December 1, 2014

Blog Post #4700

On every hundredth blog entry I try to depart from my usual formula of photo stories and either write something about myself or something significant. For this 47-hundredth post I want to talk about preparing for climate change.

I've seen the argument about climate change shift from "Global warming will [or will not] happen" to "Climate change is [or is not] caused by human activity." It's becoming painfully obvious that climate change is happening, and while it is statistically a warming trend, it is sometimes evidenced by unusual cold and even odd weather events. As for whether it is human-caused, people like to argue about this and while I personally believe that we've played a huge and tragic role in it, the exact extent is not that significant to me for two reasons:
  1. We have to deal with the results regardless of who or what caused it. 
  2. If somehow we did not cause it by polluting the earth, we still need to stop polluting for other reasons! And if this is the case, arguing about whether we caused it is a "red herring" — an argument that takes energy away from the painful need to stop polluting now
The American Lung Association tells us that "More than 147.6 million people — 47 percent of the nation — live where pollution levels are too often dangerous to breathe."

How can that be acceptable? And of course, the pollution that is making people ill is also affecting animals and even plants. So we need to stop making excuses for polluters and make them clean up their act! But of course we all have a role to play, because our energy sources are likely sources of pollution, so all need to look at what we are doing and how we can do it using less fossil fuel-based energy.

Meanwhile, we need to be prepared for the effects of climate change. An immediate threat is flooding caused by rising ocean levels and melting glaciers. We've already seen populated areas flooded and we will likely see it again and again over the next few years. Unfortunately, we like to believe that such events are flukes so we fail to prepare as well as we could. We also tend to feel secure as long as others around us are ignoring the problem! Folks, optimism will not protect you when the winds howl and the waters rise!

I'm not an expert so I won't tell you where to live, but personally I would not rebuild in a flood zone, nor would I live on a low-lying island. Assuming that you don't live in a vulnerable area, you still need to be prepared for weather-related emergencies. Those of us who live in areas that get occasional hurricanes have heard about storm preparedness and we really need to take it seriously. Keep containers of water and non-perishable food on hand at all times, know where your flashlights and batteries are, have a plan for staying warm if the power goes out, have a weather radio, keep your cell phone charged. What have I left out?

6 comments:

  1. Very timely.

    It saddens me that so many people seem completely oblivious to the consequences of our own actions, let alone what is very obviously out of balance in the world at large.

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  2. People who deny global warming really baffle me - you can't argue with science and facts!

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  3. That is a lot of posts, I just passed 600 this year.Sad to see our earth being harmed in any way. Most problems against nature are manmade. That is why I have been working prairie restoration for so long.

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  4. You're absolutely right! Good thoughts.

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  5. It really saddens me to see what is happening to our waterways, air and even food systems. Greed and big business are running us over and it makes no sense.

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  6. I agree with you. So many people don't take this seriously.

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