Global warming hoo-hah?
I usually try to stay out of emotional battles, especially ones about abortion, politics and global warming. It’s not that I don’t have strong feelings about all of those subjects; it’s that we all do and those strong feelings usually bring out the worst in people. We become so wrapped up in our own “rightness” and are so sure that anyone who disagrees with us is wrong that we forget that, like most things in the adult world, there are shades of gray. That others’ opinions are worth hearing even — especially — when we disagree. That the knee-jerk response of “I’m right and you’re wrong” only persuades others that you’re a jerk, not that you’re right.
So it is with much trepidation that I’m going to wade in on global warming. Hear me out because this is my opinion, and it’s one that I have struggled with for years. You can disagree without hurting my pride — in fact, please post your thoughts in the comments. I would like to hear them; I’m hardly infallible and certainly no scientist.
I don’t know whether global warming exists. I’ve heard both sides, and I honestly don’t know which scientists are correct (again, I’m no scientist, so how would I know which side is accurate?). I’ve heard all of the arguments against global warming. I’ve heard the one that says that since there is doubt in the scientific community, then that is enough to show that global warming doesn’t exist. I call B.S. on that one though. Scientists don’t agree on a lot of things, and frankly humanity doesn’t understand enough about the world to settle entirely on one side or the other. That’s hardly a reason to ignore the possibility of global warming.
I’ve heard the argument that fighting global warming would destroy the U.S. economy, and I reject that one, too. Would an all-out war against global warming hurt the U.S. economy in the short-term? Absolutely. But we Americans are smart, and we adapt quickly. Within a few years, businesses would change. Old ones — say, the current automobile industry — would change or die. New ones would spring up to feed the new demand for alternative fuel sources, alternative transportation. New, biodegradable creations would replace plastics. Why? Because there would be a huge demand, and wherever there is huge demand there is money to be made. Never discount human ingenuity and the quest for the almighty dollar.
I’ve heard the other arguments, too. Like the one that says pollution levels are dropping while global warming hype is sky-high, that the ozone layer has been healing itself, that carbon dioxide is not causing global warming and that humans aren’t causing it either. I’ve heard the arguments that this recent period of warming is cyclical in nature. I’ve even heard the argument that if global warming is real then humanity is already doomed because we don’t have enough time to stop it. I’ve heard them all, but I’m not convinced.
Why do I doubt? Because what if those arguments are wrong? What if humans are causing global warming? What if our generation is pissing away future generations’ legacy just so we can have cheap fuel? Just so we don’t have to change. What if it’s all our fault and we don’t do anything about it? Those questions should give you pause, even if you think global warming is a conspiracy led by Al Gore.
These are real questions: What if those arguments are wrong? Is it worth risking my baby son’s future? Are you confident enough that you are willing to risk your children’s future? Your grandchildren’s future? I’m not. There is just too much at stake to ignore the possible risk, to not do my part to give back to the planet that has given me so much. Call me a hippie if you like, but don’t tell me I haven’t thought this through. I’ve agonized about this for years.
Global warming may not exist — like I said, I don’t know which side is right — but there is too much at stake for me to ignore the possibility that we could be killing our planet and humanity itself. And if it turns out that global warming is just a bunch of hot air, then I can still feel good that I did something good for the world. It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong for me. It’s about my baby’s legacy. I want to be a good steward for him and his generation. It’s the right thing to do.