Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Climate Change report: hopelessness or ridicule?


Another report about the changes coming to our region because of Climate Change says that we may get our unfair share of Invasive Species. I haven’t actually read this particular report yet (but I will) though it states what most other reports say about how Climate Change will affect our region. Besides more extreme weather, major disruptions to our economy and public health there are a host of Likely Changes coming. It can be daunting.

NCPR News - Scientists: Climate change in New York could increase diseases A new report finds that New York may suffer disproportionate effects of climate change in the coming decades, when compared with other regions. The report was co-authored by scientists from Cornell, Columbia University, and Hunter College. It finds that because New York is a northern state, it has already warmed more than twice the global average - 2-point-4-degrees Fahrenheit in the last forty years.  (November 28, 2911) NCPR: North Country Public Radio

In the past when Climate Change first came to the public’s consciousness in the late 1970’s Climate Change was usually met with hopelessness from those who quickly understood the problem of putting too much greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and ridicule from those who believed the progressives were trying to pull a fast one on them. I suspect both reactions to more information about Climate Change still go on, but not so much.

Increasingly, though probably not quickly enough, attitudes towards the ramifications of Climate Change are moving from useless emotions to useful emotions. Useful emotions are those that attempt to address this fundamental change that humanity is making to our environment (think: our environment where we need to survive). Useless emotions are those where you don’t do anything but snipe at endless reports about Climate Change that are and will be coming.

What can you do about Climate Change? Here in New York you can push for high-speed rail, active transportation (walking and bicycling for those short distances that constitute most of our trips), demand and purchase more renewable energy (solar and wind) and make public comment on hydrofracking, which will put even more greenhouse gases (GHG) into our atmosphere and warm it up more. Actually, here’s a meeting you can go to tonight to learn more about hydrofracking and how it will transform our NYS environment:

Forum on gas drilling is tonight | Democrat and Chronicle | A forum on the local effects of expanding natural-gas drilling is scheduled for tonight in Honeoye Falls. The Rochester Sierra Club is among the groups sponsoring the event, which begins at 7 pm in the Lower Mill, 61 N. Main St.  (November 28, 2011) Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York |

Another thing you can do is something original. Find out how to get the US to engaged in the Durban Climate Change talks, rather than draging our feet. Because of the nature of Climate Change massive and quick actions need to be taken and the Climate Change talks by the IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are the only way we can move on these issues on a planetary scale. However, things don’t look so good:

As Durban conference opens, little hope for a climate-change agreement - The Globe and Mail With the Kyoto Protocol on the verge of death, gloomy negotiators are gathering in South Africa Monday in an attempt to salvage a vague “road map” for a future climate agreement in 2020 or later. Without hope for a binding agreement in the near future, the United Nations climate conference is likely to resign itself to at least an eight-year gap between the expiry of Kyoto next year and a possible future treaty on cutting greenhouse gases. In the interim, the world would be governed by voluntary pledges – or “climate anarchy” as some environmentalists call it. (November 22, 2011) The Globe and Mail

At times it does seem hopeless—everyone pointing fingers and little being done—and there’s that nattering ridicule from those who don’t have a clue about what’s coming. On the other hand, there are actions we must take against such odds, as the direction we are presently going is unsustainable.

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