Monday, June 4

Talking to Scientists

My Dad is one of those guys who doesn't believe that humans are causing whatever global warming we might be experiencing. Luckily, his beliefs don't translate to an over-consuming lifestyle. He loves the job he's created and the building he bought for it is less than 10 miles from the house. He is an engineer, but he can also mark the day when he canceled the Scientific American subscription he'd had for decades.

Part of his decision came from a trip we made to the Georgetown Loop railroad one summer. The exhibits there included photos of the valley the loop was built to surmount completely bereft of trees as a result of local building and fires. Looking around the now-tree-lined valley, Dad could observe the self-healing nature of the Earth.

And the Earth is self-healing. It will self-correct on a global scale. But the question is whether the new equilibrium it comes to will be hospitable to life as we know it. After all, the cataclysms at the end of the Cretaceous Era that sequestered the carbon we're now releasing nearly did all life in. (Smithsonian Natural History Museum Site, The Paleontology Portal). So, the Earth may find a way to fix herself, but there's no guarantee we'll survive the fix.

So, how to break through the mental block? Dr. Heidi Cullen, Climate Expert at The Weather Channel suggested a solution in December... be strict about presenting the science about climate. What does the science say? According to the American Meteorological Society;

There is convincing evidence that since the industrial revolution, human activities, resulting in increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and other trace constituents in the atmosphere, have become a major agent of climate change.
She goes on to suggest that the Pew Center's Climate Change 101 site might be a good place to catch up on the science for those who are pressed for time.

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NotSoBigLiving is the story of a woman inspired by Sarah Susanka, Bill McKibben, Airstreams, Tumbleweed houses, Mennonites, Jimmy Carter, hippies, survivalists, Anasazi, Pema Chodron and Joko Beck, Scott Peck, Buckminster Fuller, and Al Gore to see what she can do to reduce her carbon footprint in her mid-80's suburban townhome. Strategies include roommates, alternative travel, organic eating, planting a victory garden, mindfulness, and a belly full of laughter.