Thursday, October 15, 2009

An Inconvenient Blog

Today is Blog Action Day, a worldwide effort by 5,000 fellow bloggers to spotlight one issue to which we can all add our own spin. The topic for today is climate change. I will be one of the first to admit the topic didn't seem to be of any particular interest to me five years ago. Oh, yes, there was that troublesome hole in the ozone over Antarctica and deforestation in several tropical rain forests seemed to be causing some problems in South America. But it wasn't until the summer of 2005 that the full impact of climate change - specifically that dealing with global warming and the causal effect of creating killer hurricanes - literally came home to roost. The devastation left behind the one-two punch of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made me pay close attention. As a result of the impact of the former and the resultant flooding caused by poor civil engineering, climate change became a topic of keen interest to me and my fellow New Orleanians. I freely admit that I have never seen "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's film that explains all of the causes and effects of climate change upon the ecology. Moreover, I have never taken a college level course on the subject. I am just a common-sense, laid-back fellow who reckons that we cannot continue to plunder our planet of riches, befoul and litter the landscape and affect the biosphere in myriad ways without repercussions like depleted ozone levels, acid rain and killer cyclones. It is true that the United States has been one of the leading culprits in defiling and desecrating the earth and its fragile ecosystem, but there are also many among us who recognize the folly in that and are now provocative advocates for change. Being green makes sense, but changing the habits of the American public will take time. Paying huge amounts at the gas pump made many of us rethink using cars and wasting fuel. Now that the price of a barrel of oil has plummeted from its peak a year and a half ago, the pressure seems to have lessened. The fact is the world is in the same shape as it was before; we're just paying a bit less due to man-made factors. We have been responsible for poisoning the atmosphere with thick billows of smoke from coal-burning energy plants and have greedily gorged ourselves on gallons of gasoline. Despite our track record, we are insisting that Third World nations and countries with burgeoning populations like those found in China and India should operate at a level far less than we had done just a few years ago. We need to set the example in order for those people to not think our actions as hypocritical. If we do nothing else than start to think about what we have done, we will have made a good start. Beyond that, though, we should clearly delineate goals and plan for a future that includes considerations that will slow, deter and countermand man's global effect upon climate change. Like it or not, we have the ultimate responsibility to take care of our fragile home and leave it in the same shape, if not better, than we had it handed to us. To do nothing less would be unconscionable. To do nothing would be criminal.


whalechaser said...

Serendipity...I just happen to have "An Inconvenient Truth" sitting on my coffee table, got it from Netflix last week. You have given me the spark to watch it today. Agreed, we cannot continue to desecrate the planet and expect life to go on as usual.

whalechaser said...

Well, I watched it last night...Sadly it had skips and lurches in the dvd operation. So I did not get some of the more important stuff. I guess the best summary is: Yes we are responsible for dumping enormous amounts of c02 in the atmosphere that is resulting in accelerated global warming. Yes there is stuff to fear. YES we can help ourselves IF we all get on board and work to correct the is actually not so hard.