Our Great Earth

Posted by Mike Merritt in Society on

Before I continue, I’d like to point you to the change in the logo.  I added a ribbon to commemorate the victims of the horrible Virginia Tech shooting last Monday.  Another site I frequent added it, and released the image for public use.  If anybody would like to use it for their site, click this link for the full-sized image.

In other news, however, it is Earth Day, meaning I should make the obligatory post about it (and the fact that I have material I feel strongly about helps).  I didn’t do anything last year, but this year I will.

As everybody know (though not everybody accepts), humans are changing the Earth’s climate at a drastic rate.  Chiefly through our use of fossil fuels, we our adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at a rate that is unprecedented in human, and probably Earth, history.  Now, before I continue, I’m not one of those people who think we can completely stop global warming, because we can’t.  The fact is that global warming is a natural process.  It happens after every global cooling that leads to an ice age.  The problem, however, is that it’s not meant to go this fast.  If you look at charts of carbon dioxide variations over the last 400,000 years, you can see that since 1850 or so, the amount of CO2 added to air is astronomical.  And with these amounts of CO2 comes the increase in global temperature.

From what I’ve seen, things are only going to get worse as less developed countries become more developed.  The third world won’t stay that way forever.  They will industrialize, and the demand for fossil fuels will rise.  This will add to amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere every year, and will only serve to make the planet hotter.

So, what can we do?  Well, in my opinion, I don’t think there is one single-shot fix, as a lot of people seem to think.  We can’t simply rely on the government to regulate, and we can’t just rely on the corporations to change their ways.  We also can’t just reply on humans to change their energy consumption patterns.  Instead, we need a combination of all three.  Governments, companies, and people must work together to bring about the change.  We can’t start with the government and companies working together to provide a path to success.  It may take some government subsidizing to do it, and I think that if this is required, they should do it (all of them mind you, not just the U.S.).  Companies and the government then need to research the issue on how we can reduce our CO2 footprint, find the best way, or combination of ways, and then implement it.  I think it will take a combination of these two to start things off.

Forgive me for saying so, but except for the “econerds, (and I say that in the nicest way possible, by the way)” people generally are not going to change their methods or call for it.  So, once the corporations and governments have taken the lead, people should catch on.  Also, it would probably help if a celebrity econerd were to get out there and lobby the public, since people love celebrities.  So, eventually, the public interest will rise.  There will be a structure in place to get people going.  In the end, people, corporations, and governments will work hand in hand in hand to lessen our dependence on CO2 emitting products.

Now, in the area of gasoline for cars, I think the big corps need to get their act together.  We’ve already seen Ford and others get into the game.  However, I don’t think I’ve seen a big fuel company like ExxonMobile do anything.  I believe they need to do something.  It’ll only be a matter of time before people are clamoring for a solution, and if they gas companies don’t start changing their attitudes toward all of this, they’ll come crashing as someone else steps in to meet the demand.  So, wise up ExxonMobile and others.  Get into the game before it’s too late!  It may cost in the short run (but, with your profits, you can afford it), but it’ll only help in the long run.

Now, everybody always says that we need to care for the planet.  I’m not saying I disagree, but they say it in a way that makes it sound like that if we don’t slow global warming (which is all we can do), that Earth is going to blow up.  Definitely not going to happen.  Some species of plant and animal may die, but others will thrive in the heat.  It may take some time before the Earth gets cooler again if it gets too bad, but short of a supernova, the planet’s not going anywhere.  Instead, what I think people really mean when they thing the Earth is in trouble is that humans are in trouble.  In trouble we will be if we change our attitudes toward global climate change.  We can’t stop global warming (you need that lesson, *Ahnold*) , and we probably will never completely go back to natural global warming, but we can slow it.  Now is the time to act, not when it becomes a critical problem.  One arm of society alone will not fix it, we need three: government, corporation, human.  Working together, a solution can be found.

One Comment

Dymersion » Blog Archive » Save the Earth and Capitalism

[…] and foremost, the oil companies need to invest into research into alternate fuels.  I’ve said this before, and I still stand by it now.  That’s the first step: research and develop alternative […]