Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Two very important recent studies - it is time to wake up

There is an old joke that I first heard from a professor in the foreign language department at Texas Tech:

If you speak three languages, what are you called?


If you speak two languages, what are you called?


If you speak one language, what are you called?


It is not a very flattering view of us, but look around you and see if it holds truth in the circles you frequent.

The punchline in eco-circles has become disturbing as well.

If you deny the existence of man-made climate change, what are you called?

"American" once again fits the bill. And the inference from both punchlines is the same - we pridefully and lazily choose to be ignorant.

Concentrations of nearly all the major greenhouse gases reached historic highs in 2013, reflecting ever-rising emissions from automobiles and smokestacks but also, scientists believe, a diminishing ability of the world’s oceans and plant life to soak up the excess carbon put into the atmosphere by humans, according to data released early Tuesday by the United Nations’ meteorological advisory body. (From the U.N report below.)

In other words, people damage the air; trees and oceans fix the air, but the humans are overwhelming the trees and the oceans. And it is happening now.

July 2014 was the 353rd consecutive month in which global land and ocean average surface temperature exceeded the 20th-century monthly average. The last time the global average surface temperature fell below that 20th-century monthly average was in February 1985, as reported by the US-based National Climate Data Center.

This means that anyone born after February 1985 has not lived a single month where the global temperature was below the long-term average for that month. (Fom the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report article below)

It is indeed getting hot in here, and we need to find and follow through with ways to slow that warming.

Please take the time to read these two articles. Please look for ways to lessen the destruction we all cause daily.

May we hear the alarm and not hit the snooze button.