GROWING UP, I WAS TAUGHT THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERY GENERATION TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR THOSE WHO WILL FOLLOW
Oh Joy, another hot and muggy New York type of day! The sort of day so unpleasant that the mere act of leaving one’s air-conditioned bubble can be traumatizing .
But what would I know Big Apple summer days? I live and work about as far as one can from New York and not fall off the American Continent, in the area known to millions of teens, tweens, and twenty-something as “the OC” .
But apparently, three thousand miles is not sufficient anymore to escape the unseasonable weather. This, in my opinion, flies in the face of the politically motivated spin-doctors’, sycophants, and right wing retainer’s contention that the temperature changes are purely cyclical and have nothing to do with the escalation of what we have come to know as Global Warming.
Cyclical my ass! The climatologists agree; there is no evidence to support such a theory, none. Not that evicence and scientific grounding matter all that much to these particular groups of naysayers who are more concerned with figuring out a way to get out in front of the Global Warming issue, while still providing cover for the many corporations contributing to it’s advancement. Luckily, people are hesitant to buy these long on rhetoric and short on science answers all that much anymore.
Make no mistake; the extreme weather conditions plaguing our country and our planet, today, the droughts, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis and the famines are either the result of, or exacerbated, by Global Warming. Here again, the climatologists are in agreement.
For society, acknowledging this is half the battle. The second half is a call for action, and action in this situation usually requires sacrifice.
Why should I have to sacrifice, the little voice inside me questions, plaintively? Isn’t it enough that I drive a hybrid car, light my house with CFL’s, sort my recyclables and offset my carbon? Why should I have to sacrifice when everyone around me drives gas-guzzling SUV’s, wastes energy, and, all in all, lives like the wolf is not at the door?
Growing up, I was taught that it is the responsibility of every generation to make the world a better place for those who will follow. Even being generous, there is no way that my baby boomer generation and the members of Generation X, which came along later, can take credit for making the world a better, safer place to live and raise our families.
Within the span of our lives, the world has become a sicker, less healthy place. Pollution is at life threatening levels in many parts of the world. Much of the world’s people do not have enough to eat. There is genocide taking place in Darfur.
Closer to home, fossil fuels have been allowed to dominate the national discussion at the exclusion of virtually all alternate forms of energy. The exception to this, and there is always an exception, is the recent resurgence of nuclear power, which industry proponents are shamelessly attempting to brand as the new green energy.
It was while sitting here in the air conditioning, pondering all of these heavy thoughts that I sat down to compose this posting, feeling guilty that I had not added much to the conversation, lately. At times like this it is easy to feel troubled about one’s place in life. To realize that pretty much all of the best efforts that you have undertaken on a personal level to combat global warming and make the planet a healthier place for us all, are being more than undone by that lumbering thirty-year-old highly inefficient air conditioner running in the next room.
It is this unit, running full tilt from dawn to dusk for the better part of the last week, that has kept my life more or less bearable.
The rational side of me knows that I cannot play into this line of thinking. I cannot allow the bad of the heat wave to overshadow all of the good that I and the family, and all of you, our faithful readers, have accomplished in our personal campaigns to become earth wise.
For example, I know that it is a good thing to shop at local merchants, to sort and recycle my cans and bottles, and to feed the family locally grown produce. This is true even if the local product lacks the organic pedigree of some of the fruits and vegetables available at the nearby Whole Food’s Market. While the Whole Foods produce probably has a marginally better taste, much of it has the misfortune of being produced hundreds, if not, thousands of miles away and carries with it a nasty carbon footprint.
But you know all of this and you don’t need me to wast space here preaching to the choir, particularly on such a hot, muggy day. Suffice it to say that it is one of the ironies that keeps life interesting, that the environment and the health of the planet, contrary to what the politicians may want you to believe, is one of the few issues that transcends political, religious, and ethic divisions.
It is this inclusivity, which gives man a fighting chance at being able to reverse the planet’s slide into oblivion by giving us hope that with a little effort on our part, and yes, some sacrifice, we may be able to convert enough of our friends and neighbors to this wiser lifestyle to make a difference.
So come on my friends, walk your talk and be a part of the solution. I am counting on all of you. Don’t make me look like a foolish optimist once again.