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“It takes the shape of a place out west”

October 16, 2007

Yesterday was blog action day, i’m running a little late, but here goes.  We’ll blame it on being sick…even though that actually means that i was at home sitting on my ass in front of my computer all day…

Here’s the deal – we need to deal with global warming whether or not it is real.  I was in a friendly argument recently with a guy who said he doesn’t beleive in global warming (natural fluctuations and all that shit).  Well, i disagree with that, but it doesn’t matter.  For one, the scientific consensus is clear (though scientific consensus has been wrong before – see this interesting article on nutrition science), so at this point if you don’t accept that there is likely nothing i can say to change your mind.  But what i realized while i was ad-libbing this argument was that that part is a minor detail.  For one, if it’s uncertain i certainly push for hedging our bets.  But that’s the lame argument – no one wants to hear my pansy-ass “better safe than sorry” crap.  Not compelling.

The real deal is that, global warming be damned, we have an overarching environmental crisis on our hands.  A crisis with a hundred arms – deforestation, water availablity, water quality, unsustainable agriculture (unsustainable everything), pollution (water, air, ground), for a start.  If you want details i can give you details, but that could get long, so there’s a sampling.  On the one hand, if we focus only on one issue it’s a start, but we are really only making a dent.  On the other hand, if you go off on everything that is wrong people quickly slip into “it’s so bad there’s nothing i can do” mode, and go back to doing everything the same as before.  On the…third hand…if you mention only one issue people tend towards “so what?” 

What to do then?  Create a crisis.  A simple, straightforward, and most importantly single crisis.  By create, i do not mean fabricate, i just mean create or focus on “one” issue.  With global warming, you get press coverage and general attention (eventually) because it is a big deal, but it is also one issue.  The environment is one issue, too, but it is so huge that people pretty well assume it can’t be tackled (not to mention the stigma of being something as sinister and revolting as an environmentalist).  One issue is important because it makes headlines simple, and it keeps us from becoming (too) overwhelmed.  And, in tackling this one issue (warming), we are tackling, to some extent, heavy metal pollution caused by power plants, feedlot pollution, transportation issues, consumption, habitat and land issues, etc.  These are issues that must be addressed because of the environmental havoc they are wreaking aside from their contribution to global warming.

So, no, i don’t give a rat’s ass if you believe in global warming.  But there are issues that we cannot afford to ignore any longer, and it appears to me that global warming is the only way they are going to get addressed.  Frankly, i don’t have the energy to debate you on whether or not it is real.

Oh, but i have the energy to debate all day long on any of the other issues i mentioned above – because, as my new favorite quote goes “you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” (Sen. Pat Moynihan…unless he got it from somewhere).

Lady Brett
“Wide Open Spaces” – The Dixie Chicks

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2007 12:41 pm

    at the very least we can help the polar bears, right?

  2. October 16, 2007 12:59 pm

    we’d better, my teddy is a polar bear!

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