a reply to: network dude
First of all, you need to understand the difference between warming that happens as a function of geological processes, solar fluctuations, and other
natural processes over which we have no control, and the warming that happens as a result of what we, the human race, do.
And it is more than a matter of simply thinking about greenhouse gasses as well, as I will explain.
When a volcano erupts, huge quantities of material are thrown into the air, small particles of pulverised rock, sulfurous gas, and a huge amount of
heat are expelled into the atmosphere, about which we can do nothing. This is taken as read, and has been happening for more years than there has been
life on Earth. It is a natural thing, over which we have no control. When undersea vents start outgassing, releasing acidic gasses into the sea, and
heating the hell out of it, we can do nothing to stop it. When the sun goes into its period of maximum activity, and throws greater numbers of photons
per square inch, not to mention those moments when it hurls flares at all and sundry, there is not a damned thing we can do about its effects on the
There ARE things that we do, that we do not NEED to do, which make the problem worse than it has to be. We mine fossil fuels, and whether at sea or
on land, this causes damage to the environment. Whether its by destroying natural habitats as a result of spills, or the release of by product
chemicals into water supplies, which kills fish, birds, and other wildlife, which in turn alters the ecology of an area beyond recongition, or whether
its just the erection of the infrastructure necessary to collect, the raw product, these things all damage the ecology of an area. When an areas
ecology is damaged, it has knock on effects on all other life in surrounding areas. Whether that comes of a species becoming extinct because of
habitat loss, or being driven to expand into surrounding ecologies and causing things local to that ecology to lessen in number, the effects are still
avoidable, and still devastating. Now, its obvious that I have not yet gotten to the climate issue. But here is the thing. Animals move through bushes
and trees, sidle past plants all the time. There are some animals, many in fact, which eat plants. By doing both these things, they help in spreading
those plants around. They help in pollination, they help spread the seeds... they have a part to play in maintaining certain plants and vegetation.
Plants and trees are the things which consume CO2, strip it out of the atmosphere, so anything which affects the animals which aid their spread, is
bad for the climate.
Then you have the actual burning of fossil products, which again, is just increasingly unnecessary. There should be no coal or fuel burning power
production. The whole thing needs banning. Solar farms, wind farms, hydro... all these things should be made the only legal method of collecting
electrical energy for the purpose of grid distribution. You can argue that cars and trucks may still need fuel to run, and I would be prepared to
entertain that argument, but there is no need for fossil fuel to burned in power stations. Whenever it is burned, it gives off the very chemicals that
can and do damage the climate, and at a rate which cannot be overcome by the amount of trees in a given area...
Which brings us to other stupid things we do, that we do not NEED to do. We are constantly cutting down far too many trees, for utterly unacceptable
reasons. To make room for roads, to make room for houses, to make room for the very oil exploration which is the root of most of our worlds climate
trouble, to make room for more agriculture, despite the fact that we do not NEED more space for that, but to better manage the space we use already.
If we must make more houses, which many nations desperately need, we ought to be making them AROUND existing forests, and in amongst existing forests
where there is no further room outside them. We should be living under the canopy, not destroying it. Houses should be built around the trees, not
through them, and preferably out of materials which can do them no harm.
Without leaving the forests as they are entirely, unless we stop knocking down trees to put up parking structures, lay roads and build towns, we will
be causing the downfall of this species and every other species on the face of Earth. So, if we must take up more room, we need to share that space
with what is already there, instead of removing it and crushing it. We need to change the way we think about civic planning, ENTIRELY if we are to
make a go of protecting our own existence, leave alone the natural world. Reducing the number of trees in a given location for the purpose of
replacing those trees with more concrete and asphalt, needs to simply be seen as outrageous, because every time we do it, we reduce the amount of
carbon being taken out of the atmosphere. That would be stupid of us even if we were not putting so much of it there in the first place. We need to
build in a manner which prevents the destruction of natural habitats, and pays heed to the importance of those habitats for the maintenance of a
survivable climate on this planet.
And your point about beach front property and "places where it is already hot" is absurd. It is not a matter of posing a threat to places near the
sea, or places where it is warm. It is a matter of making things damned near impossible for EVERYONE on this planet. There will come a time, unless we
manage ourselves correctly, where we have more carbon than the trees can consume without damaging their ability to take up other necessary minerals
and nutrients. When that happens, the trees and every other kind of plant is going to simply die. All the crops will fail, all the animals we keep for
meat and dairy will die, everything we can eat, and finally we, will die, and if it is LUCKY, the planet will rebalance itself when we are gone. If
not, not only will we have been the architects of our own downfall, but we will have killed an entire worldwide ecology. We will make Mars on Earth.
That is the worst case scenario.
This MUST be combated with all possible vigour. There are technologies available now which could vastly reduce our carbon emissions, vastly reduce
the necessity for the burning of all fossil fuels for mains power, utterly eradicate our reliance on oil and the companies who produce it, for the
energy we need to run our daily lives, and doing so would not just benefit our worlds ecology, but the people living on it, in terms of the
cleanliness of their surroundings, the quality of the air they breathe, the richness of the habitats they live in.
Even if you ignore the HUGE political benefits of never having to deal with oil producing nations (many of which have appalling records on human
rights, and are run by despotic regimes of one insane kind or another), even if you ignore the political benefits of no longer having a powerful oil
and gas lobby, dissolving democracy and promoting corporatism, even if you ignore the benefits of it being impossible for a company to wield power
over people by price fixing and gouging, the fact is that there are still great reasons to do far more than we have, to reduce our footprint, from a
selfish standpoint, not a hippy dippy one.