Monday, December 07, 2009

Serious about climate change."Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty."

I can't figure out why so many people are so resistant to the idea that our climate is changing, or that it's because of human activity. Here is a quote regarding the recent summit:

"The solution to the problem is greatly retarded by the lack of scientific and technological awareness in certain societies, notably the U.S, where superstitions and political passions often trump sound reasoning," Emanuel said. "For example, we could make great strides toward energy independence and reduction of greenhouse emissions by undertaking a serious program of nuclear energy, which can easily supply our energy needs for 100 years. This, coupled with innovation in electric vehicles, would solve much of the problem."

But even if we were to stop emitting greenhouse gases all together, many of their effects would still emerge, say many scientists. And for that, adapting to such an environment is necessary. "
Link here.

In a world with over 6 billion people, what can one person do? Well, in the US, were one individual contributes far more to climate change that an individual in a poorer country, what one person does is more significant. In addition, we contribute to climate change in other countries by buying goods that are imported here - our purchase of a Chinese good contributes to the Chinese CO2 emission.

I haven't been able to bike commute for quite some time, due to work demands. I continue to think about it, but I have to be realistic. I do drive a reasonably fuel efficent car, and quit driving the pickup to work. Being vegetarian significantly reduces the carbon load. We also grow significant amounts of food in the yard, reducing cost of transportation and commercial agriculture. We keep the thermostat at 55 night and 60 daytime, in the winter. That's too cold for me when doing homework, but now having a home office, I use a portable heater that just warms that room, when I'm in the room.

I'll have to work on other ways to reduce carbon footprint. I think we produce less than most equivalent-size households, but there remains a lot of room for improvement. To be honest, with individual and cultural ignorance, political opportunism, religious demagoguery, narcissim, "me first", "It's my right to have as many babies as I want" at play, I have doubt that we'll make a difference.

Then there is the other aspect - how to adapt to a warmer world? I think that means learning to experiment with what grows, and how to grow things differently. Naturally, that will mean much bigger issues with commercial agriculture than with the individual gardener and homeowner. As long as we remain flexible, know to mulch for better water retention in summer & cooler soil, keep organic matter high in the soil for the same reasons, experiment with varieties, we'll be doing the best that we can.

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