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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Climate Change wont work. Here is why: One word. Selfishness.

In Nahlah Ayed's piece below, she starts off with this statement:

"Its a turning point we're told. That it's the fight of our generation. Words that suggest global unity against one common enemy."

I will explore that statement in this blog. Obviously, by the title, you know that I view that as total BS. It's a lot of hot air. More than even the hot air that they are trying to cool with the rhetoric they spew in Paris this week. 

 UNICEF, an­oth­er UN agency, re­leased a re­port on Nov. 24 claim­ing that chil­dren will bear the brunt of fu­ture tem­per­at­ure rises and their as­so­ci­ated ef­fects.

 I am not a climate change denier. I believe in science and accept the findings of those who have been doing the work. For me, that will never be the issue. I understand what is happening, and I have a different reasoning for not changing my ways. Not entirely anyway. And I think most are like me, although they talk a good lip service game when they discuss what to do about it.
I try to be the good citizen. I recycle. I conserve water. I compost. I try to create as little garbage as possible. I reuse more than anyone you have probably ever met. I try to plan my trips so that I hit the grocery store on the way to my weekly hockey game, thereby eliminating one needless, carbon spewing car trip into the atmosphere. I grow some of my own vegetables and fruits, and I waste almost nothing I buy. I don't (mia culpa, hardly ever) eat meat. I keep the aircon off unless I must have it. If the house gets a shade colder, I put a sweater and an extra pair of socks on.
Sure, the world is hotter in 2015 than its ever been before. When I say ever, I mean the modern era. I'm sure over 4 billion years, there have been hotter years. And we have survived to live to tell, and heat it up again.
However, when push comes to shove, no matter how hot it gets now, by the time I die, it wont make hardly a dent in the way of life of most of the world. So, in reality, I would be acting now so others in the future will get the benefit I never will. 
I have never been one that is all that concerned that humans survive well after I am dead. I'm not against them doing so, and I guess I hope they do, but if I'm dead, why do I really care? The truth is, I do...and I don't. I do, because species survival is inherent in all beings. I don't, because I really am more concerned about myself than the overall species. If the two competing agendas can live as one in harmony, so be it. But, if one has to suffer at the others expense, then, I am going to be selfish and screw the future over for my own current, in-the-now, happiness. 
So, will I give up fossil fueled cars altogether? Hell No. Who would? So some person I have never met can enjoy a better life 200 years from now? I don't think so. 
In Paul Hunter's piece below, he brings the viewer a story of how Atlanta, once one of the worst air pollution cities in America, had seen a very significant rise in electric cars, and the culture seemed to be changing. That was for one simple reason: The subsidy that the State of Georgia and Federal government provided to slash the cost of a new electric car as opposed to a gasoline or diesel car.

In the piece, Hunter gets to the point. The electric car love-in ended abruptly.

"But then, a speed bump. This summer, Georgia pulled the plug, killing the state tax credit. The result, laments (the Nissan dealer in the piece)...we went from selling 275 in June and I think in July we may have sold 6."

I will try to do the right thing, but I'm not sacrificing myself entirely to do so. Yup, I'm selfish like that. And so are you. Its all about degrees of that.

Now, if they can make an electric car that reduces world emissions to the point that global warming slows down, reverses or disappears altogether, and I don't have to spend 10 times as much to have that vehicle, I'm in. But, if it means I don't get to travel the world because it costs me too much, then no, no way, I'm not in.

Would I convert my house to 100% solar, wind and natural energy sources of power? I would, absolutely. If you can make it affordable, relative to what I pay now. Or even close to that. I'm willing to give a little. I am not completely selfish. If it means I can't afford to eat out once in a while or go to a hockey game because my disposable income is sucked up with that expense, then No, again. No way.

No matter what, somebody can do more if they gave up more of their own happiness now. But they aren't going to do that.
So, it is what it is.
And what it is is the quality of life now vs. the quality of life for the future. Those two need to be in harmony. Right now, they are not. So, as Buster Poindexter used to say, its HOT, HOT, HOT, and its going to stay that way.

I am one of those that believes nature will take care of this problem. If the apocalypse comes, and the world of Earth starts to bake, humans will decrease rapidly, thus curtailing the behavior that caused the problem. Nature will adjust and heal itself, and then regroup, just as it did in the ice age. 
The problem with humans is that they love to view history only in terms of how it relates to themselves. So, what really matters is what has happened since we rose to prominence over dinosaurs, apes and whatever else ruled the earth in the time it has existed. However, we aren't earth. We are a part of it, and we will be adjusted accordingly when our own actions cause our own species to decrease back into the harmony position. Just as any action one takes in their lives will cause reactions, adjustments and consequences. 
A hot climate, and nature are no different. Just because we think it is doesn't make it so. The idea that humans can alter nature over a vast amount of time, say millions of years, is another selfish, foolish and egocentric notion we have that simply doesn't hold water. 

 Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today
And don't worry 'bout tomorrow, hey
Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today
Live for today

It is very possible, maybe even likely, that a Republican will win the White House in 2016. As I understand it, almost all Republican candidates either deny climate change is valid, or at best, admit it exists but don't view it as an issue of upmost importance as the current President does. That is the type of leadership that tells you the will is not there. I view that as more the overall attitude of the average person on the street, who will continue to pollute, waste and generally contribute to the problem. I don't know what it would take to turn the tide on that, but as of yet, I haven't seen anything to change my position on that.
I think in many U.S. towns, and worldwide for that matter, if it comes down to shutting down a plant that supplies jobs because the emissions and nature of their business contributes to the overall problem, they simply wont. If it means their way of life--a good life--will be harmed, it is not going to be the prevailing will. 
People are selfish. That is always the prevailing will.   
Is it sad that people 5,000 miles from us get hit by megastorms that might be caused or enhanced by global warming? Yes, it is. 
Does it bother some that it happens? I'm sure it does. Some more than others. But in reality, it's a two week "I care" kind of moment. It fades away, until the next one, and then it's too bad again. And in the meantime, we will do all the things that probably cause those problems. Because, in our daily lives, something that happens 5,000 miles away from our humble abode and great city, mean nothing to us. Certainly not enough for us to care any more than initially about the suffering and our part in that. If the pollution in Atlanta returns to smog central, then they will do what they have to to fix that. Because then, it will be about the citizens daily quality of life, in the hear and now. They didn't need any global Climate Summit in Los Angeles in the 70s. They needed a city so high in smog it was unlivable. Simple as that. That was very tangible. That created will for change.
Yeah, the stakes are high. I guess. And the tragedies will only mount. Sure. And in terms of our total interest in all that, its long off and not close enough to home to matter. Now, if the shores of the Hudson River overflow and decimate New York City, or the California coast overflows and wipes out big parts of San Francisco and Los Angeles, then I think we will take notice and start to care. Then, it will effect us, or at least people we can relate to. Real people, in our time, who lose their homes, their lives and if neither of those, at least their way of lives. Then, and only then, it becomes about us.  

I will close where I started, with the end of the Nahlah Ayed piece, and a statement by the mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson.

"Our opportunity to turn that around is significant. and if we don't, the stakes grow even higher. The tragedies will only mount."

And how did the "leaders" and "diplomats" show how much they care about solving this problem? Did they take very low carbon emitting means of transportation to the summit? Did they arrive in vehicles that were 100% electric and not big, gas guzzling stretch limos?
Um, not so much.   

One more time, I go back to the Nahlah Ayed piece, for the most accurate statement, by the Chinese President, with a comment on President Obama's assertion that the summit is a turning point.

"the summit isn't a turning point, but a starting point."

So much for global unity. Yeah, that came and went fast enough.

Again, yes,  that is it. We are starting. However, unless humans become less selfish, which history has shown they do not, I will die and this problem will be worse, not better when that happens. And, to be frank, I'm okay with that. I do my part. Others can do theirs. Nature will do its part. It will all work out in the end. That end might be a million years from now. When that happens, nobody will remember me, or the vast majority of the next generation, or the generation after that. 
At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter that much. Not as much as my happiness in the Here and Now. 
That matters a lot. To all of us.   


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