independent transportation or a ride (doctor’s visits, groceries, babysitting needs, what have you), what fuels the bus? Probably diesel fuel. See the problem? The saddest part is we common folk don’t even create most of the dangerous emissions and waste. The regular consumer, in the aggregate, makes tons total every year. Companies and manufacturers create several times what we do every year and they have no interest in changing their methods. Corporations are responsible for more than half of the world’s waste and dangerous emissions: around 65% of them, I have heard. Until big business stops what it is doing, and gives the common person an alternative, what can we do? We can change our ways, but these little measures amount to drops in the bucket. Even so, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. We can start by not arguing whether or not we dictate global climate and focus on what we can change in our daily lives because we should want to give our children air without carbon monoxide from car exhaust, for one. Is that a good start?

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