This whole question of climate change intrigues me. We know it’s happening, we can document that. We know why it’s happening to some extent and we can document that. So the question is what can we do about it, and why is it so controversial.
As long as we choose to live on this earth we can’t help but do things that are detrimental to the earth. Even without burning fossil fuels, as long as we leave bodily wastes, inhale oxygen and give off carbon dioxide, we pollute the environment. There are things we can do to mitigate the effects of this but we can’t stop it from happening. The population of the earth in 1800 was 1 billion people. It is now7.5 billion and by the end of this century it will be 11.1 billion. I am not sure where the tipping point is, when the earth is two small to accommodate the population and all their waste, but I am sure there is one.
It seems to be a no brainer that in order to keeps this place inhabitable we should do what we can to slow down this self destructive process. There are natural processes where the earth can and will, heal itself but we have overwhelmed these processes to where they can no longer keep up. In Hamlet we read Shakespeare’s words “To be or not to be, that is the question.” I find that soliloquy to be a good question to ask ourselves when we talk about the long-term prognoses for the human race. At the same time if you’re old enough to read this and understand it, it’s probably not applicable to you. It’s a slow process, albeit one that feeds on itself and at some point will run away with itself. The question then becomes, not if we will survive but if our grandchildren will survive to see it. I guess it basically says if you don’t care about the next generation’s comfort, then no problem. If you do, it’s a big problem and most experts are pointing to the end of this century for the real trouble to start.
I want to talk about Emily. She is my 8-month-old great granddaughter. There is a very good chance Emily will be here at the turn of the next century to witness this. So if I choose to say what is happening is all a hoax, because economically it brings a hard ship on me right now to believe otherwise; then what I am saying is what is most important to me right now, is making money and Emily can just deal with it when it happens. It’s her and her generation’s problem, not mine. Maybe I did help cause it but right now its not impacting me and if what I have said is true, at some point its going to happen anyway, despite our best efforts, so why waste the time dealing with it. Don’t worry-- be happy.
Cancer patients are sometime told they have no chance of surviving their disease. At the same time they are told if they are willing to put up with the discomfort of treatments, maybe they could have another year or two. Surprisingly most of them want that year. It’s called hanging on to life. If we do what we can, to slow down this process of self-destruction, we give billions of people like Emily the chance to have this same life expiernce we had on this planet. The choice is ours. To be or not to be.