As I was driving to work yesterday morning, I was stopped at a light, and going through the cross street there was this old pick-up truck and coming out of its tailpipe was a huge bunch of smoke, I mean it looked like there might be a fire giving off all that smoke, and there was another car right behind it that got covered in all that smoke. My immediate thought was, dang, I’m glad that’s not me. I’ve been caught in the backdraft of other cars before, when I’ve had my windows down, and it’s not pleasant. But this also made me think about Global Warming/Climate Change, as I continued to drive.
One thing that has struck me for years is that I don’t understand how the issue of protecting the environment became a political issue. Specifically, Liberal vs Conservative, where if you’re a Liberal/Democrat, you’re supposed to support government intervention to help the environment, such as President Obama advocated in his last inaugural address, while if you’re a Conservative/Republican then you’re supposed to deny the reality of Global Warming/Climate Change, and claim its all just some big hoax that we should ignore. Perhaps I’ve read too many comic-books, but the latter argument always struck me as very Kryptonian, like the way the other Kryptonians ignored Jor-El’s warnings that their planet was going to explode, until it was too late.
But I digress.
Frankly, I’ve just never understood the idea behind claiming it’s a massive hoax. Because what’s the purpose? Why make-up something like that? I have seen some pretty weird theories, like Laura Ingraham saying —
Look, I’m no scientist, and I know that anyone on either side can link to some scientific study or another to back their beliefs up. But I also know that, just in my lifetime, it seems like the seasons are noticeably changing. Such as last year being the hottest on record, not to mentioned the rise in super-storms like Hurricane Sandy last year. Clearly, something is changing.
Now, one argument I’ve seen from many on The Right is that any changes to Earth’s atmosphere are entirely natural, that the Earth just goes through stages, like the Ice Age, and it has nothing to do with human intervention. Some even say things like It’s arrogant for humankind to even think we could possibly affect the Earth’s environment so drastically. And it is true, in the grand scheme of things, humans have existed on this planet for a relatively short time. Earth existed for billions of years before we came along. Still, there are over 7 billion of us here now. We’ve paved roads, cut down wildlife, built machines, buildings, etc. Is it really so far off to believe that all of this has had, and continues to have, an impact on the natural environmental cycle of the Earth?
But let’s say, for arguments sake, that we don’t have that big of impact. Is that still an excuse to do NOTHING? I remember, I think it was last year but I’m not sure, seeing Bill O’Reilly, hardly a far-Left Liberal Ideologue, being interviewed on Real Time With Bill Maher. And Maher brought up the fact that, unlike most of the pundits on Fox News, O’Reilly says he believes in Climate Change. And O’Reilly said “I just want a clean planet!”
He elaborated that, in his opinion, whether or not these changes are mostly caused by man, or if it’s a natural thing, we should all be trying to make this planet as clean as possible, because we have to live here. And that makes so much sense to me. When I see cars pumping out smoke I think that can’t be good. So let’s do something about that. Let’s invest in alternative energies, other than oil, so that we can drive cars that don’t pump junk into the air that we all breath. Let’s find ways to make our air as clean as possible, and that goes double for our water. Let’s protect our wildlife. Y’know, one of the reasons why I support legalized marijuana, despite the fact that I’ve NEVER smoked the stuff and zero interest in ever doing so, is that I know that hemp can be used to make paper (& even clothes). Imagining have hemp farms where manufacturers can grow it to make paper, instead of us having to cut down trees, which naturally help the environment. Even if it’s doing something as small as each of us recycling whatever we can, whenever possible, let’s encourage everyone to do that. I know that in my city, like many American cities, they now give you separate trash cans to put your paper, plastic, & other recyclables in. So use them! We’re all in this together. Until we start colonizing the moon and/or other planets, this is the only one we’ve got, so I say let’s try to take care of it.
Just my opinion.