I wrote this as a comment in response to a WSJ article where 16 scientists argue with other scientists about global warming.
I, too, chafe at the global warming paranoia, not because I don’t believe it is happening, but because I understand how many would question it. Not only is it catastrophic, but it is also very hard to “see.” One overly hot day or overly cold day, or even a decade, could be argued a million ways.
The issue here is not just global warming — it is also the smaller issues that add up to it. Overfishing in our seas has wiped out populations, disrupted food chains, eviscerated industries, ruined livelihoods, and more. It took an awful lot of folks seeing that destruction to finally come on board for sustainable fishing.
Water use in California, Arizona, and Nevada is wiping out the Colorado River, forcing everyone downstream of it and millions of Mexicans to face ever harsher conditions. The river is now practically dry before it completes its journey. It’s not like this is necessary either. Americans, and specifically those in drier areas, can stand to drastically reduce their water use. Cutting their use by a full 75% would barely make their lives harder.
I could keep going with more of these. Many would think that they are unrelated to global warming, but to me they are the components that comprise the problem as a whole (i.e. overconsumption, greed, waste). The reasons for their occurrence are varied, but the solution to them always results in lower carbon emissions.
I find it frustrating that our leaders have latched onto global warming as the cause of the decade. Perhaps they think it will scare enough people to action. I always expected it to have the opposite reaction, even a perverse “might-as-well-give-up” reaction.
If, instead, we localized these issues and focused on improving lives (i.e. make environmentalism selfish) I think people would be compelled to action. With the added benefit of preventing catastrophic global warming problems.
Plus, in my opinion, this is what the world will look and act like anyways, if we are to solve the climate change problem.