Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Global Warming isn't happening, but Climate Change IS

This morning I had the great displeasure of being greeted by yet another awful picture.  Joplin MO had been run through by a huge twister, effectively devastating the small city of 50,000 people.  Noted as one of the single deadliest tornadoes in over fifty years, a person has to wonder how this could happen just weeks after the deadliest outbreak of tornadoes hit the southeast of the country.

I have an explanation.  It's two words - climate change.

In the last few years I've watched from the relative safety of my coastal home as the East Coast and middle of the country have been bombarded by awful weather.  Luckily we didn't get the bad weather, or at least not overtly.  Instead the west coast got lovely fires spanning acres and acres. 

It's not over guys - not by a long shot. The world has to get itself back to an equilibrium, and as any geologist knows that can take hundreds of years or it can take less than a decade.  Think of it like your body.  When your hormones are off balance, often times because of environmental factors like diet or stress, your body starts to act crazy.  It's uncomfortable, painful, and it takes a while for your body to find its way back to normal.  The world is under stress and symptoms are showing.

It's no wonder in the wake of all these natural disasters, that nut jobs are predicting the end of the world.   It kind of seems like it could happen - or at least, it could be the end of the world as we know it.  I have to say, part of me hope the world is transformed to something I can't imagine.  I'm not saying I think something will happen on October 21 - I think that's a crock of bullshit being spouted by a senile old man who has too much influence for his own good.  No, rather, there are too many people on this planet behaving as though we have unlimited resources.  People are living longer and our exponential population growth is getting out of hand.  Destruction of biodiversity and natural habitats continues despite our understanding of its impacts grows. Corporate greed, torture, human rights violations, and general immorality are rampant in ways that are more insidious than ever before.  I have to admit as heartless as it sounds, I wouldn't say nay to a "flood."

The sad thing is, the generations born now are paying for things done before and there's nothing we can do to change that.  Still, we can change how we behave to make this time more palatable. I'm not talking recycling your coke cans.  That's the namby-pamby version.  I'm talking about a re-imagining of how communities function and how resources are used.  Using reclaimed materials to rebuild houses, building community centers in walking distance from homes, and community/urban gardening are just a few ways we can change our habits.  And its true that it may not have an impact tomorrow or the next day, but it will definitely change the world for generations.

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