Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earth Day


I didn't realize that today is Earth Day until I opened the Google search page and saw the graphic:

I recently posted about the expected effects of climate change here in the Northeastern US. I watched a Nova segment this week called Dimming the Sun. You can read a synopsis of this program here. Essentially, global dimming is a backhanded effect of pollution. Smog (including vapor trails from air traffic) creates a mirror effect, causing the earth to reflect sunlight back into space. This has actually slowed the impact of global warming.

Because smog contributes greatly to diseases of the lungs, governments worldwide have been taking steps to reduce it, and they are having a good deal of success. Smog reduction could lead to the acceleration of global warming. Some scientists say that we are close to a point of no return. We could reach that point within 5 - 10 years, with significant changes to coastlines, living conditions, and food supplies by mid-century. This theory is relatively new and, of course, controversial. The Nova program about how scientists developed the theory is compelling, however, and the information in it should be given consideration.

The US government has been denying the significance of climate change since the advent of the Bush Administration, beginning with the failure to participate in the Kyoto Protocol. The government's Earth Day website celebrates our purported successes and tries to paint the administration in a positive light. This is laughable, and it is an embarrassment to our nation.

The earthday.net website I linked to at the beginning of this post provides information about things we can do right now to make a difference, without waiting for the government to act. It is clear that US citizens will have to take steps to stabilize the environment without the government's assistance or leadership. We can't afford to wait until Bush leaves office to act. It might be too late.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Merci,

I watched that Dimming program on PBS last night. Astonishing. I've been talking about it all morning...global warming worse than expected because of the contrails and microdust. Wow...we're in trouble...real trouble. That really got me thinking.

Frank

Merci said...

Frank-
It really gave me something to think about, too. I know the science is controversial, but so was the concept of global warming a few years ago. Seems like our government is fiddling while the earth burns.

PaxRomano said...

Was just talking about this. Remember when we were kids and all that talk about ecology and pollution...and yet, we've done almost nothing to protect our mother (earth).

Look at Joisey, before you know it, there won't be a single piece of land that is not sub-divided or filled with Wal Marts...very sad indeed.

Merci said...

Pax-
Yes, I remember it well. Yet people still throw crap out of their car windows. And our vehicles are still powered by fossil fuels - gas and diesel, with engines dependent on oil. It has to change.

By now, we all should be using solar and wind energy to power our homes. Most of our electricity comes from coal burning plants. Coal is the dirtiest source of energy available.

All of our other causes and concerns mean nothing if we don't do something about this issue. This has enormous implications for our health, our economy and standard of living.