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The Global Warming Deadline

I just read an interesting article by Ross Gelbspan at gristmill.grist.org. He warns that we have passed the deadline to turn our carbon emitting habits around and that dangerous climate change is now inevitable. According to Ross, "The IPCC, which reflects the findings of more than 2,000 scientists from over 100 countries, recently stated that it is 'very unlikely' that we will avoid the coming era of 'dangerous climate change.'" He continues "As one prominent climate scientist said recently, 'We are seeing impacts today that we did not expect to see until 2085.'" So how do we react to this hard notion? How valid is the argument and how frantic should we become?

Some say that this whole thing is a hoax. As a good friend of mine pointed out, we had a global cooling scare in the 1970's. That didn't turn out to be such a big deal. So why are we all boarding the global warming train? How are things different now than they were 30 years ago? The answer is our technology. I'm not talking about our data collection abilities (though I'm sure that has evolved impressively), but rather our energy and architectural technologies. They are now advanced enough to provide us with a way of becoming more independent of the weather. We have solar and wind energy, geothermal heat exchange, high efficiency appliances, etc. These advances, though not perfect, can cut our dependency on foreign nations, cut individuals dependency on the grid, and help us withstand nature's climate fluctuations with greater efficiency. And we can do all that and reduce our indisputable damages to mother earth. So why not?

To me, the argument isn't whether global warming is a real threat, but rather pollution and rising energy costs, waste and social injustice. These are the root causes of most of our nation's problems. We should invest in the technology to create a better world. Then we don't need to squabble over who was right and who was wrong. We can just work towards a better future and a greater independence from all the variables.

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