Thursday, February 14

So What?

I don't think a person who doubts that the climate is changing or who doubts that the observed change is human-controlled or who believes that Earth can recover from anything we do to her is in the same boat as a holocaust denier. So I don't want to call them Climate Change Deniers.... but I'm struggling for a phrase for folks who are less convinced because I'm going to talk about them today.

My family covers the spectrum on all things climate-related, with my Dad being the person who is most strongly against the idea that humans could permanently cause the Earth's climate to change. But one thing I love about my dad is that if we jump over the ontological argument, he's really fun to brainstorm with. He's an inventor/physicist/engineer who keeps a finger in all the pots he can manage. So while he wouldn't advocate putting solar on the roof of every building in the US for climate reasons, he'd get out and help install a system for the geek factor of it. I think what will work long-term for changing our lifestyle is arguing for this "so what" factor. We have really good reasons to believe that global warming is real, is human influenced, and that by reducing the human component of warming we can enjoy better lives. But there are hundreds of practical things we can do that we will benefit from whether it avoids global warming or not.

For example, we all benefit when there is less coal, Diesel, and gasoline residue in the air. We benefit when there is less sulfuric acid in the rain and when there is less cyanide in the water. We benefit when there are green places near our homes and offices because we need oxygen to live. We benefit when we walk more and ride in individual vehicles less. We benefit when we eat more fruits, veggies, and whole grains; and less meat and dairy. We benefit when we spend time with people instead of money on things.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Honestly, I think this is just the most logical way to argue for sustainability. I call it "Well, duh!" environmentalism. If it saves us money, makes things prettier or healthier, etc., then it benefits us to do it.

I believe that climate change is occuring, and that we are at least in part the cause, but you just aren't going to convince every one.

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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.