by Des Pensable copyright 2014
When you’re a senior you’ve been around for a while and seen a lot. Life has taught you many lessons. Some have been positive and some negative. You have worked all your life and are now probably more interested in a spending the remainder of it enjoying yourself. Then along comes this problem called Global Warming. Is it real or just a scare story? Should you be worried and do something to help or just ignore it and get on with your life?
Is Global Warming really happening?
Imagine that the Earth we live on was your best friend and he or she came for a visit to see you and said “I’ve been feeling abnormal lately so I went to see 20 specialists and 19 of them said that I was sick and needed treatment but one said everything was okay and that I shouldn’t worry about any treatment. What should I do?”
You would most probably think that if 19 out of 20 specialists thought that your friend had a problem then they were correct. The key questions would be “What treatment did the specialists suggest” and “How much was it going to cost,” and “Could your best friend afford the cost.”
You ask the questions and your friend replies. “The specialists all agree that my problem can be cured but it means that I have to change the way I live. The way I’m currently living is self-destructive. I’m living way beyond my means. I’m in debt and running out of resources. Even worse is the fact that if I get really ill then it will affect you and your family badly. I need your help. Can you help me?”
At this stage you are probably feeling concerned for your friend but also a little worried that your friend’s condition is likely to affect you and your family. The questions in your mind now are: “How urgent is the problem? How soon before it is likely to affect my family? How much will it cost? What does my friend expect me to do?”
Let’s now get back to the original question. “Is Global Warming really happening?” The answer is that 19 out of 20 climate specialists have heaps of scientific evidence showing that it is really happening. They have found that the fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas that we burn are warming up the planet. They have suggested we could slow the problem by burning less fossil fuel and using more renewable energy like solar and wind power which is quite inexpensive these days.
They have advised us that Global Warming is already costing us in terms of money and health from freak weather, failing crops, drought, sea level rise and air pollution and will be a major threat to our savings, our health, our food and even world stability over the next two decades unless we act urgently to slow it down. It will also mean that our society will need to change to be more sustainable in the future.
Many countries around the world are taking action by installing solar and wind power to generate power for their people in their cities and towns. The Head of the United Nations and the World Bank, the President of the USA and many others have all said we need immediate action to avert the problem. Many European countries, China and India are working urgently on the problem.
In Australia the polls showed that the majority of the population believes that Global Warming is real and a threat. In fact this year 63% say that Australia should be taking a leadership role in reducing carbon emissions. Australia was a leader but is now falling behind as its current government is apparently more interested in money than the environment or people’s health.
It’s quite reasonable to ask if Global Warming is really happening and a threat then why is the current Federal government not doing anything about it? In fact, why is the government promoting the use of coal and gas and not promoting the use of solar and wind power?
The answer to this question comes down to money or more directly who owns most of the money. It’s no secret that there are many obscenely wealthy people in the world and they love their wealth as much as you do. Australia is rich in fossil fuels like coal and gas but most of it is now owned or controlled by foreign companies. Many local and foreign wealthy people have made a lot of investments in the fossil fuel industry and don’t wish to lose any of their investments.
We have seen from the ICAC investigations in NSW that there has been a lot of corruption involving ministers and the mining industry as a result. Not all our ministers are corrupt but most are likely to think about where they will work after they stop being in politics. The fossil fuel industry has been proactive in offering them jobs especially as industry lobbyists after they retire from politics so they will look upon the industry favourably. It’s a subtle form of corruption but corruption none the less.
In Australia, the polls show that more than 8 out of 10 people say they don’t like corruption; they don’t trust politicians; and they would like to see Australia invest more in renewable energy. So in short the government is being guided by what’s good for the fossil fuel industry and themselves and NOT what’s good for you and me.
So your best friend, the Earth has asked for your help. You can ignore the problem leaving it for your children and grandchildren. You can say it won’t affect you much as you won’t be around long enough to be affected adversely. You can try to fool yourself that it’s not happening and our politicians are all honest and only interested in the people that elected them. Or you can do something positive to help and be a true hero to your grandchildren.
“So the question is not whether we need to act. The overwhelming judgment of science … has put all that to rest … the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it. So the question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late. And how we answer will have a profound impact on the world that we leave behind not just to you, but to your children and to your grandchildren.” President Obama, 2013.
Global Warming from NASA’s Jim Hanson a climate scientist to TED – a worried Grand parent.
WATCH THIS VIDEO…..DISRUPTION…. it explains the predicament we are in very well.
If you liked this story you might also like A letter to my Grandchildren
For more stories by the same author visit the Des Pensable web site.