Global Climate Change and the marches to raise awareness are the big stories of the day, aren’t they?
At one time, I actually agreed with George H. W. Bush, when, as President of the United States, he said that this was an issue that needed more evaluation before we rushed into changes that might have a heavy economic impact. That was his position in 1989, when he took office. A quarter-century ago.
A lot has changed in the last 25 years. By the dawn of the millennium, much study had taken place and we knew that statistical norms for “weather cycles” were being exceeded. We knew by then, without question, that levels of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases were rising, and that CO2 released by modern human industrial activity was the largest contributor to the increase.
And we did nothing. Because it would inconvenience too many people. People might have to learn to drive less. People might not get to cool their environments as much in the summer, or warm them as much in the winter. They might have to find ways to use less energy largely produced by polluting methods that were rapidly being recognized as wholly unsustainable. It might cost them something to not foul the planet they lived on to the point where we would die from the very pollution we insisted we needed to live comfortably.
Following practically every news article today on the internet about Global Climate Change marches, if they allowed comments, the comments were practically overwhelmed by people claiming that climate change is a fraud. Many of them contend this is some sort of liberal plot, to keep big business from making as much money as it can. Or scientists falsify data so that they will get big government grants. This is patently absurd.
Honestly, if it paid that well to be a climate scientist, the Koch Brothers would be climate scientists, not CEOs. And nobody cares how much money the Koch Brother’s make. (I refuse to call it “earning” it!) We care that that is all they care about. We care that they are polluting the water and air and earth, and making this planet unfit to live on in the name of profits. We care about their grandchildren who will have to live with the collapse of an unsustainable environment, even if they don’t.
Frankly, I fear we have already passed a tipping point.
A sudden enough change in the way the industrialized world functions at its most basic levels, manufacturing, transportation and habitat, would probably cause a global economic collapse. Because we didn’t take small steps a quarter century ago. And we are a quarter century too late for small steps to do any good now. In the near future, possibly in my lifetime, we will see huge methane blooms from thawing permafrost and seafloors. When we reach that point it will be easy to see that we waited far, far too long to take action, because climate change will be like a runaway reactor we can no longer slow down.
And there is nowhere to run. There is no corner of the planet that will not be affected. And we will have none but ourselves to blame, because we didn’t want to be inconvenienced by having to change the way we did things before we knew better.