Tuesday, May 6, 2014

it's official

There's been a lot on my mind lately. If you've been tuning in to Cosmos on Fox and National Geographic. The last installment hit home on several levels.
Television should educate, entertain and inform. Most of the time it only accomplishes one of those things. Last Sunday night I got all three, but most of all, the show made me think.
There I sat, frozen to my couch. Eyes glued to the screen as the captions raced under the show. It was a good thing that I have it recorded so I can watch it again.
Neal deGrasse Tyson, the host, tackled climate change. In the past he's taken on creationists, big corporations, and mysticism disguised as science. Sunday he handled climate deniers.
Tyson talked about the previous eras in Earth's history. He even backed it up with facts and examples.
In a previous episode, Tyson discussed Clair Patterson, a geochemist who discovered we were poisoning ourselves with lead back in 1966. His findings led to the end of all products containing lead, including leaded gasoline, which was poisoning our very atmosphere.
So here we are in 2012 and this report lands on President Obama's desk.
The National Climate Assessment is a comprehensive account of climate change from 300 scientists in various fields.
If you don't want to sift through the 1,300 page report, here's a condensed summary.

Bottom line: there is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere... and we put it there. Because of that, we have this:

There are a lot of graphs in that last link, but these two hit home for me.
One of the things I got out of the last episode was that the Earth was like a rubber band and we are stretching it to the breaking point. The summers of today are not at all like the summers of 20 or 30 years ago. Think back to a summer in your childhood and ask yourself if it was as hot back then.
I already know my next car is going to be a hybrid or an all electric one. If I can manage it, I'm going to get a Tesla. I'm also going to take a look at what it would cost to put a few solar panels up on the roof... Set up a system for power collection.
Now I have friends who are going to argue with me that I'm overstating things and imagining this whole climate change, which I'm not. The evidence is changing my way of thinking. More to the point, it's altering the way I run my life.
For a moment, let's say everybody is wrong. Those scientists, the studies, the evidence and facts. Let's suppose they're completely mistaken and we all go through this for nothing.
Except it's not nothing. If we reduced or turned off the CO2 gases, we'd have a cleaner planet. If we reduced our dependence on gasoline, we'd all breathe a  little easier. What's the downside to that?

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