Thursday, 15 October 2009
20 odd years ago I can remember my Mum worrying about the hole in the Ozone Layer. It was a big thing, and after much huffing and puffing the world did something about it. Slowing, but surely, the "hole" is shrinking (although let's not call it problem solved but prospects look a lot better now thanks to global action).
Now we face another environmental problem: Climate Change. And the world just doesn't seem to care. The worst part of it is the controversy over whether it is man made or not. Does it really matter? I personally believe the extent of climate change is going to be directly affected by our actions at the least, but even if you think it's a natural phenomenon then it's still a problem we must solve. We build sea walls to defend our homes from the violent sea. We build roofs to cover ourselves from the affects of the weather. And if the weather or the sea destroys that which we have built we don't just shrug our shoulders and say "Oh jeez, guess there's nothing we can do, it's nature after all." No. We build things bigger, stronger and more intelligently than before and hope that works out better. It might not be the most sensible thing, but it's what us humans do and it's what makes us the species we are.
Climate change is real. It's happening. And if we don't do something to suppress it as much as possible our world, our homes and even our civilisation may not survive. We must change how we live voluntarily before the Earth makes changes for us.
We are not looking here at an end of the world scenario. We may not be looking at the end of the human race scenario. What we are looking at though is the destruction of our children's quality of life, of vast ecosystems filled with untold numbers of creatures and of centuries of progress towards a better world. Do you think a world with less land area to go around, water shortages, and "weird" weather is one which will be conducive to peace and prosperity? I don't.
We must make every effort to change our ways to beat climate change and many other environmental problems (climate change, to me, is but one part of the overall issue of the state we are leaving this planet in for future generations). We must also double our efforts in innovation, science and discovery, for we may be able to have our cake and eat it too if we can find a way to solve climate change through invention. It's what we humans are good at.
Need evidence? Check out this story from the BBC.
And for a more general idea of what we are doing to the world, read The World Without Us (Amazon US), which really brings home to you the need for us to change our ways.
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