Personal Sacrifice and the Climatic System

As the science of climate change becomes more widely known, we are entering a period of angst where the reality of climatic system collapse is accepted, yet the search for climate solutions lags. One dispute is to what extent individuals must sacrifice modern conveniences to reduce emissions; such as driving less, eating less meat and many other energy conserving activities; or whether the required necessary changes are of such a scale like public mass transit, global carbon caps and a carbon tax, which can only be carried out by governments. Given we must reduce emissions dramatically, by some 60% and perhaps more as soon as possible, the answer is both. I am very disappointed in Tony Blair's recent statement that we should all carry on with our air travel because science will find an answer to the problem. The hard reality is that some degree of personal sacrifice is going to be required. Additionally, emissions cannot get to their required levels without rich nations dramatically cutting their emissions and allowing poor nations to increase to equal levels. This approach is called contract and converge [search]. I am shamed every time President Bush selfishly says America will not set mandatory emissions caps because developing countries refuse to do so immediately, when our emissions are up to 30 times that of poor nations. Climate solutions require that emissions must be reduced equitably, both personally and by governments. Work like the dickens to reduce your own carbon footprint while joining the people's movement to bring about societal change sufficient to achieve long-term, equitable and just global ecological sustainability.

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35 Responses

  1. cody ingram says:

    hey my name is cody ingram im a 16 year old teenager who is very concerned about global warming and the efforts to reduce the green house gases i was wondering what effect the kyoto accord and other efforts are having ok the reduction of green house gases and what the usa actually plans to do because i have noticed that george bush is good at sitting on his ass and doing nothing about important problems so i wanna hear what he has planned to do if anything

  2. Sarah says:

    i think bush should smack himself and think again about what he is saying and look around our earth is diying and he and his “followers” dont care what happends to the earth… children my age(17) will be running and living in the mess that they are leaving behind…how do you want your children and grandkids to live?i think people should start caring and pay more attention to globel warming before alot of inoccent people die because we cant control our emission levels…hope someone reads this and gets back to me with some more information about globel warming im willing to do anything to change they way of life to help our world we live in…thanks sarah

  3. Ironies: 1) The UK Met Office has recently projected 2007 to be the hottest year on record for global temperatures. 2) The U.S. govt is a) considering putting the polar bear on the endangered species list; b) NOAA reports 2006 as the hottest year on record in the continental U.S.
    Even these tidbits alone from U.S. & British executive agencies suggest that changes in individual behavior need to be considered.

  4. David Wheeler says:

    There are enough experts out there (and I am not talking about armchair 'experts' like me, but professors of meteorology, geophysics and so forth) who dispute that mankind-generated CO2 has anything to do with global warming. They make very strong arguments for the current warming to be simply part of natural cycles. They say we should concentrate on coping strategies rather than on quixotic and pointless efforts to reduce CO2 emissions which may contribute next to nothing to global warming. Although the 'received wisdom' is such that mankind truly is to blame, I am not yet convinced

  5. Ben Morris says:

    im a teenager also, been doing some research for a paper im doing on the topic. all of the actual scientific sites ive visited have said the same thing as he has; that global warming is gonna happen, but it isn't the “evil US” 's fault that it is happening. cars have gotta be at least 50% more effective than they were originally, and the precautions taken nowadays are still incredible.
    for glen: why raise the level of the poor nations' emissions if we're trying to [reduce] them? doesn't make sense to me.
    for glacier: if polar bears are dying, its cause canadian and alaskan people are shooting them. anyone else remember the big stink that was made a number of years ago about the harmless polar bears that were being shot? i do. if you've read farley mowat's “Never Cry Wolf”, you'll know what I mean.
    the “little ice age” was named for a reason. it was COLD. my guess is we're probably just still recovering from that. i remember my seventh grade science teacher (one of the smartest people I ever met) and my freshman bio teacher (a science GENIUS who runs a toxins company and has a habit of traveling to greece and austria) both said we were stll coming out of an ice age.
    lastly, if the people of the middle ages survived it, so can we. they had no CLUE what global warming is and the human race survived that.
    what sarah said, though, seems a little scary. i agree that there are problems. but look what our great grandparents, greandparents and parents were left with: a country in turmoil, a bigoted nation, an unclean state. they made it through and its better than ever before. if they can do it, why can't we? Let's prove we can.
    RESPONSE: The basis of contract and converge is that we need and equitable global average per capita emissions level for the rich and poor. People striving to meet basic needs may need and deserve more emissions to get to that level in order to be fair. Their contribution to global warming has been miniscule. So yes, the developed world needs to cut emissions dramatically, perhaps as much as 90% so that the poor world can improve their lot with slight increases in emissions. The sum total would still be the required 60% reductions; but in a more just and fair world.

  6. Hi, I've been reading your blog with interest. There is a very cheap and simple way in which every household can make a 50% to 70% reduction in their use of cooking fuel and thereby help in the fight against global climate change. It doesn't need time and rocket science to implement. The very basic, cheap and simple technlogy already exists and everyone everywhere in the world can use it. Please find out how by checking out tp://www.cookinginabasket.blogspot.co

  7. Gilles Fecteau says:

    To David Wheeler,
    Sorry but you are wrong. There are no real scientists left that doubt global warming is caused by the increase GHG level. Some suggest it's already too late to take action and that we should be focussing on coping strategies.
    But you have to keep in mind that the last time CO2 level on Earth was higher than the level we will reach in 2050 (without urgent action), all living land animals over 2 kg. died. This was one of the largest mass extinction of the planet.
    Do we want a repeat?

  8. ewoc says:

    David,
    Even if you refuse to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus on the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global warming, you have forgotten one indisputable result of increased CO2 – ocean acidification (carbonic acid from carbon dioxide dissolving in H2O).
    At current rates of increase of CO2 emissions (i.e. a “business as usual” scenario, not even considering the likelihood that coal becomes the primary energy source for most of the world as cheap petroleum supplies are exhausted), and given the already measured changes in PH in the world's oceans, they will become biological deserts (save small areas at the poles) later this century. Since oceans play a key role (perhaps the most important role) as carbon sinks, you might consider that we'll get bit in the ass one way or another. Not to mention the little problem of no fish! That's assuming you are not getting your basic information from the Competitive Enterprise Institute site or one of Exxon/Mobil's lackeys. See 11/20/06 The New Yorker for a summary of the science and interviews with numerous ocean researchers.
    I have noticed that when confronted with data, skeptics blogging on this site generally fail to respond at all – makes me wonder who they are and why they are taking the time to comment…..

  9. David Wheeler says:

    Actually I'm not a full-blown skeptic…more an 'agnostic', and indeed leaning more and more to your point of view actually.
    However, I cannot ignore the signatories on this letter to the Canadian govt about Kyoto (link below). I can imagine that they are wrong, but not 'obviously' so, as pro-climate change bloggers like yourself seem to think. I also find it a little difficult to accept the conspiracy theory that all the signatories must be in the pocket of 'Big Oil'. Imagine, you are a professor of earth sciences and believe that mankind is responsible for global warming…would you really allow a 'pay-off' from Exxon to put your reputation on the line by lying? And not only you but scores of other professors of meteorology, environmental sciences and so on? No, although they might be wrong, there are enough contrary voices to at least accept that it is not cut and dried

  10. No one takes into consideration on global warming, the effect that the testing and actual barbaric use of the atom bombs, I once witnessed via an army film, the dropping and effect of the bomb, if you watch the clouds during the formation of the mushroom they are in termoil, god knows what these terrible weapons have done to this beautiful planet.
    When they tell you it is the human race that has caused the Global Warming, just remind them of the Atom Bomb Effect!
    On August the 6th August 1945 aa uranium-type atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
    And a plutonium-type one on Nagasaki on the 9th of August 1945.
    Since then the world has continued testing Hydrogen and Nuclear Bombs, check out this link if you do not think there is a connection between Bombs and Global Warming…http://www1.city.nagasaki.nagasaki.jp/abm/abm_e/kougi/kaisu/rekishi.html

  11. PeterW says:

    Hi David,
    Note these are names taken from around the world and there only 60. Many are well known climate skeptics funded by big Oil and Coal. Many are just economists.
    The list is a PR sham. Many have pointed this out.
    As to whether a pay-off from Big Oil will throw your reputation away. Well first you need a reputation. Second it's amazing what people will do for money. Many of these people are old, maybe they don't give a rat's ass about the future, it won't affect them?
    I don't know what their rational is but if they think they have proof they
    should publish it. So far the climate skeptics have been proven wrong time and time again. That's why they debate in the media not in the scientific community.
    For information on some of the 60 check out.
    http://www.desmogblog.com/william-kininmonth

  12. ewoc says:

    David,
    I can attest to the truth of Peter's post regarding the list you have cited to.
    I recognize quite a few of the names (for example, Patrick Michael) as the “same old crowd” of climate change deniers. And, yes, sorry to say that many of them do receive grants, directly or indirectly, from Exxon/Mobil and their oil industry brethren. All of this has been documented over the last few years, quite well in fact, by Ross Gelbspan and numerous others.
    The effectiveness of Exxon's “investment” in a long-term disinformation campaign is obvious – it convinced you (and people I know well, unfortunately, until I pointed out to them that this was in fact a deliberate campaign)! As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I can tell you that George Taylor, listed as Oregon's state climatologist, has little or no credibility in the field of climate science and, although he has a degree in meteorology, he can't even seem to forecast regional weather very well!
    On the petition's statement re: computer models, their joint claim that the models aren't supported by observations occuring now across the globe is absolutely wrong. The models forecast rapid warming at the poles, warmer winters, hotter drier summers in the West (which we are seeing in the NW, with a 3 degree rise in temps since 1950, according to UW), an increase in forest fires, etc. etc ad nauseum. I suggest you pay careful attention to the IPCC report due out next month.
    It's too bad that at this late date we are still having to deal with this b.s. The hour is indeed getting late, and it is an absolute waste of our time and energy. Truth will win out, but at what cost in terms of delaying action?

  13. zephyr says:

    “PeterW” wrote:
    …..So far the climate skeptics have been proven wrong time and time again. That's why they debate in the media not in the scientific community…..
    EXACTLY.
    Listen, nobody who's been paying attention to what the climate researchers are trying to tell us is just waiting with bated breath for every opportunity to spread Bad News. Informed, concerned people don't ENJOY “scaring” their fellow human beings as some would have us believe.
    At this late date, my feeling is that those who prefer to ignore what is in fact beginning to happen right in front of us are free to hold their positions.
    I'd just like them to stay out of the way of those of us who are willing to face reality and commit ourselves to whatever it takes to leave a habitable planet for our children and grandchildren.

  14. alysa says:

    this site is alright ,,, i would like to know this answer: How does the forestry industry positively and negatively effect greenhouse gases?.

  15. The Native Sun says:

    I submitted this as a comment on something else but the link is a very useful thing…
    The “talking points” of the “no way could our excessive release of gaseous CO2 could possibly effect the atmosphere” people (aka greenhouse theory is some lefty take over the world ploy) are numerous and unrelenting. I recently wrote an article for a local paper and couldn't believe some of the more vehement “anti” responses. Anyway, I don't want to get into pissing matches with the ney-sayers but recognize that occaisionally a dignified response is needed. Here is a link to help you all out in arguing with that pesky uncle who thinks global warming is a bunch of tree-hugging nonsense
    http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/02/how-to-talk-to-global-warming-sceptic.html

  16. Daharja says:

    Stop debating about what our 'leaders' may or may not do.
    Start with the changes you can do right now, and make a real difference in your life. Then encourage everyone you know to make the same changes in their lives, and lobby your leaders *hard* for firm environmental legislation.
    Here's what you can (and should) be doing right now:
    – switch to a Green tariff with your home power provider, so that your electricity is 100% provided by renewable energy sources.
    – stop consuming beef altogether, and reduce all consumption of animal products to the bare minimum. Going vegan or near-vegan is even better, and is suprisingly easy, as well as being a very healthy way to live (check the net for a host of websites providing information on veganism).
    – Choose local, seasonal, and organic produce wherever possible. Livestock are responsible for more greenhouse emissions that the total transport section, according to the recent UN report “Livestock's Long Shadow” (available for download as a PDF on the net – just google it). There is a short executive summary (about a page) which provides the main points of the report in easy-to-understand terms.
    – Choose to walk, cycle or catch public transport whenever possible. Carpool when these options are unavailable. Plan your journeys.
    – Buy only what you absolutely need, and nothing more. Become an anti-consumer. The consumer mentality of 'more is better, new is best' must change.
    – Live by the 'reduce, re-use, recycle' pyramid. Remember that 'reduce' comes first, and is the key to sustainability.
    – Get educated and become politically active. Let your leaders know that climate change is real, and doing nothing is *not* an option.
    – Check your 'eco-footprint' regularly, with online quizzes such as the Earthday quiz. These quizzes tell you roughly how sustainable your current lifestyle is, and give useful tips and hints on how to become more sustainable.
    – Share what you know. Get involved in your community with like-minded people. plant trees. Protect endangered species and lands. Fight for the planet and for your inheritance – clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet.

  17. Michael Deakin says:

    Hey lets forget about government and take it on at a domestic level simply to reduce guilt.

  18. Charles says:

    David, the letter below ought to push you over the edge toward realizing that AGW is real. The letter you cite was written in reaction to this letter signed by 90 (!) of the leading climate scientists in Canada. And–news flash!–George Bush is expected finally to acknowledge AGW in his State of the Union address later this month, and the need to do something about it. Finally, ExxonMobile has finally decided to cut funding to the denialists.
    Here's the link to the letter: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/harper_conservatives/pdf/lettertoharper.pdf

  19. Tim bailey says:

    I must say im not surprised at Tony Blair's reponce it just about sums him up and most of the worlds politicians and in codys words i think their all good at sitting on their asses telling us what their going to do the sad thing is they mostley leave to late.

  20. David Wheeler says:

    Well many of you are certainly convinced, and it is probable you are right. However, it is the quasi-religious certainty displayed (a certainty that I maintain no-one can have) by many of the contributors out there that makes me uncomfortable. I instinctively rail against proselytising, because it's often based on groundless 'certainties'. And the hypocrisy of accusations that sceptical experts have been bought off by Big Oil. Science is science mate, whoever contributes funds. And free speech is free speech (debate is supposed to be healthy right?). It reminds me of the vociferous complaints by those other proselytisers, the antismoking lobby, that any positive results from tobacco research (which, believe it or not, does exist), or indeed any comments that do not chime precisely with the antismokers' position, are 'in bed' with Big Tobacco – and yet these same groups are funded by Big Pharma, who stand to gain a great deal by their nicotine replacement programs. Yuk, what hypocrisy (and I'm not a smoker, BTW, and don't work for a tobacco company)! At the end of the day, it will take thirty years to find out who is right on this one…and in the meantime there isn't a blind thing any of us can do about it anyway. Darharja naively urges us to plant trees and monitor our 'eco-footprint'…politically correct but, as far as saving the planet is concerned, pointless advice

  21. Mark says:

    Coolest days on record in Los Angeles… Interesting how you never hear reports on the news regarding global warming when “records lows” are occurring. I just CAN NOT believe in this global warming BS until there is some actual long-standing definitive evidence that this is not cycle related and it is unbelievably unprofessional for any “scientist” to state the opposite while the “proof” seems far from proven.

  22. zephyr says:

    David Wheeler wrote:
    …..However, it is the quasi-religious certainty displayed (a certainty that I maintain no-one can have) by many of the contributors out there that makes me uncomfortable. I instinctively rail against proselytising, because it's often based on groundless 'certainties'…..
    David, I “instinctively” don't like proselytising myself. I've been that way since I was in grammar school. And it's also been my observation that most other people don't appreciate it, either.
    You seem like a sincere, level-headed individual. All I can say is to suggest that you take some time to read some of the actual literature coming out of the climate-research community rather than focusing exclusively on what you read in the news media.
    I've been following the research literature for over seven years and I find that most of what I read is in line with what I am personally observing not only in my own region but nationally and globally.
    The research community has expressed repeatedly that significant emissions reduction is in fact the only option of genuine value if we mean to leave our descendants with a habitable planet. INTENT is the keyword here, and there is a glaring failure of it at a time when it is badly needed.
    When I see, as I have seen for the last few years, infants and little children anxiously twisting around in their strollers trying to avoid direct sunlight in their eyes while their parents are standing by and yakking on their cell phones, oblivious; when I hear about crop failure in an already poor country due to ridiculously excessive precipitation following an extended period of drought; when I see spring flowers blooming in Boston in December; when I hear that polar bear females are struggling to maintain body weight sufficient to reproduce successfully

  23. Dawn says:

    Daharja – you have made the most common sense logical comments yet.We cannot wait for governments to act, if they did act they should be stopping all new car manufacture, road works etc and generally put a moratorium on all growth. Another factor is we have to change the way we think, we must be the change we want to see in the world.

  24. lj says:

    IM hoping mass adoption of new electric car technology from GM will affect CO2 emissions.
    See http://www.gm-volt.com

  25. PeterW says:

    David,
    Ten years ago I could have stomached comments like yours but now it's just a little too much. What is your proof for your skepticism, a letter from 60 climate skeptics and you don't like the quasi-religious certainty of the people posting here. Well congrats you've really done your research. Fine you don't like the responses here, well get off your lazy butt and do your own research.
    Try realclimate.org to start with.
    The debate is over, the question now is it too late.

  26. PeterW says:

    One more thing David. Have you ever heard of PR. Do you know why companies waste their money paying for it. Because people like you fall for it every time.
    Read “Scientists' Report Documents ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science”
    http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ExxonMobil-GlobalWarming-tobacco.html

  27. Dick Russell says:

    Ooii, such crying, such complaining, such bitching and moaning I am hearing. And mostly for naught, I'm thinking. Global warming is not going to cause the human race to go extinct. It's estimated that only about 90% of us will die. That leaves 10 % of us to go forth and populate the earth. Maybe we'll do it smarter next time.
    The problem with global warming, as I see it, is not that civilization (?) as we know it is going to die, but rather, whether as a particular individual I am or you are going to die. When that happens, the process is more or less irreversable. The answer to global warming is to survive it on a personal level. I say personal, because government has already proven itself to be incompetent. Do the names Katrina or Rita mean anything to you? Does the war in Iraq give you a clue? If you want to be a part of the 10%, you need to quit complaining and start acting in your own narrow and selfish best interest. In my nearly seven decades upon this vail of tears, I have noticed that the goddess helps them what helps themselves.
    Since I'm fairly certain that unless time just flat runs out on me, I will survive global warming, climate change and society's breakdown, let me share my thoughts on what you can do, on a personal level to get through this thing. It's basicaly to live your life as I have lived mine for the past half century.
    First, get out of town. Towns and cities are where we are going to have the first bad times as systems break and mob rule becomes law. The ruthless, the non-caring, the strong and unconciousless are going to loot, rob, murder and rape in a desperate last ditch effort to hang on. I offer New Orleans after Katrina as my proof. And also, it is difficult to be a producer in town. Towns are full of consumers who have to a large extent fueled this problem. But, in the country, on a small piece of land – 5, 10, 20 acres – you can feed yourself. Except for minor passions – escargot, calamari and a few really fine wines – I produce most of what I eat. And I eat well. In the garden, now are various lettuces, turnips, mustard, carrots, spinich, kale, cabbage, and in another month peas. That'll be followed by the summer crops – shoe peg corn, peppers, hot and sweet, tomatoes of various persuasions, potatoes, okra, beans flat and string, summer peas for canning and the haulms for winter livestock forage as well as for sucking nitrogen from the air for next years pasture. In the pasture are my sheep. They are gulf coast natives, immune to foot rot and worms, selected by me over the years for twinning. A 175% lamb crop is normal. And my chickens. Marans for their chocolate eggs – not a bit more nutritous than a white egg, but they appeal to my eye. And the excess roosters grow fast for the freezer. And for pleasure, my frizzled cochin bantams. They are an old man's silly enjoyment. The sheep fertilize the pastures as they wander and, since I fold them at night, their barn droppings and bedding go into the compost pile with the litter from the hen house. That's all the fertilizer my garden requires. None of the petro stuff for me. I don't keep goats, but I do swap a lamb with a friend for goat cheese and with another for a couple of cases of various jellies.
    I'm not claiming with 100% certainty that when worse comes to worse that I want starve. But it'll take longer to starve me than it will a guy in the middle of a town. My parents lived the country life back during the great depression. Mom tells me that they simply could not believe stories of soup lines in the cities, because their table and those of their neighbors groaned under the load of food fresh from the garden and jarred from the pantry.
    Switch to diesel or if you are going to stay with gasoline powered transportation, get your O2 sensor switched to total ethanol. I run my truck, my tractor and the auxiliary on my sail boat on biodiesel that I make myself. The only problem with my recipe is that it uses methanol from petroleum and that I have to buy it. There is an ethenol recipe that's a bit more tricky, but in a pinch, yes I can make the switch. Ethanol, you can manufacture at home from anything that will fermit if need be to be turned into diesel or to power a gas burner. You'll need to seep it through hydrated lime to remove excess H2O, but it ain't rocket science if it comes to needing to do it. Meantime, if you want, buy biodiesel or ethanol. At least you're driving carbon neutral.
    As I'm typing this, I'm sitting across the room from my heatalator. There is a wood fire burning in it. My house is toastey warm. I felled and split five trees for firewood back in the early spring. How very non-environmentally aware I am. Not at all, because this year as I've done every year for as long as I can remember, I've planted two dozen acorns. They don't all make it to trees, but there are many more trees on my place than there were when I bought the place. My carbon footprint for heat is negative.
    And I think that you ought to learn to shoot a gun. I think you ought to learn to shoot several. You see, when everything collapses, the starving and the unwashed are going to be forced out of the cities. They are going to come foraging in the country. They are going to take what you need to live if they can. You are going to need to kill a few. It ain't a cheerful thought, but it's the way it's gonna need to be.
    And finally, carry a buckeye and a single bladed clasp knife in your left pants pocket. It's a religious thing and let's let it go at that, because my kind don't proselytize. But, I will tell you that the goddess approves. And, if your body is still nice, dance naked on full moon nights. She approves of that too. Weeelll, she don't actually approve when a 70 year old fat man does it, but she tolerates.

  28. kyle says:

    i think that canadas govrement should say yes to the global warming clean up because right now they dont want to do it is because it is all about darn money these days so if u want to save money to spend on hospitals and other crap and ur gonna die what the heck is the friggen point stupid goverment ….

  29. David Wheeler says:

    No PeterW, the debate is far from over. You expect me, and everyone else, to accept a major, major claim just because the consensus is such? Well, that is not the way I operate. As an agnostic, I will not believe in God simply because there is a consensus of theologians who say He exists…I explore the arguments for and against. I will not simply accept that passive smoking kills, when the evidence suggests otherwise, yet guess what, there is a pretty strong consensus that it does.
    Nor will I believe in the doom-and-gloom simply because a host of climate scientists with computer models say so…because many other climate scientists disagree.
    The naive conclusion that skeptics are in the fuel industry's pocket does not bear scrutiny. Read this mission statement here for some sincerity:
    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/about/position/funding.jsp
    Where is your rigour, PeterW? Show me your evidence that we are facing calamity

  30. PeterW says:

    No David the peer reviewed climate scientists don't disagree. That's what the IPCC process is all about. The hacks and has beens may disagree, but they don't publish peer-reviewed scientific papers. They bitch in the media.
    You obviously know very little about climate science if you think it's just computer models. Don't complain to me, or ask me to educate you. If you really want to understand go to RealClimate.org. or read one of the many excellent books that explain the subject.
    But I don't suspect you will do this, I suspect you're a Troll.

  31. kerry martin says:

    I couldn't read all this. Is David Wheeler still arguing?
    David! It isn't just about who or what is causing global heating. Even if climate wasn't changing, we have a huge eco-crisis on our hands…
    Forget reducing emissions and just look at… soil loss, species habitat destruction, pollution of air sea sky soil and flesh, dropping oxygen levels, rising forest destruction, war, famine, disease, slavery… etc etc…. There are a multitude of terrible things affecting our living earth right now, and one way or another they all boil down to the same common cause – our species has run amok and particularlu the white western nations have been running amok for generations and the solutions to all the problems which face the human race, which funnily enough does not consist mostly of wealthy americans! would more or less be the same.
    Get real, get reasonable and downshift so that we can all live good peaceful happy healthy lives…
    Ecological restoration is a must.
    I think you just don't want to make sacrifices.

  32. kerry martin says:

    OK, Kerry Martin, I know when I'm not wanted. I'll bid you adieu. But first, to your question, What more can you do? The answer, since global warming is, in all probability, the result of natural cycles, is “Nothing!” Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride that is life, whatever it throws in your path. You are on this planet in order that your soul can experience what it's like to be clothed in physical matter – not to wring your hands and ruin your day over things way out of your ken or control – Farewell!
    Posted by: David Wheeler | January 22, 2007 04:19 AM
    What more can I do? Letter in reply to a cynic… (thanks & goodbye David Wheeler)
    My soul LOVES being clothed in physical matter, and utterly enjoys being immersed in the wonders of Nature, and this soul has been mourning for thirty years over the devastation our species has ignorantly inflicted on our Living Earth, and this soul has long ago reduced her physical footprint to the smallest possible – by doing without.
    Nevertheless, this soul still has to lift her spirits every morning that she wakes, and ask her cellf and her beloved Earth “What more can I DO?”
    The reason I ask “What more can I DO?” is precisely because I don't want to wring my hands and fall in to despair, and I am NOT a “get the most I can for myself while I can still get it” type. I still have a naïve faith in human beings (I am a bit Anne Frank) and for me it won't be over until the very thin lady has dropped dead!
    “Even if I knew I was going to die tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree”…
    That's Martin Luther King I think. We must keep our spirits up somehow, for apathetic cynical fatalism could kill us all quicker than global heating!
    Although many of us have been crying “Wake up!” since the seventies, the fact is, the majority of the affluent public are only just waking up to the problem now. The last six months has seen a massive shift in awareness. This means, after three decades of frustration, that SOON! we will be able to actually TRY DOING SOME THINGS.
    Of course our efforts may not succeed. But unless we try doing some things, we will never know. Doing nothing at all to mitigate or adapt is a sure recipe for disaster.
    When I say “What can I DO?” I suppose I have been grappling with how exactly to best get into politics as Al Gore recommends…
    What can ordinary individuals do, apolitically, to put the maximum effective pressure upon all media, governments, industry and the “ignorant masses”… So that the radical actions we need to take in this “ten years” of grace, actually get taken.
    Here are some ideas my family has come up with in the last three months…
    Science has been so obsessed with proving that the crisis is coming, that it has neglected to explore the practical “What can we do?” question.
    So here is one thing that we CAN all do immediately… DEMAND THAT FUNDS FOR RESEARCH, EDUCATION & PRACTICAL ACTION BE MASSIVELY INCREASED!
    And here is another VERY PRACTICAL IDEA… which would encourage current governments to actually DO this as soon as possible

  33. Alyssa says:

    why do soo many people polute litter ans soo on I think it is soo wrong and global warming I am just getting started why use soo much energy in the air when you cn reduce using all this energy suckers

  34. Global Warming is still being ignored. Like most of the real problems. Like running out of fuel soon. Like the Great Lakes losing billions of gallons of water into a sinkhole everyday. Not to mention the Mercury levels getting dangerously too high. Global Warming news will still be skeptised as long as Exxon keeps spending millions of dollars to keep people believing that we are too small to affect it. If we don't do something now though, we will soon realize it'll be too late. We need more people to believe it and to act. The only 'conspiracy theory' i see here is that the government isn't acting to neutralize it nearly enough ass they should. we should all chip in and give china the fund to use alternate energy sources. not coal. they are become the leading contributors to the carbon emissions.

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