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star-sailor (profile) wrote,
on 9-19-2008 at 2:58am
Current mood: contemplative
Music: Train Under Water - Bright Eyes
Subject: Here's To Hoping (An Honest Effort)
I believe in global warming.

This is not about my belief in global warming. I could argue all the live long day on why I, an amateur environmentalist with no formal education and little understanding for the inner workings of this strange planet we live on, believes in global warming. I'd rather not waste anyone's time, including my own.

This is not about my belief in being as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible, either. I could argue all the live long day on why I, a vegetarian for over a month, whom recycles everything he can, is wanting to institute a more intensive recycling program at his current job, and whom thinks about the planet before himself in the little things he does, believes in being environmentally friendly. I'd rather not waste anyone's time, including my own.





This is about why everyone else should be environmentally friendly as well.


Firstly, I sincerely understand if your political, economic, moral, ethical, religious, scientific, or human stance has you of the opinion that global warming is not real, and that we - as a society - have nothing to concern ourselves about. I really do understand; global warming is a big concept, and it takes a lot to wrap ones entire mindset around. Secondly, I understand if you simply don't want to be concerned about the environment. That's a perfectly justified opinion; there are thousand upon thousands of things to worry about on this cluttered planet of ours, and if you'd rather worry about blogs, or cars, or jewelery before worrying about the environment, that's a reasonable and fair attitude, seeing as we should all be free to decide for ourselves. Finally, I totally understand if you disagree with any or everything I say. These are my views, not your own, and you are perfectly capable of making decisions of your own accord. I understand, I understand, I understand.

But here is my arguement:



I believe that everyone on this planet should do whatever they can to be as environmentally friendly as possible. From my perspective, it isn't that hard. I recycle what I can. I don't use water excessively if I have the choice. I buy products that are beneficial in the long run to the environment. I am vegetarian, and thus benefit the environment in ways that I can make a long list on. This isn't that hard; it requires effort, but not much, and it's easy to forget the effort you put in when the effort becomes force of habit.


But I'm saddened with the state of the world. I know I eat meatless meals. I know I drive 55mph on the highway to conserve gas. I know I turn electronics off when I leave the room. I know I recycle everything that I know is recyclable. I know I compost. I know I have my faults, but I admit to them. I know this.

But I know that for every meatless meal I eat, someone scarfs down a couple Baconators. I know that while I drive 55mphs in the far right lane, someone is careening on the far left near 90mphs. I know for every light I turn off, someone has their air conditioning set at 60 degrees, and lets their TV sing them to sleep. I know that for every bottle or can I recycle, someone is dumping three Starbucks plastic cups per day in the trash. I know that for every apple core I throw dirt over in the compost pile, some people haven't the faintest idea what the purpose of a compost is. I know that I have faults, and for every fault, there is someone who is more faulty in the same respect, tenfold.

I know this. And I know that none of this should be true.



Here is our world. Our world is all around us, and we know it. It's full of lions, and clouds, and black politicians, and Cartoon Networks, and personal computers, and Canadians, and Febreeze, and Pokémon, and mobiles, and Livejournals, and Muslims, and The Sims, and lava lamps, and Kleenex, and Sisterhoods of Traveling Pants, and best friends, and Netflix, and English muffins. Take it or leave it, our world is full of stuff. One of these things MIGHT be global warming.

Let's dissect the problem briefly. If, on the off chance, global warming is real, what happens? Well, the predictions say, sometime within the next 20-30-70 years, the Earth's temperature will drop by two degrees Celsius. This, theoretically, will disrupt everything ecological we have thus learned about our planet. Soon after this cooling will happen - whenever that might be - the world will heat up exponentially. The ice caps will melt, New York, Amsterdam, and San Francisco will be underwater, there will be a mass loss of life throughout the world, millions - if not billions - of people will be displaced from their homes, subsequently being forced into third world countries from their modern homes, and everything we know about contemporary living will cease.



Basically, bluntly, that's the general idea.
But why don't we band together? Why don't we try to save the planet however we can manage it? Why can't we open our minds to a new way of thinking. I have heard the arguments before: "Going green is too expensive," or "It's not practical to go green," or "I have been living this way my whole life; why should I change?" or "I won't be able to make any sort of sustainable impact."


These are all fair arguments, though I personally disagree with some of them. But the last one is not a fair argument. "I won't be able to make any sort of sustainable impact." Wrong. False. Incorrect. The Earth, and saving it, is a democratic decision. I'm not talking politics, reader, I'm talking frankness. If we try, something will happen. Hopefully it's good, but regardless, we will have an impact. There was once a man whom was much wiser than me and thus, I probably have no right to quote him, but I will anyway. That same man was once supposedly struck in the head with an apple, or so I have read. He said, "For every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction." His name was Newton or something.



These are the possible futures of our planet:

1) Global warming is real, and is relevant. We all, as an international society and community, band together to try and live the most sustainable lives we possibly can. Our combined efforts, small by themselves, but large as a whole, circumvent the problems caused by global warming. We subsequently are a planet of people who care about the planet we live on, realize we have the ability to preserve this beautiful planet, honestly made a difference for us and for future generations, and we were successful in building an environmentally friendly, new society. This is a happy ending.

2) Global warming is real, and is relevant. But we don't band together enough, and we aren't successful in becoming an internationally environmentally friendly world. We can't agree, we bicker and fight, and nothing is implemented. As a consequence, the predictions all come true, we have ruined our lives and our world indefinitely for the conceivable future, have been successfully thrown back into the dark ages, are in the throws of desperation, crisis, and poverty on a level never before seen, and our society as we know it is forever doomed, and forever changed, as we're forced to evolve to the changing world that evolves around us. This is an unhappy ending.

3) Global warming isn't real, and isn't relevant. It was just a lot of wackos blathering all day and night about nothing. But we took the steps to become an environmentally sustainable world. We united, became more self-sufficient, and became more reliant on renewable resources rather than non-renewable resources. Nothing bad happened, but we benefited due to our efforts of toward prevention and conservation. This is a happy ending.



This is a happy ending. That's my point: there is no reason NOT to do your best to help this planet out. Honestly, how much effort does it take to screw in a CFL bulb rather than a conventional lightbulb? How much effort does it take to turn off electronics when we aren't using them anyway? How much effort does it take to eat one to three less meatless meals per week, which has been scientifically and anatomically proven to be a positive, healthy step for not only the planet, but our bodies and health as well. How hard is it to throw that can or bottle, or that glass, or paper, into the recycling? How hard is it to throw any organic material outside instead of in the trash to be absorbed by the earth? How hard is it to take your coffee grounds, and put them in a flower bed, giving you a gorgeous garden?

Are there things we can do that are much more difficult to do, that will help the environment more than all these little things? Absolutely. We could use geothermal heating, or solar energy to power our homes and take them off the electrical grid entirely. We could insulate our houses tight as a drum, so our homes are extremely efficient, fiscally and ecologically. We could become vegan, a step further than my vegetarian self, and only eat organic foods. Can we do these things? Yes. Are they weird, expensive, and difficult to implement? Yes. But the benefits are insurmountable.

I understand if you don't believe in global warming. But why wouldn't you want to recycle even if global warming isn't real? Why wouldn't you want to eat healthy, even if global warming isn't real? Why would you want to waste energy that you aren't using, even if global warming isn't real? Why wouldn't you want to save thousands of dollars over time, even if global warming isn't real? Why wouldn't you want to keep tons of reusable trash out of our landfills, even if global warming isn't real? Why not?

If I, and all the scientists out there that agree that global warming is real, are completely and totally wrong, and global warming was not real at all, do you know what will have happened? We will have improved our world's living conditions for everyone. We just did so by accident. We will have beneficially contributed to the world around us which we didn't even need to worry about in the first place. We will have positively contributed to a positive outcome. We will have made our world a better place to live, for us, and for the people who would rather drive a Hummer around a high school, sub-woofers blaring gangsta rap, for an hour, or litters, or people who have never recycled in their life, or the people who didn't help. We will have changed their world for the better as well.

Being environmentally friendly isn't necessarily about trying to fix global warming. We may never be able to fix it. But why not try? Why not? Tell me why not if you disagree. If you honestly can come up with a REAL, justified reason why we shouldn't make positive steps for conservation of our planets resources, if not for global warming, then just to benefit our lives on this filthy planet - an opinion you can, yourself, justify with logical means and intelligent reasoning - I will give you a high five or something. If you don't think we should make our world a better, cleaner, nicer place to live in, I don't want to hear you complain about high gas prices. I don't want to hear you complain about that layer of smog that makes it impossible to see downtown some days. I don't want to hear you whine about how high your electric bill is. I don't want to hear you complain about how full your trash bin is.

I don't want to hear you complain about this world when you have the ability to help me change it.

Global warming is a theory. Meaning it could be incorrect. But making our planet more ecologically friendly is not a partisan issue (Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, and Anarchists can all benefit the environment). It is not a religious issue (Baptists, Catholics, Jews, and Pagans can all benefit the environment). It is not an issue of race, or nationality, because anyone, anywhere can help. It is not an issue of ability, because we all have the ability. It is an issue of how much you care about where you live.

I want to live in a clean world. I want to live in a world that is ethically sound, and naturally based, rather than plastic and contrived. I am not asking you to believe in global warming with me, reader; rather, I ask that you help me make our shared world a better place to live in. Please.
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