I don’t know what climate change deniers smoke, but I suggest they put the following data in their pipes:
Having just lived through January (and most of February), I can attest to the fact the weather was mild. I do not recall any winter being so warm. But what do I know? I am not being paid to deny climate change...
Headlines about melting melting polar icecaps appear with increasing frequency and growing alarm. Anyone with half a brain and a bit of schooling will understand the dire consequences for various aspects of life on this planet.
Recently, I read an interesting article in The New Yorker about ships sailing from Europe to China along the northern coast of Russia: something only dreamed about by earlier explorers and deadly for many that attempted to flaunt nature. Also, I notice changes in the climate, because air affecting climate where I live is heated and cooled at different rates than in the past.
Despite negative effects of the general warming of the planet, I am happy to be living at a time of increased warmth and not during an Ice Age. Europe must have been rather unpleasant at that time, especially without central heating for homes and seat heating for automobiles. I will have only one life to live, so I want that to be comfortable...
In movies about the old West, scenes on cattle drives show dumb animals blindly being led to slaughter. Creatures at the front of the line, which might have noticed approaching danger, had no way of informing those that followed.
Humans are no different...or, perhaps, worse. People can warn of an impending crisis, but most ignore reality.
One could forgive citizens of the Soviet Union for believing government propaganda, because they had no other source of information. What is happening with information about climate change is not much different, but citizens of the United States have access to many sources of information. Too many are simply too stupid to look, listen, or learn...
Today is the kind of day that warms the heart of Global Warming deniers.
Winter has returned...or so it seems. The heating is running at full tilt, and warm clothes are needed. Rain only adds to human discomfort and spoils outdoor festivities.
The North Atlantic Oscillation cannot be at fault. My opinion is that we are paying the price for advances in human evolution. Inventiveness has come back to haunt us in the form of climate change. Fortunately, the flip side of inventiveness is modern housing (better than caves), heating systems (better than a campfire), modern fabrics (better than full body hair or animal skins), and umbrellas (better than...uh, I don't think our earliest ancestors had an equivalent: they just got wet).
So, we have to take the bad with the good...and continue to complain about the weather.
Why does this not surprise me?
Of course, such exposés will have no positive effect...unfortunately. Most people are more interested in celebrities and “reality” television than actual problems or crimes.
By scanning several newspapers and television news channels from a number of countries, one realizes how different countries are.
There was a blip in interest in all countries about the dangers of nuclear energy following the tsunami in Japan. That story has been pushed aside by other issues, depending upon the country...except in Germany.
Although nuclear energy makes up only 24% of the country's energy consumption, there is a major push to reduce that to zero as soon as practical. This is the lead story of most newscasts and front pages of newspapers. Pressure is being exerted by the increasingly popular Green party, and the weakening Social Democrats are jumping on the bandwagon, hoping to revitalizing flagging voter interest. The right-leaning government feels itself forced to play along with popular fear of nuclear reactors. The population seems to be resigned to paying higher energy fees in the future, but accept the need to reduce the number of nuclear reactors.
No other country gives this topic such prominence in their news. Of course, the US is not interested in anything that will hurt industries. Major energy suppliers spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to discredit science behind global warming and promote use of fossil fuels or nuclear energy. France is too dependent on nuclear fuel to be able to move away. The UK government is too weak to make any decisions. Other countries seem to have their heads in the sand.
Some people warn that humans are destroying the planet. One culprit is the burning of fossil fuels.
In an attempt to reduce this dependence, man has invested heavily in nuclear energy. This subject is a constant theme of conflict in Germany; other major industrial countries seem to have accepted its dual-edged-sword aspects.
Events in Japan raise old and new questions about safety and sustainability of atomic energy. Opponents have been having a field day, smugly touting their "rightness". To my simple mind: that's not the issue. No one seems to be credibly addressing the question of how to provide energy to a hungry, growing human population. Few want to walk, use candles, and freeze in winter. There is no simple solution available.
For the moment, the only quick solution to lowered reliance on nuclear energy is increased burning of carbon...
...which will aggravate changes in the earth's atmosphere and alter conditions on the surface for humans. It will not destroy the planet, but it will affect human survival.
So, here's the point of the post headline: Does that mean that the planet--in the form of a humungous earthquake, which changes human behavior--is changing the planet? Now, that would be ironic.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.