Monday, December 7, 2009

Why You Shouldn't Be Happy That Ohio is 60 in November

Global Warming has been an issue that has apparently been a long time coming, but I have never put my two-cents in on it. Part of that reason is because I like the fact that Cleveland is warmer than it should be. I get tired of the slippery slopes and dangerous commutes to work from snow-covered streets. But, despite my own angers with wintery conditions, that doesn't mean that I should be happy about the neglect we have put on our planet.


Editor & Publisher, America's oldest journal covering the newspaper industry, had an article last night that talks a bit about the toll global warming has taken on certain editors. According to the E&P staff, 56 papers from 45 different countries have decided to write a connecting editorial based on the world's climate change scares and how we need to take cahrge, come together and try to make matters better instead of worse. Here is a snippet of what they said:

"Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted."
(Click on the Editor & Publisher link above for the full-story)

Well, someone's not happy. But I think they have the right idea. One point they made that really clicked in my brain is that we are running out of time to fix this situation. I've been hearing about these climate change issues for years now and I haven't really heard too many great ideas.

One idea I came across this morning to amend the situation was the possibility of "injecting particles of sulfur into the stratosphere—the upper layer of the atmosphere—to cool the planet and buy time for humans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions". Now, I'm sure that wasn't exactly a half-hearted idea from Nobel Prize-winning scientist Paul Crutzen. He must know a little bit about what he's talking about if he won a Nobel-Prize before (or at least you would hope). The idea might not be bad, but I would have fear for people who are allergic to sulfur. Whose to say that the sulfur could contaminate the air and start making people drop like flies? I'm not a scientist (obviously) but I don't think injecting things into the air that is already contaminated is a good idea, no matter what layer of whatever-sphere it is. And even if the idea is safe, whose to say we have enough time to wait for it to work? Whose to say anyone will change their behavior after the injection? The National Georgraphic article that this information came from states that Crutzen's injection would "imitate the cooling effects of volcanic eruptions". Other people who are like me are just going to be scared that something is going to explode and kill us all before the sun fries us like chicken wings! Volcanic eruptions don't sound good! Even if it is something that would just resemble's all too scary.

I don't want to give up on believing that we still have time to right this wrong, but part of me is thinking that our time is quickly coming to a close. And I don't even know what will happen whenever something does happen because of these climate changes, but I know it won't be good. Otherwise, people wouldn't be making such a fuss about it. All we can do is try to cut down on the pollution and our own personal emission of greenhouse gases. I don't know if this thing will be a silent killer or not, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Here is one last quote from the E&P article:

"It is in that spirit that 56 newspapers from around the world have united behind this editorial. If we, with such different national and political perspectives, can agree on what must be done then surely our leaders can too."

If only it was so simple...

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