Sunday, January 16, 2011

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It's easy for us to cast judgements based upon that which we read or see on the news broadcasts.  Climate change, or 'global warming' as it is often known, is the bulls-eye topic as far as markedly dividing the populace with the for-or-against arguments is concerned.  We see debates on television, read articles in the papers about melting poles and glaciers and devastating flash-floods that are happening in major cities 1000km up the coast.  We then walk outside and ascertain the validity of these 'global-warming' findings depending on if it's a hotter-than-usual day, a colder-than-usual day, and just plain too-nice a day to bother about it.


What if we never read anything about global warming/climate change?  What if we never saw a news broadcast or television debate on the issue?  What if were totally uninformed in any way to do with anything on this matter?  What if we used our senses only to guide us?  What would we see, and what would we find?


To me, it's impossible to believe that the way of the civilised world has little or no effect on the atmosphere and the planet.  Imagine the unfettered, untouched paradise that is a garden of Eden.  Imagine there is one motor car running through it.  Now that one motor car, in a small way, will effect the life around it; "life" meaning the fauna, foliage, creatures, air etc.  When you have one billion of these motor cars, each of which devour the stupendously miraculous resource that is crude oil that in turn exfoliates this liquid-power into the atmosphere in a kaleidoscope of various gasses, some of which are benign, most are damaging in some way, then it's hard to maintain that the effect on our planet and atmosphere of this occurrence is a negligible one.


And this is only what we can see, can ascertain for ourselves.  Immense scales of mass-meat production, industry, and construction on a global level, all contribute to altering the biosphere's gas quotient.


Matter cannot be destroyed, in its pure sense, it only changes form.  What then is the effect the mechanisms of western civilisation on our planet?  Surely, these mechanisms can't be benign.  Some mighty law of cause-and-effect is going to come into play - perhaps this has already started - and I believe this to be the crux of the argument.


Many people glance upward at the weather and then watch the news to learn that the current summer/winter is the coldest on record.  These people find it easy to debunk 'global warming' as a hoax, as a nonsense.  Unfortunately, these issues run deeper than merely cooler or warmer weather.  Cold Northern winters - particularly those centered around the usually mild (for latitude) British Isles and North-Western Europe - are becoming the norm.  This is because: 1. rapidly melting ice in the Arctic sea is diluting the Gulf Stream that provides Northern Europe with a warm sea/air current and therefore cushions winter temperatures, and 2. this rapidly melting ice is affecting air and therefore pressure systems.  This heavier than usual air-pressure finds its way coming down from the Arctic as a freezing large mass of polar air, wreaking winter havoc on Northern land-masses.


And warmer than usual water off the Australian tropical Eastern coastlines is causing the mass-precipitation events that have devastated much of Queensland since last week.


These flooding events, freezing events, heatwave events (remember Moscow during summer 2010?? Shocking heat, unbelievable...) seem to be becoming way to common for our comfort, but isn't that what climate-change scientists have been predicting for quite some years now?


And climate-change skeptics are absolutely correct in saying that climate can be altered by numerous causes and instances in and around our planet and our solar system.  But for the moment, we humans here on Earth are doing a pretty hard and fast job of it, plumbing away ruthlessly at the planet's biosphere without much of a true, vital, idea of what we're really doing to a sacred, cosmic source.


If all of us were mindful of our way of life and how it contributes to the whole, perhaps we would change.   We wouldn't be so willing to get into our cars on every occasion when we could otherwise walk or catch a bus.  We would cease consuming plastic bags at every visit to the supermarket.  Be mindful of our usage of utilities such as water, gas and electricity.  Stop eating so much animal product.  Each of us being mindful, and acting upon it in some small way, will go a long way not only to mitigate climate change effects (if it isn't already too late) but will help to ease ourselves into a more relaxed and friendly way of living.


But it's probably too late now.


It was said in 1983:


"like a child getting its experience in a playpen, we have made an awful mess


but it's nothing that won't be cleaned up..."

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