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December 04, 2009


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The emails are a reminder that even scientists are falliable and human. If data has been massaged and deleted then their actions are to be rightly condemned.

But a larger issue still exists. Climate change is happening, glaciers have not stopped retreating, C02 levels are increasing, species are responding to changes in temperature and the oceans are growing more acidic among many other worrisome trends.

Even if it is still un-settled as to whether climate change is mostly the result of human activities, the reality is that the horrendous waste and amount of energy and resources we are consuming today cannot persist indefinitely.

The loss of biodversity,species extinction, freshwater depeletion, fisheries collapse are real issues that are impacting all us no matter how much some will want to scream hoaxes and remain in insular denail of a larger biological reality that is the absolute foundation of our lives on this planet.

Sooner or later we will have the alter our prodigious waste of energy by hopefully engaging new technologies and adopting mature behaviors that respect real conseravtion and wise use of resources.

Sometimes when I read the extreme reactions of climate change denailists and other reactionaries screaming about AGW conspiracies and how freedom will be sacrificed by adopting energy conservation, I think many of these people just don't want to soberly accept that in a world of 7 billion and counting, we all have shared responsibilities to clean up our messes,practice "real" conservatism and be responsible for our actions.

In this modern world there is hardly anything we do that does not affect for good or bad someone or something else. It is impossible to compatmentalize the world anymore into isolated regions or nations.

We are all in this together for better or worse.

I agree completely, Jules. The thing that bothers me is that the spectrum of opinion is so broad and the voices of vested interests so loud, that the facts become secondary to the "hot air" of the so-called debate. The fact is, regardless of the relative correctness of this graph or that graph, or the accuracy of a given prediction, that we are doing stupid and unnnecessary things to the planet. A simple glance out of my window reminds me every night - why are the lights in the office buildings of London still burning brightly? It seems to me that, communally, we await some global solution when in reality there are so many simple things (the "low-hanging fruit")that we could and should be tackling regardless - things that just make sense. For example, I was struck by an article in the New York Times recently on sealing up methane gas leaks:


plus a follow-up piece in The Guardian here in in the UK:


Thanks Michael,

I agree also about the small things that can be easily be done to conserve energy starting with all the unnecessary lighting in skyscrapers and other places at night.(not to mention the light pollution issue) I read that Chicago is trying to get owners of their tall buildings to turn off lights at night for energy conservation, but also in the spring and fall to keep migratory birds from colliding with them as they often do. Chicago is also experimenting with green roofs on public buildings.

I think there is a real grassroots effort being made by individuals and businesses to be more green, but it will take a Manhatten type project to address the major energy issues we face.

The bright side is that it could spur on perhaps millions of new jobs, small businesses and companies around the world implementing new innovations to save energy and generate alternative energy. I know some countries in Europe are already making forward thinking advances on these issues. China is being forced to develop green technology and implementing major conservation/restoration efforts because of their myopic and impatient desire to be a economic superpower. Their ecology is being heavily damaged by mega scale development.

Maybe the next step in our social evolution is going to have to focus on ecological restoration and conservation on a scale unprecedented in human history.

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