Well here it is, the last day of May, and it is already warm enough in South Florida to cross off many outdoor activities from my weekend plans. Arthur and I enjoy nature hikes, and Florida has so many interesting trails, but June-September find us seeking indoor entertainment in this land of the Everglades. We have lived here many years, and I can attest to the fact that the temperature highs seem to climb higher and last longer each year. Yes, climate change is alive and well in South Florida.
I understand that there are two sides to the debate, but I do think common sense should prevail in this matter. Those who believe that climate change is our biggest threat realize that it is not just the results of automobiles and factories but believe these are two things we can control. Those on the other side realize that there is a change in our climate, but they believe man has little to do with it and think the jobs these factories create override the possibility of contributing to atmospheric catastrophe.
It is difficult to conceptualize global warming, but simplistically it occurs when pollutants such as carbon dioxide collect in the atmosphere and absorb the solar radiation and sunlight that have bounced off the earth’s surface. The pollutants trap the heat and cause Earth to get hotter. This leads to melting glaciers among other things.
We tend to think in the here and now, so a melting glacier in the Arctic or Antarctic is easy enough to push out of our minds. Here is why we can’t really allow ourselves the luxury of thinking this way. According to the World Atlas, “97% of earth's water is seawater with only 3% being freshwater which is supposed to cater to more than 7 billion people on the planet. About 75% of the freshwater is trapped in glaciers with 90% of these freshwater-bearing glaciers being located in the Antarctic.” That means that our freshwater will be lost in the saltwater that covers our earth.
It also means that we will see rising sea levels that will lead to flooding. As I sit on my patio in South Florida and watch the birds and turtles and occasional ‘gators populate the lake, I can’t imagine the tragedy of all of this beauty being swept away. Of course farms and coral reefs will suffer with rising temperatures, and that will hit us all much closer to home and pocketbook.
I understand that many people believe that while the temperatures are indeed rising, this phenomenon has occurred cyclically throughout time and is not due to man’s negligence. Maybe there is some truth to that, and maybe there is truth to the theory that it is a man made disaster, but even if you believe that man only contributes 10% to this problem, wouldn’t it be wise to do what we can to correct what we can correct?
Factories spewing poisons in the air and dumping toxins in our water can’t be helping any of us. Finding cleaner methods to run our factories and better means of toxin disposal has very little downside and a very real chance of saving our planet and our lives. Using atmosphere friendly products is not really a burden, and it just might make a difference in the lives of our children, grandchildren, etc. You don’t have to believe that fuel efficient cars, preservation of water and turning off your lights will make an appreciable difference, but really...what can it hurt? Remember when your mom used to say “ better safe than sorry?” This would be a great time to listen.
If you want to take a break from real world problems, I suggest reading Adam Mitzner’s latest novel, A Matter of Will. I became so involved in protagonist Will Matthews' life, that I forgot what was worrying me about my own world.
As always a complete review of this book follows my blog.