Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just Me?

As Austin closes in on its 70th consecutive day with a high temperature in triple digits, one has to finally acknowledge that yes, global warming is real. Every year has record breaking highs, but this year especially. The planet is getting consistently hotter.

Maybe nothing we've done is causing global warming. Maybe it really is just a natural fluctuation in the earth's temperature. I've read that the Middle Ages were a period of higher temps, and that it led to a lot of good things, like the spread of agriculture to places it wasn't possible before, and also allowed more areas to be hospitable to human living than before. And I know that we've had at least two “mini-Ice Ages” since then. So, yes, the earth's temperature fluctuates.

However, that doesn't mean that we're not screwing up the planet. Recycling can't be a bad thing. Why throw things out when they can be reused? That's just wasteful. Reuse. Reduce the amount of crap that's going into landfills. You take the trash out of your house – you don't just throw it on the living room floor or even let the bags pile up in the kitchen. Why do the same to the earth? We have to live on this planet – let's try to lessen the amount of garbage we pile up that's not going to go away in the foreseeable eons.

Somebody once told me the hole in the ozone wasn't a real issue because it's over Antarctica. That's like saying it's no problem that toxic mold is growing in your house because it's in the guest bedroom that you don't use.

Saying “you can always grow more trees” is stupid. You cut down acres of trees in a day, and it takes decades for them to grow back. I'm not saying don't harvest lumber – I'm saying do so responsibly, and let's try to reuse as much as possible to cut down on the need for felling.

When it's summer, it's not your “fault” that it's hot, but you still feel compelled to do something about it, don't you? If we as a species were able to invent air conditioning and refrigeration, then surely we can figure out how to cool the planet, right?

If Democrats got their way, our great grandchildren might be up to their neck in debt but with clean air and water. If Republicans got their way, our great grandchildren would be debt free but couldn't breathe the air or drink the water.

Can we get off our various “platforms” and sit down and work this shit out?


  1. Nah. Sane talk from someone not "in the wings", i.e. "left wing" and "right wing".