Useful And Fantastic: Can You Affect The Climate?
Val Yule highlights the biggest challenge facing human beings.
Many people believe they are so puny they canít affect the climate. Almost everybody in our street doesnít believe they do anything to add to climate change. Over 3,500 people voted first for the Climate Sceptics for the Senate in Victoria. They hear about retreating glaciers and rising sea levels and other people suffering natural disasters but itís not their fault. Jungles and savannah have shrunk, and fertile land become semi-desert, but itís not in our back yard.
Well, look at what you can change, before you let the climate-engineers affect the climate by space umbrellas and new bugs which will eat carbon.
Just think, there are two billion of us, living well, and four billion living not so well, whereas 150 years ago there were only 500 million of us.
See what you are getting up to at night:
See also Google maps showing how much of the earth is cities, and how little is uninhabited. Have a look at your nature strip after someone has parked their car there when it is wet, and the nearest reserve when motorbikes or even bikes have been around it. Then imagine what all the 4-wheel-drives leave behind them in bushland and on creek-verges.
Why do the local councils carry on about landfill sites? You only put one bin out for it each week and a quarter of your household goods out as hard rubbish once a year. Imagine your trash-can multipled by say one billion, every week. See your councilís landfill site with its exhaust pipes for all the methane produced. Imagine all your three rubbish bins multiplied by every household in Australia.
Have you seen what happens to your recycling? Imagine all the energy, emissions and resources used for the five or six processes used to sift and sort and transform its components.
How much fertile farmland and original forest is going under to our housing all over the world?
How many animal and plant species have been extinguished in the past fifty years, compared with the past 1000? How many are threatened by expanding human settlement and appetites? Have you seen road-kill? http://candobetter.org/node/1094 and this happens all over the world.
Have you seen an ocean map of trash? Hereís what we do. http://www.doobybrain.com/2008/02/08/vortex-of-trash-in-the-pacific-ocean/
Our cities even take water from our farmland Ė as with the Victorian north-south pipeline, taking water down to Melbourne that should flow into the Murray River from the Goulburn.
If you have lived anywhere for ten years consecutively, have you noticed the decline of birdlife and wild-flowers, and the increase in feral pests like foxes and rats?
Have you ever stood on a mountain at night and seen a city glowing so the night sky above it is orange? Cities have raised temperatures. We have parks in order to cool us up a bit.
Have you stood on a pavement and seen all the cars going by in the street, mostly with one driver per car or personal tank. Multiply them by all the streets in your town, and multiply this by all the towns in the world. See the pictures of freeways. http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/freeway.html
Where has everything in your home come from? Get the kids to place the names of the things on a map of the world. How much emissions and resources were needed to get them to you?
What about the destruction by modern war?
Consider the resources necessary to rebuild.
The toll on the natural environment in Afghanistan:
Vietnam Ė the destruction of the natural environment by Agent Orange, land-mines and permanent continuers of the war.
The destruction of Iraq -
Our taxes help to pay for the destruction of war, and the preparations for war. All these raise greenhouse gases and environmental pollution.
How puny are you? Too puny to do anything about what you are doing? I donít think so.