Back in August I mentioned how you could raise environmental awareness by participating in Blog Action Day. Guess what day it is? October 15th 2007 is the first of hopefully many blog action days and the inaugural topic is the environment
I’d been collecting sources of information about Global Warming to point you to and help me write this post, but my laptop where all the links to those sources were stored had other ideas and decided it was a good time to stop working. I’m wondering if it had a message for me in its timing.
I did mange a grab a few sources for further reading today
- Blog Action Day participants – Links to all the blogs who are participating today, many of whom I assume will be writing specifically about Global Warming
- The New York Times – Articles about Global Warming from the science section of the paper
- An Inconvenient Truth – The name of the site is the same as the name of the movie for a reason
- DoshDosh – Maki put together a list of the top 20 environmental blogs as ranked according to del.icio.us
I’ll make no claim that any of the above are fair and balanced discussions of the issue, nor would I want them to be.
I’m sure you’ve heard of global warming and I’m guessing you have your opinions about it. Most everyone agrees that the average temperature of the earth has increased the last 100 years. Most agree that carbon dioxide levels have increased dramatically (30%) in the last 200 years, and that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas likely to increase the average temperature of the earth. I say most agree, but in truth all of the above are facts.
What’s not agreed on is whether or not human activities are causing the increase in greenhouse gases or if the increase is a natural occurrence. I’m of the opinion that we are responsible. We’ve certainly grown significantly in population over the last 200 years and at the start of that 200 year period began the industrial revolution and increased production of CO2 emissions. The timing itself is by no means proof of anything, but it’s hard to believe it’s merely coincidence either.
You, no doubt, have your opinion too and I’m not going to try to change it. You either believe we are a major cause of the warming of the planet or you don’t. However, in many ways the debate is irrelevant. Irrelevant?
Take a look at the recommendations to help reduce greenhouse gases
Don’t all those recommendations make sense regardless of who is or isn’t causing the earth to heat up? How can you argue against using more energy efficient light bulbs or carpooling to work? Shouldn’t we be looking to move away from non renewable sources of energy anyway? Am I missing something here? If all of the things you can do to reduce greenhouse gases are beneficial beyond the issue of global warming then why are we arguing. Why aren’t we simply doing these things?
We all take a few small steps toward using less energy and together we make a big difference. We reduce our dependence on energy sources that will run out if continue to use them. We save money by not using so much energy. We reduce pollution. And maybe just maybe we cool the earth a little in the process.
One side of the global warming debate says what’s going on isn’t a result of human activity and we don’t need to make drastic changes. The other side of the global warming debate says what’s going on is very much a result of human activity and we’d better make some changes now or it might be too late. Either way we should still be making those changes for any number of reasons beyond global warming.
If the former group is right then we’re fine if we change our behavior or not. If the latter group is right we’re only fine if we change our behavior and soon. A few days ago I would have told you my computer was fine and I didn’t need to do anything special with the data it held. Yesterday that same computer suddenly let me know otherwise after it was too late to do anything about it. The earth may one day, possibly soon, suddenly let all of us know it’s too late too. Unless we start making changes today.
If the changes we need to make are beneficial anyway why are people so heated about this debate? Why not just make the changes?