Monday, January 26, 2009

Wow, it's cold outside!


When it's really cold outside have you ever heard people comment "I wish this global warming thing would hurry up! Ha ha! I'm freezing!"
Usually I smirk or say "Yeah, really!"
It's really a stupid thing to say when you think about it.
Next time I hear it I'm going to say to "Be careful what you wish for. You are going to get it!"
The truth is that we are going to get it. Our entire planet is on a collision course with disaster.

We have all heard this topic and most of us have seen "An Inconvenient Truth".

Last spring I saw a apeaker who was trained by Al Gore himself to present the scary facts of the changing climate to folks like you and I.
What I truly admired was that even though he presented the full global situation he was from New Brunswick and was able to put the horror on a local level and into our neighbourhoods.

Yet we all continue as we have always done in the ways that we always have.
I'm guilty of this too and readily admit it.
Why is this? This is not right.
Do we all have a touch of sociopath inside us that comes out in the form of complacency?

I used to think that complacency was a traditionally Canadian trait and was not as bad in other places.
That attitude of letting the other guy do something about it, I'm too busy. Or I couldn't be bothered.
The biggest crisis comes from those who think "I'm just one person. What would I be able to do to make a difference?"
It's not so Canadian after all. Mr. Gore has recognized this and is pounding away to do what he can to save the world for his kids and all that follow them.

Isn't that what we all want to do? I know I do! The future is the reason that I do so much of what I do!

I didn't try so hard to get on Village Council for fun and glory. I'm certainly not in it for the money either. (We don't get paid enough for all of the time we put in really.)
Why did I join the Parent School Support Committee and Home and School Association at the kids' school?
I do these things because I want to do what I can in my little pixel of our world to make it the best it can be for the future.
This isn't an option. This is a requirement.
We don't have the right to do what we are doing to this planet.
We do NOT own it. We are just the current tenants. There is an unwritten lease agreement that we have to maintain the place while we are staying here.
The unfortunate thing is that we may not see how much the Damage Deposit is going to be.
Maybe our kids won't either.
I can tell you though that one of these generations will and they will be pretty ticked off at us.
The speaker that I saw pointed out that if things don't change immediately our future generations will one day shake their heads and wonder what we were thinking when we didn't do the small things to prevent the looming disaster they will be dealing with.

What a horrific thought. There are so many of us that want to leave our mark on this world and be remembered forever.

Think about this question. Who will be remembered more? Al Gore for his valiant battle for the planet? Or George W. Bush who did nothing to help the planet?
Bush beat Gore to become U. S. president in 2000 but Gore will be remembered as the great in my opinion.

Why don't we all do our tiny steps and be remembered as legends.
It may not be our names specifically that go down in history but it could be our entire generation that made the difference and saved the world.
How proud they would be of us!!
I would like that very much.

I have taken this information directly from http://www.climatecrisis.net/thescience/ , the official site of An Inconvenient Truth. I haven't changed a word.
It is shocking to me. I hope it is to you too.
Please read this.

Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising.

The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence. The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable.

We’re already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing.

The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.
Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.
The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.
At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.

If the warming continues, we can expect catastrophic consequences.

Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years -- to 300,000 people a year.
Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.
Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.
Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.
The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.
More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.

There is no doubt we can solve this problem. In fact, we have a moral obligation to do so. Small changes to your daily routine can add up to big differences in helping to stop global warming. The time to come together to solve this problem is now – TAKE ACTION


These facts are real.
If we think that this is all happening far away from us and is not our concern, think again.
We are all going to pay a very dear price.

What I really admire about the web site is that it isn't only seeking to shock us with gloom and doom. They also offer possible solutions.

Read on,

The average American generates about 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year from personal transportation, home energy use and from the energy used to produce all of the products and services we consume. CALCULATE YOUR PERSONAL IMPACT http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/carboncalculator/ to see how much CO2 you produce each year.

JOIN THE GLOBAL WARMING VIRTUAL MARCH at www.stopglobalwarming.org http://www.stopglobalwarming.org

You have the power to make a difference. Small changes to your daily routine can add up to big changes in helping to stop global warming.
CALCULATE YOUR PERSONAL IMPACT http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/carboncalculator
JOIN THE GLOBAL WARMING VIRTUAL MARCH at www.stopglobalwarming.org. http://www.stopglobalwarming.org
Reduce your impact AT HOMEhttp://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/whatyoucando
Reduce your impact WHILE ON THE MOVEhttp://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/whatyoucando/index5.html
Help bring about change LOCALLY, NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/becomeactive
Download these 10 SIMPLE TIPS to take with you! http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/pdf/10things.pdf

After reducing your emissions you can do even more by going "carbon neutral." By supporting clean renewable energy, you can effectively neutralize your personal CO2 emissions. Your small investment will ensure that for every ton of carbon dioxide you are emitting, a ton of carbon dioxide will not be released into the atmosphere. Go NEUTRAL!



That doesn't seem too hard to do, does it?
What do you think?
Actually, it doesn't really matter what you think.
It's your responsibility and duty.

I want to finish this one off with one of the most powerful pieces ever written by one of my true heroes, the late Dr. Carl Sagan. He delivered it in a commencement address delivered May 11, 1996.
It refers to a picture taken by Voyager1 12 years after it left earth toward deep space. Dr. Sagan gives the distance from earth as 3.7 billion miles.
Al Gore used this passage in the movie.




Pale Blue Dot

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.


This probably won't be the last time I blog about this. It's been on my mind for a long time.

Let's get to work before it's too late.

Tim

6 comments:

Charles LeBlanc said...

ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

You writing a book again????

:P

Tim Scammell, Professional Technologist said...

Charles my friend. I don't post as often as you do so just consider this big one to be the same as a bunch of little ones. :)

Paul said...

Great write up, Tim. I've written about it a couple of times myself. What's truly scary is that there are people out there, some of them in positions of power and influence, who say global warming is a myth. Scary stuff.

Tony said...

Here, here!

More people need to take heed!

Listen up people, it's real, it's happening, and it's accelerating!

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the stuff that is going on with global warming but I also have a theory on something that may be contributing to it that we can't change.
We all know that the Earth orbits around the sun. Has anyone ever thought that we could be gradually falling out of our orbit and be slowly, ever so slowly, be getting closer to the sun. This would definitely cause a gradual climate change that we can not fix.
Just an idea that has been going round and round in my head for some time now.
Any thoughts on this?

Tim Scammell, Professional Technologist said...

Well Anonymous, I agree that a gradual degeneration in the orbit would certainly cause this.
I think that's a great theory.
We see this all the time with man-made satellites and objects orbiting the Earth, don't we.
If this is an original thought, it would be astounding and worth scientific review.
I would be surprised however if it had not been thought of before now. (It's not so easy to have original thoughts anymore, is it?)
We are able to measure deterioration of other objects so I know if this was happening it would be measureable.
Thanks for commenting!

Tim