Sometimes testing is very simple and the results are more than obvious.
I say this after just getting back from my weekly bout with ongoing depression with my therapist and being met at the door by Byron and Nestle, the two demanding dogs who are both thrilled to see me (and who want their lunch.)
I can’t imagine anything more pleasant than being greeted by two furry things who seem to have no other function in life than paying attention to me paying attention to them.
Moving to the new house has been somewhat of a confusing experience for the two of them, but they now seem to have centered on favorite spaces and times when things happen (lunch, walk, etc.) that pertain to them.
I can still remember when I first realized how naïve I was in thinking—hoping—that laying out the “facts” would suffice to change politicized minds, and especially Republicanones. It was a typically wonkish, liberal revelation: One based on statistics and data. Only this time, the data were showing, rather awkwardly, that people ignore data and evidence—and often, knowledge and education only make the problem worse.
Someone had sent me a 2008 Pew report documenting the intense partisan divide in the U.S. over the reality of global warming.. It’s a divide that, maddeningly for scientists, has shown a paradoxical tendency to widen even as the basic facts about global warming have become more firmly established.
Elly saw a movie last night, “The Age of Stupid,” presented by Sustainable Shepherdstown, and we talked about the difficulties of defeating Global Warming (or Climate Change) before it destroys us (The movie has the world ending in 2055 after nothing is done much earlier to make things less carbon-emitted.)
I wondered if we had not started already to reduce the major causes of this carbon phenomenon. Apparently we haven’t. Elly was most concerned with the major carbon emissions posed by flying ( first, because our son is planning to move to Wisconsin after he gets his graduate degree and she wants to visit him and flying is the solution for quick visits; second, because she wants to travel to Europe and other parts of the world.)
While certain things are possible immediately if we have the gumption and will to do them (like painting all our roads, driveways and rooftops white… something we heard a guy lecture about on television… which would reflect sunlight back instead of soaking it up and making more heat), most won’t happen as long as our current political leaders are more consumed by money, elections and the opinions of the very wealthy corporations that cause much of the problem. There is a Lobbyist Limitation in the Climate Cooling sector!
One thing the movie pointed out was the number of people who say they support “alternative energy” such as windfarms, but have a distinctly NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) approach to the subject. They want the saving grace of non-carbon fueled energy (a real no no here in West Virginia which still depends on coal mining for jobs), they just don’t want to see it. The same holds true for solar panel farms which wold take up acres of local space.
In June of 2009, the US Global Change Research Project released its report on the effect of Climate Change in our country. The result, which challenges those who do not believe Global Warming is and actual process, are summed up in this report:
Observations show that warming of the climate is unequivocal. The global warming observed over the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases. These emissions come mainly from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), with important contributions from the clearing of forests, agricultural practices, and other activities._____________
Climate-related changes have already been observed globally and in the United States. These include increases in air and water temperatures, reduced frost days, increased frequency and intensity of heavy downpours, a rise in sea level, and reduced snow cover, glaciers, permafrost, and sea ice. A longer ice-free period on lakes and rivers, lengthening of the growing season, and increased water vapor in the atmosphere have also been observed. Over the past 30 years, temperatures have risen faster in winter than in any other season, with average winter temperatures in the Midwest and northern Great Plains increasing more than 7°F. Some of the changes have been faster than previous assessments had suggested.
Whatever the situation and whoever we, as individuals effected by our own extreme promotion of increased carbon emissions, claim to be does not seem to be making the necessary changes fast enough, if at all. Solutions are somewhat clear, but making them work is a whole other story… and one that we don’t seem ready for.
- Global warming from today’s CO2 emitters modest: study (cbc.ca)
- 3 Cheers for Michael O’Leary (politics.ie)
- Warming from today’s CO2 emitters modest: study (cbc.ca)
- Stupid goes viral: Climate Zombies in IA, MO, UT, VT, and WA (grist.org)
- Must-See: Bill McKibben on David Letterman + Time for Action Now (worldchanging.com)
“I went through eight years of fighting one of the most disastrous presidencies this country has ever seen. And you know what, folks? I’m not doing this alone anymore. If you’re going to sit on the bench and just wait for my next movie to come out, or watch Obama have to fight all these crazies (alone), I’ve got better things to do.”
– Michael Moore quoted in USA Today entitled “‘Capitalism’ filmmaker Michael Moore isn’t feeling the love.”