We only have 50 or so days now until the election.... in past years, out of thousands of questions that were asked by media and debate moderators, only a small handful had anything to do with global warming and the current energy crisis. And this year, with one of the candidates publicly proclaiming that "I’m not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist blaming the changes in our climate on human activity," it is more important than ever to bring the topic to the forefront of discussion!
Environmental Defense Fund is sponsoring a petition that is urging debate moderators to ask about clean energy and global warming. This is our chance to let them know that we want tough environmental questions, and we want the moderators to push for specific, jargon-free answers that clearly outline candidate's plans to tackle both the current energy crisis and global warming. Click HERE to sign the petition.
Like others I've talked to, I often get angry when I hear people denying global warming, which does not help my argument in any way.
I often hear the argument that somehow this fight against global warming infringes on personal freedoms. As if continuing to live with callous disregard for our planet and the other people (because, really, this all comes back to the politics of selfishness) is somehow one's personal right.
When I advocate for environmental issues, protecting our planet and our eco-systems, and social justice for all peoples the world over, I am not just doing so for me. I am doing it because I believe there is a universal truth, and it involves caring for each other, caring for our planet, and living a respectful life with honesty, integrity, and morality. All major religions challenge us to live such a life. When I hear the politics of Big Oil, Big Spending, and corporate globalization, it is usually a politics of greed, material wealth, and personal gain. When I hear nay-sayers ask why they should believe in global warming, what I really hear is, "What's in it for me?"
I've been told that assuming others are acting selfishly is a self-righteous and selfish thing to do in and of itself.... and I don't mean to point a finger. I am simply asking us all to challenge ourselves to live a life that is not about "me", not about "us" and "them", but rather about "We"- what we can do together, what we can do to help each other, and what we can do to make our planet not just a healthy and safe place for some, but for all.
What do you say to someone who doesn't believe in global warming?
I personally know and am related to a number of people who do not "believe" that global warming is real. To them I say this:
If you believe that, despite YEARS of research done by world-renowned scientists, we are not heading toward a global warming crisis, and wonder why should we make all these changes for something that doesn't exist, then please consider this: if I am wrong and you are right, then we have made a number of changes that are beneficial to both people and the planet, created healthier environments for our families, cleaner air to breathe, built local food systems that give people greater access to healthy locally-grown food, lessened dependence on foreign oil, created millions of new jobs in the booming alternative energies field, encouraged people to live healthier lives full of bicycle rides and long walks and exercise, and developed new technologies that help us live with a smaller carbon footprint. These changes have both PERSONAL and GLOBAL benefits.
If I am right, however, and you are wrong, and we continue to do nothing about global warming, we will find ourselves in the midst of a worldwide crisis. Sea levels will rise, destroying entire coastal communities. Entire species will go instinct, as delicate eco-systems will be destroyed by the changing climate, pollution levels will reach all-time highs (have you seen how people in many pollution-laden developing countries have to wear masks as they go about their daily business?), and numerous other very serious, negative consequences will ensue. So I ask you this- why not go the route that only has POSITIVE outcomes, even in the unlikely event that it turns out to be a false alarm? See, it doesn't matter if we are right or wrong about global warming- everything that environmental advocates are urging us to do is good for our health, our happiness, and our planet. It's a win-win situation!
For an excellent overview of the science behind global warming, click HERE.
For a thorough look into the history of global warming denial, click HERE.
And lastly, No Impact Man says it way better than I do: he gives a great list of all the wonderful things that would happen if we treated global warming as a crisis, but it turned out it wouldn't- a must read! Click HERE to read his post.