Today is Blog Action Day, and the theme this year is climate change. What does this mean? It means that over 7,000 blogs all over the interweb will be writing about climate change today, in order to help bring awareness and, hopefully, a swift kick in the rear to all of us to take action.
I wanted to start off my post by mentioning a brilliant piece I came across yesterday at the California Academy of Sciences Climate Change blog, about how current cooling trends don't in any way discredit global warming or the fact that it very much is still happening. My favorite part, which must be shared, is this quote here (emphasis in my own):
"For example, the BBC ran this piece entitled “What happened to global warming?”. The answer, in a nutshell, is NOTHING... So what’s all the fuss about? I’ll try to explain. But first, let me be blunt: the natural world does not give a fig about our opinions, whether we support (”believe in”) or deny (see here) human-caused global warming."Zach and I agree that both a) climate change is real and is happening, and b) we are causing it. We have still, however, manages to have multiple heated debates on the topic, as we do disagree on the extent of the damage that it may bring, and on what should be done to prevent it. Having seen both An Inconvenient Truth and HOME, I am (understandably, I would think) very much alarmed about what our future holds. There are so many dire predictions, such as that by 2050 25million more children will starve thanks to shortages of food brought on my climate change. I don't necessarily think that climate change in and of itself is evil, since it's been happening throughout the Earth's history-- climates have always changed, and they always will. But will we be able to keep up with the changes and adapt well enough to survive? Are we causing such drastic and unnatural changes that we'll be leaving our children and grandchildren to live in a toxic dump? Are we dooming the next generation with problems that could be fixable today, but will be far beyond repair tomorrow?
The scariest part is that we truly, honestly, just don't know what will happen and what the consequences of our actions will be. This leads me to panic and think of the worst outcomes. Zach, instead, tends to brush off the more dire predictions (figuring that if they're true we're probably all screwed already as it is) and views climate change as a problem, but one much lower on the priority list. With limited resources of time and money, he feels we should invest in dealing with other future problems, like not getting in a war with China (which he is convinced will happen, has been predicting it since high school). That, basically, none of this climate change stuff will matter if we end up in a nuclear fallout. True, I suppose. But won't we still be screwed if we save ourselves from nuclear world war, but still end up with little food and water and all out of our usual energy sources?
All that said, we may disagree on what the Big People In Charge should do, which is kinda silly anyway since our direct power over what they do is about nill, but at least we agree on the little things we can try to do in our own lives, every day. Like using energy-efficient lightbulbs, driving a more fuel-efficient car, walking when it's an option (and luckily in our current location, it surprisingly is), carpooling, running a backyard compost pile, using biodegradeable/compostable diapers, recycling and opting for recycled products when available, reusing items when possible, buying used and using/passing on hand-me-downs, supporting eco-conscious corporations (such as SimpleShoes and Pangea Organics) and eco-friendly products when buying new, and a number of other things we strive to do which are overall just about trying to conserve. Because that's what it all often comes down to-- the vast majority of the time, "green" choices mean toning down consumption, whether it be of energy or other resources. And even if you're not into the "green" movement... shouldn't we all be about not being wasteful?
Clearly, we're not perfect-- tomorrow the 3 of us will be boarding a plane that will spew toxic gases directly into the atmosphere just so we can go visit family. Not very eco-friendly. But, we try our best and do what we can. And I urge you to look at your choices every day, and look for ways you can conserve on energy and waste in your life. It sounds corny, but small changes really can make a difference. If you can't muster up enough motivation to do it for yourself, then think about your kids.... and do it for them. They're the ones who will inherit this massive problem.