Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Global Warmth

Maybe there's an issue with referring to it as "global warming". It seems as though a whole lot of people interpret that "ing" as something that's going to happen- like we're getting there, not quite there yet. Well, this just in: IT'S HAPPENING.

Will climate change/global warming literally have to show up at everyone's front door with blinking lights and sirens in order to seem pressing enough to motivate some real change in behavior? Apparently the Alps melting, New Orleans sinking, and Darfur drying up is just not compelling enough.

A few months back, I was having a conversation about the urgency of this issue with some people who felt as though we must all be patient and take small steps. Sure, small steps are better than no steps, but I think there needs to be an emphasis on steps- once you take one, take another and keep taking them. Light bulbs, recycling, and reusable bags are small (albeit trendy and EASY) steps, but they need to merely be a taking off point.

I struggle constantly: easily slipping back into old, bad habits and then I'm reminded that the call for serious, BIG change is the most urgent call out there. If we don't have a home planet, we don't exist.

Our society has made it all too easy for us to get distracted and has subsequently turned many of us into blissfully ignorant consumers, giving ourselves too much credit while turning a blind eye to the real things that need our immediate attention. Here's the thing, though- chances are if you're reading this, you're rich. You are richer than 95% of the world and you have options. You probably got to choose which college to attend and what color socks to wear this morning (choices that many people on the planet aren't even aware of). You got to choose who to vote for and what to make or buy for dinner tonight...and with choices come influence. We can choose to make choices that can greatly impact the rest of the world. We can choose to take BIG steps and affect change. We're powerful. And isn't it true that with great power comes great responsibility?

I need to be more responsible and use the power that comes along with the great variety of choices that I have. And guess what? So do you.

This rant is inspired by Scientific American's "Top 10 Places Already Affected by Climate Change". Read it.

1 comment:

Warren said...

Yes, it does come down to everyday choices. Some are much harder than others. We have made most of the easier ones....reusable bags, CFLs, cutting back on the heat/AC, etc... But in our consumer driven society, many of the choices still do not exist. It has to happen from the bottom up but also from the top down. The government (hopefully Obama will push hard on this) will have to make climate change a priority. The best choices still are not there but I can see us moving forward....ever so slightly.

Keep it up! Only a few more days to go before a new era of politics in the US!