Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Newsweek Questions Climate Change, But Does the Science Really Matter?

Posted by telecommatt on August 30, 2007

Someone was telling me about a recent issue of Time Magazine [Trying to recall the conversation, I had thought it was Time, but it was actually…] Newsweek in which there were some articles questioning the reality of global warming. I don’t read Time, so I can’t substantiate this. Unsurprisingly, in the follow up issue (which I think is the current issue) there were a number of editorial responses. I would have expected that there would have been mostly heated arguments favoring one side or the other. This was, I am told, not the case. Instead, many of the letters that were printed featured people who were undecided, or sifting the evidence, or on the fence. Again, I can’t substantiate this.

But, umm, WHAT?! It’s a little too late in the game to be sitting on the fence. By now, you’re either helping stem the tide of human influences to climate change, or you are making the problem worse. If you’re not helping, you’re hurting. Let’s put it into perspective. We’re all in a lifeboat. Our boat has a leak. We each have a bucket. If you’re not bailing water with your bucket, you’re helping us sink.

Not to be dramatic, but my wife and I often have conversations along these lines. We are at humanity’s greatest crossroads. We could, quite literally, save the planet. Sort of like the movie Independence Day, but in real life. Or, we could piss away our small niche in our planet’s ecosystem and say to hell with all of our grandchildren.

I believe that this could be humanity’s finest hour. But it’s not up to me. Mostly, it’s up to everyone who is still undecided. It’s time to get off the fence. There is one way to look at the global warming issue that doesn’t require any scientific analysis or climate change models. What do you want the history books to say?

If we assume the worst, that is, if we assume that whatever decision we make about climate change is the wrong one, what would happen? If choose to act on climate change, and we radically change our relationship with the earth, and  it turns our that climate change really wasn’t a cause for alarm at all, history will say that we made a silly mistake that didn’t really cause any long term damage. On the other hand, if we choose to ignore the possibility of climate change, and it turns out that the threat is real, that disease, famine, and global economic collapse tear apart the fabric of society, then history will say that we had a chance to stop it and we did nothing. History will say that we, right now, are responsible for the deaths of millions, that we robbed human kind of a chance to live in what must seem to them a Garden of Eden.

Ignore the science and the politics for a moment. Ask yourself how you want to be remembered. Are you still on the fence? Which mistake are you willing to make?

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One Response to “Newsweek Questions Climate Change, But Does the Science Really Matter?”

  1. […] about taking responsibility for our future, there is an illustration that I like to use. I’ve stated this in several ways on my own blog and have even found a fantastic video on YouTube that goes over the concept quite […]

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