Monday, October 15, 2007

The state of the environment.

As I tried to think of something to write for blog action day, I couldn’t help but wonder if our efforts to curb global warming have made a real difference.

It seems as though there is an increased level of awareness about climactic changes occurring all over the world but, we still argue about the cause. Regardless of what we think may or may not be causing an increase in global average temperature, it is happening. It seems silly that we should spend all of our time and resources arguing about whether humanity is causing, contributing or simply too insignificant to have any affect on the global climate. Even if the scientific evidence only suggests that there is a remote possibility that we may be changing the global mean temperature, shouldn’t we make an attempt to do something about it. Would it really be too much to ask that we make a small change in an attempt to reduce the amount of warming that our carefree life style may be creating? A recent survey in Canada showed that a majority of Canadians believe we should take action to curb global warming. But when they where asked if they would be willing to spend a little more, possibly in tax increases, to help reduce the harm that excessive amounts of CO2 maybe causing, the majority said no. It looks as though we see that there is a problem but we are only willing to act if it doesn’t hurt our wallets. This attitude becomes even more perplexing when you ask who should shoulder the burden? The answer is almost always government and “big business”. While it may be true that the government is responsible for creating legislation that will regulate emissions from large GHG emitters, they have yet to do so. The federal governments attempt at intensity based targets just isn’t going to cut it. As for “big business”, they are “demanding” that the government put a GHG emission plan in place. Of course they love the idea of intensity based targets, carbon trading and any other idea that will keep their bottom line growing while appearing to be taking action against “climate change”. Going green is all the rage these days. The questions of sustainability and externalities are never even considered when they formulate their business plans.

Recently a number of news stories have shown that we are not making any progress. The amount of GHG in our atmosphere has continued to increase. And along with the increase in GHG the global mean temperature has also increased. The Kyoto accord may not be the answer to our attempt at stopping global warming. But it is at least a place to start. The constant whining about it’s too hard, it costs too much, it will ruin the economy and it won’t make any difference any way is a load of shit. It may be too hard now because we just spent the first 10 years increasing our emissions while whining about how much it would cost to take action. Initially it may cost a lot to change the way we do things but, those who have already made the change are now realizing the benefits. It won’t ruin the economy. It may change its look and feel but it will still be there in the morning. That leaves us with the real question, will it make a difference? Most likely not, it’s too little too late. To make any meaningful cuts we would have to reduce our emissions by as much as 90%, immediately and that ain’t gonna happen.

While we dither, bicker and obfuscate, emissions will continue to increase. Without a global solution we simply cannot solve a global problem. Temperatures will continue to rise. The arctic will continue to shrink. Sea levels will rise. Desserts will grow. Species extinction rates will increase. Cities will continue to expand and our insatiable appetite for consumption will most likely consume everything. Off course it won’t happen over night. It will happen so slowly that we won’t realize it until it is to late to stop it.

Have we all ready passed that point?

Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will we find that money cannot be eaten.
-Cree prophecy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oh CRAP !!!

Well, it looks like things are getting out of hand. While we continue to make feeble attempts at changing the way we "consume", the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has continued to rise.

What's really scary about this is that these numbers are two years old.

We've been going all out, balls to the wall, to "grow" the economy at the expense of the eco-system.

Well, two years ago we may have passed the first point of no return.

Have we passed yet another point?

Talking about voluntary emission caps is a useless waste of time.

It may already be to late.

Here's the latest on our quest to destroy the Earth.