There are always the naysayers who deny that global warming is taking place and then there are others who say we can always address this issue later. The determining factor, too often, is the cost, and the question becomes, to pay later or not to pay? The dollar is the guiding force and reality be damned.
Forget that glaciers are melting at an accelerated rate. Forget that rising sea levels are endangering low level coastal areas right here in this country as well as around the world. Forget that storm patterns have been changing and becoming fiercer, hurricanes and tornadoes more frequent and more violent. Forget that droughts are now more prolonged and wide spread, reducing our food supplies as the population of the world is expected to double by the end of this century.
Global Warming and Our Future
Have we been paying attention to the fact that we are seeing more and more winter weather in the spring and spring weather in winter, and all of these things are manifesting themselves across the world? Let’s face it, as the atmosphere becomes more contaminated with the pollution we fill it with the worse, and more dangerous, our world becomes.
Forget all this and one day our children and their children will be asking, “What kind of world have you left us? The budget is balanced but our world is not.” The world around us is changing and we are sitting front and center for this drama. These are wake up calls and we are not paying attention. We continue to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock of reality.
We are playing a dangerous game of Russian Roulette with our planet, and remember that in the end of this game there is always a loser… and we lose big. The point is that we don’t have to lose. We can opt out of this obvious end result game. Yes, there has always been cyclical change and oscillating variances in carbon dioxide levels but none comparing to what we have now. We seem to be intent on ignoring the obvious signs that are taking place so we continue to turn our heads away and choose to believe that reality will not happen.
As a heads up to what is happening around us, the NY Times in a recent article pointed out that considerable scientific evidence has shown that the amount of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere has passed a long feared milestone not seen on earth for millions of years and “we are quickly losing the possibility of keeping the climate below what people thought were possible tolerable thresholds”. And yet we continue to pull the trigger and play this dangerous life ending game. Keep pulling the trigger and eventually you hit the live bullet and then it’s all over. Our bullet is following a path that eventually will have a point of no return.
The 20th century was a century of devastating carnage with numerous wars and genocide on several continents, with millions and millions of lives needlessly lost. Over and over again we inflicted these kinds of horrors on ourselves. The 21st century holds a different threat and once again we are in the process of inflicting a different kind of genocide upon ourselves with a different kind of weapon. The weapon this time is “blind indifference and neglect”.
The blind indifference comes from the natural sense of the need to feel secure and comfortable with our every day life. The fact that the build up of carbon monoxide is not visible to the naked eye doesn’t mean it’s not there. The fact that the greenhouse gas is viewed by many as some amorphous concept doesn’t mean it’s not there and actually places us in real danger. Even though they are not visible to the naked eye they have a direct impact on our daily lives and our future. The sense of too many is that today is good; I don’t see anything to worry about for tomorrow. Wrong…tomorrow is just a day away.
Climate change is a truly a defining issue of this century. We can continue to ignore it and today’s generation may continue to shrug it off, but what about the generations to come? We better start addressing that question and face the realities of tomorrow by acting in a comprehensive way today, instead of the scatter shot approaches being offered as political pabulum. Yes, the total cost of meaningful action appears very expensive and it is, but in the global reality the cost is estimated to be no more than 1% of the global GDP. Not too much to pay to keep this a habitable world. The point is, in the end we will be paying in one form or another. So we come back to the question…do we pay now or pay later, when the situation will be much graver and the cost much greater?
Our government representatives, at the federal, state and local levels, cannot continue to neglect what necessity requires. We must demand that they look beyond the seemingly safe political choices, and beyond the next election. It is time for far seeing statesmen and women to step up and say,
“Yes, we must face the problems of today and more importantly realize that we can no longer ignore the looming problems of tomorrow”.
They must join the top scientists who agree on this global danger and recognize that preserving our environment must be our top priority because by doing so we are really saving ourselves. We must insist that they, and us, face reality and do what must be done. The future is not going away. What that future will look like is up to us.
Russian Roulette any one?
It’s your turn to pull the trigger, or… we can stop playing this dangerous game.