Why we should care about climate change - Our Daily Green

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why we should care about climate change

photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons:
5-foot world globes on display to urge everyone to
"take action against global warming"
As the autumn leaves turn in many parts of the nation and the weather gets colder, the inevitable jokes about climate change are waiting to be hauled out again. Every cold day, inevitably, someone will remark that it doesn't seem very warm for a planet that is warming. The scientific history of climate change is well noted.

Carbon emissions do affect our planet, even if the effect is not immediate. Carbon emissions can stay in the atmosphere for nearly 100 years and they serve as a type of gaseous insulating blanket surrounding the globe. While warmer weather may sound like a great idea to folks, it changes how our eco-systems function. Compare it to baking something in the oven. The difference in a recipe between baking something at 300 degrees versus 400 degrees changes the texture, the taste and the amount of time until the food is finished, and it could ruin the recipe. 

A recent survey from Time Magazine discovered that one of the reasons that folks do not take climate change seriously is that the majority of the effects will likely be a generation or two from now.  With the exponential development of new energy supplies, including wind and solar, since the 1973 energy crisis, our concerns about availability of fuel are assuaged. Plentiful availability does very little to encourage continued conservation. And yet, the question should not be "Will we run out of fuel?" but instead, "What does this rate of use do to the atmosphere?" 

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