What do you think of climate deniers?
The ones who know better, as do most of the Republicans in Congress, like to say, ‘I’m not a scientist.’ That’s the sleazy cop out you get from lizard brains, who are taking money from big coal and oil to pretend the issue of climate change is still unsettled.
It’s 8th grade freaking science. It takes five minutes in a classroom for a 14 year old to understand that pumping billions of tons of man made, heat-trapping chemicals into the atmosphere is a seriously bad idea.
The physics is simple. They teach it to kids. Pollution comes from burning stuff, like gasoline, sending hundreds of millions of tons of heat trapping gases like carbon monoxide into our atmosphere. When we eat animal protein, we are complicit in sending massive quantities of heat trapping methane pollution into our skies. Heat is a form of energy. The more heat that is trapped in the atmosphere, the hotter it gets.
Ninety-eight percent of the world’s atmospheric scientists agree. Climate change is real. The few that don’t agree are being paid by dirty energy profiteers to sew confusion and denial. Denial leads to inaction. That’s why we’re seeing monster floods, more droughts, more forest fires, and more dangerous weather systems than ever before… Our glaciers are disappearing. The icecaps are melting… Sea levels could rise twelve feet before the end of this century…. Great cities around the world like New York, Miami, Shanghai, and Mumbai are at great risk of becoming permanently flooded and unlivable.
When a Republican in Congress denies climate change, what I see is a reptile, whose pockets are stuffed with campaign cash from big polluters. Justifying denial and inaction by saying you’re not a scientist is disingenuous bullshit.
How is climate change linked to extreme weather?
It’s simple physics. More pollution means more heat gets transferred to the atmosphere. Ocean surface temperatures rise, causing more evaporation, which means more moisture and more energy in the atmosphere …and that translates to more powerful weather systems, more often… Hurricane Harvey dumped fifty plus inches of rain on southeast Texas, in five days. Very likely, we’re going to see that kind of weather extreme a lot more often in the years ahead.
How can a caring American be part of the solution for climate change?
It’s begins with voting for politicians, who want action on climate change.
Beyond that, you have to examine your own lifestyle. There are a lot simple adjustments each of us can make that encourage sustainable living. Easy step one is to make your next car a zero emission electric car. No gasoline. No pollution. There are already some great electric cars out there. I had one. I loved it. Now, I’m driving a hybrid. It will be the last car I ever own that burns dirty hydrocarbon fuel. I wish Tesla had an SUV I could afford. They will in a few years, when the lease is up on my hybrid.
Another big thing that’s really easy is change is your diet. At any given time, there are about 100 million cattle in the U.S. being raised for food. The digestive process of one cow or steer generates up to 500 liters of methane a day. Methane is twenty times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon monoxide. A hundred million cattle produce about 50 million cubic meters of methane a day… all of which ends up in our atmosphere, entirely because of our eating habits. You don’t have to be vegan to make a difference. Just cutting by half your weekly intake of burgers and other kinds of animal protein will make a huge difference. It will be good for the atmosphere we all share. It will have a positive impact on your health… and, it will be especially good for the animals, who don’t end up as dead meat on your dinner plate.
Why should I change if ‘other people’ won’t?
If you care about the future, changing your own ways is the right thing to do. Don’t wait for it to become trendy. Get on with it. If enough good people embrace their individual planetary duty and start moving in a positive, life-affirming direction, the tidal shift already underway to clean, renewable sources of energy will accelerate, and even the most hard core ‘other people’ will have to follow. If you give a crap about where our world is headed, sitting on your hands is simply not an option.