Right about now you are likely wondering.. “Ok, where is this guy gonna go with this. Is he pro or con? Do I agree with what he will say or do I call him a dumb ass?”
Well, as I write this, the entire Midwest is engulfed in some Arctic freeze and blizzard. Being from Chicago I know what that’s like. If that were my gauge on determining the validity of global warming trends I might be swayed to think that indeed global warming is a figment of someone’s imagination. On the other hand, I currently reside somewhere in the Mojave Desert and in the middle of the summer the idea of the possibility of global warming makes a bit of sense. I guess I am trying to say, in my opinion, the seriousness of global warming is a matter of perspective.. in my case, different climate systems can sway my opinion.
[MY UNCOMMON SENSE. These will be posts that present issues of the day from the perspective of someone who doesn’t have all resources at my disposal to objectively concern myself with every conceivable bit of fact. Let’s face it, some of us average folks simply cannot digest all information available on a given subject, nor can we spend copious amounts of time going to fact-checking sites to see what politician, newsroom, or potentate is just blowing smoke our way to sway our opinion one way or the other. I certainly can’t answer for you, but I can’t stand issues that beg for emotional responses from me; I am no conspiracy theorist. Yes, things stir me up at times but there has to be some reasonable facts… or common sense… behind it all. In the absence of facts, or a way to filter through crap to find the facts, all we have is our own respective life experiences to draw on to try and put things in order. I believe we are the true silent majority; we are the ones the Pied Pipers of the world are trying to get to follow them. The Merriam-Webster website defines commons sense as.. the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions. Since we are all humans and hence, different from each other, our ‘reasonable way’ will be different for each of us. That’s where my slant on humanism takes over.]
But here’s my real thoughts on it all. Being a bit of a pragmatist in my thought process I will always tend to side on science because that is the discipline that has gotten us humans to where we are now at in our evolutionary development. I know.. there’s a scientist for each side of political opinion. But for the sake of argument here let’s forget about what scientists can or cannot prove about global warming.
My opinion is… does it even matter if it’s true or not? Let me challenge YOU, the reader here. What’s your deep down gut feel common sense suggest to you? We’ve all gone through grammar school with basic science to have a pretty good idea what happens when stuff from the ground goes into the air and blocks the sunlight.
- Volcanoes blow up spewing clouds of ash, fire and brimstone into the skies and clouds the earth for years and kills most living things because sunlight can’t make the vegetation grow.
- Asteroids smack into the earth spewing ash, dust, and fire and brimstone into the atmosphere, keeping the sunlight out for years, killing all the dinosaurs.
- More than once the earth has done cyclical shifts to global cooling, covering most of the world in glacial ice, then back to warming, melting, creating new lakes, rivers, streams, and geological changes.
- In the 1970’s the smoke and fog surrounding the Los Angeles metro area so permeated the atmosphere that the California residents mandated changes to vehicle emission standards. Today the air is markedly cleaner.
What I am getting at, folks, is that common sense (and our general science classes in school) DO suggest that if crap from the ground is hurled into the air in the form of particles and/or toxic gases, that over time something WILL affect our environment. To me that’s an absolute no-brainer. Now, if you want to make an issue of the urgency of the melting of the polar ice caps, or if you want to make an issue as to the overall urgency of global warming, looking to kick the can down the road for the next generation or until technology catches up to make cheap filters for the smokestacks, that’s up to you. But, to me, whether it’s in this generation or the next, if we keep throwing crap into the air to create a greenhouse effect, which we know can happen and has happened in the past, we are going to pay the piper later. I don’t need some scientist to convince me.
Now, is the threat an urgent one? Again, does it matter? To me it’s simply good environmental control to maintain the current climate equilibrium as best and as long as possible. The Earth is our home. It’s gonna be a while before we all can head to Mars to poison that place too.
The Socio-Political Issues
The fact of the matter is that here in the States the dispute about global warming, or climate change as some call it, is political of course. The reason is that a key part of the global warming/climate change debate is the control of greenhouse gases, which then leads to the pushing for regulations within the fossil fuel industries; an expensive proposition. Over the years this has led to limited governmental support in developing clean energy resources like wind, solar, and increased use of natural gas. This is one reason Hillary Clinton wasn’t favored by the coal industry, which has already had noticeable demand fall in recent years, leading to layoffs.
On an international level there’s the political debate about non-industrialized countries pushing for cleaner air controls that are of little or no economic consequence for them, but can affect the economies of the industrialized nations. One of the reasons Obama has been reluctant to sign broader clean air accords, given the overall impact to our economy for the technology needed.
Here’s the thing… the entire debate seems to be an issue of how urgent the threat is. If it’s not a big urgency then shut up about it and let’s put the fossil fuel industry back to work and release greenhouse gas emissions on manufacturing and get people back to work.. make America great again! Whoopee!
Sorry, I’m not for jobs at the expense of clean air…. on the long term. Set gradual restrictions to encourage technologies to be developed to clean up fossil fuels. Allow time to expand the use of alternative fuels.. like wind and solar, and maybe even nuclear (we are getting pretty good at that as a safe way to power, but that is still vulnerable to terror threats and earthquakes). The point here is, start now to assimilate the development of technologies in this area AND to assimilate the displaced economies into other areas. This isn’t an overnight thing by any means… and that’s the whole point. Common sense suggests we should clean up where we live or suffer down the line.
We are building yet another oil pipeline that scares the hell outta me because these things are so vulnerable to destruction by terrorism or earthquakes. From what I’ve heard, the Alaskan Pipeline still gets the occasional pot shots by armed people. You can’t guard the entire length. Domestic security begs the development of clean fuel sources. In my opinion the government should lead the way to encourage everything from solar on our homes and businesses to heavy industry. Let free market continue to innovate. Just like every person has a cell phone and every home has TV’s, who’s to say 50 years from now every home and apartment building can’t have a solar collector on the roof. As demand drops for old power services then re-train, re-position, or allow attrition to assimilate former employees into new industries. This is the nature of free market.
Making America great again should be about looking to the future, not grabbing for one more shot at the good old days when heavy industry sent crap into the air and dumped chemicals along the side of the road or buried it in vacant lots… just so a part of the workforce can have a union job.