One of the issues regularly tossed about is climate change, or global warming. Even the most ardent of deniers of the climate change notion will reluctantly agree that the earth is indeed getting warmer. They will then argue to the death about the cause and the catastrophic effects put forth by proponents of the climate change theory. I have read the articles, and listened to the congressional hearings, and listened to people in general as they argue passionately for their side on this issue. Much of the opposing views seem to wallow in semantics and interpretations of various data collected by various sources, many dubious in nature as they have agendas and/or receive paychecks from agendas. Most seem to ignore some basic issues in their effort to prove some minor point about increased ice formation at the poles, or decreased ice sheets surrounding various land masses, or glaciers disappearing. All of these arguments are well and good I am sure, and, after proving your minor point you get to strut about pretending you have proven climate change or demonstrated climate change as a global conspiracy. Strut away if you must but there are realities to handle here.
Time and again we convinced Godzilla to take our side against the vile monsters our pollution would create. Time and again Godzilla and his mutant child won these battles for us. Godzilla isn’t helping any longer.
The underlying issue about climate change as I see it is pollution. Humans pollute. Humans pollute a lot. Now, when discussing pollution we have a segment of climate change deniers that are also pollution deniers. They will say there are natural events causing more harm to the environment than mankind has ever been capable of i.e. forest fires, and volcanoes. They will say man is a puny creature with no possibility of effecting the course of events on a planet as gargantuan as this one. Those like Senator Inhofe (R-OK) will cite bible passages as he states  “Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.” OK Senator, let us discuss arrogance for a moment. I think it arrogant of you to sit back and let mankind behave as it pleases and think God will have our back.
If there are those among us with the level of arrogance Mr. Inhofe demonstrates routinely then please, demonstrate. I wish you to go to the city of Flint, MI, take a cup, fill it directly from the river and drink it. I am certain if you believe as you say you do that God will purify that water with his plan before it does any damage to your little ol’ person. Alas, republicans do not believe this is the case at all though, as, in Flint, MI, they changed out the water for the GM plant because the polluted city water was rusting car parts on the assembly line. Government offices were supplied with bottled water all while the city folk were told nothing of what was happening. Why were steps like this needed by the republicans, or anyone, if mankind is puny with no ability to effect change on a gargantuan planet? Why were steps like this needed if, as Mr. Inhofe so elegantly says, humans are arrogant to the extreme to even think we should be involved in the plans God has for the environment. If we should not step in Mr. Inhofe, why was the water for the republicans bottled and the city water not?
Why do we have to routinely place animals on endangered lists lest they become extinct? Is it all over hunting and fishing pressure? No,it is not. When I was young I recall this nations Bird, the Bald Eagle, was on its way to extinction because of DDT and lead getting into the food supply of the eagles. This was causing a breakdown in the integrity of the eggs these majestic birds laid and threatened to end their existence on this planet. Mankind then made rules about lead shot and about the use of DDT. The eagles have made a comeback. How could any of that have happened if man has no role in how this planet lives or does not? I am sure Mr. Inhofe is penning a letter to me as I type explaining how mankind and legislation, in this particular case, were all a part of God’s grand plan. Why then Mr. Inhofe, did God let his plan get thrown out of whack by us silly DDT loving humans in the first place? Surely a deity that is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent would get ahead of something like that.
And, dear reader, before you start thinking my comments in any way question God, I will assure you they do not. I question the Inhofes of this world and their arrogance. I question their shortsighted behavior. If anything, I say to them that this God, or deity, they worship, according to the book they revere said something about this many times, one of which was ”Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”” Now, Mr. Inhofe, I do believe dominion means sovereignty; control, which in turn would require a certain care be taken over these things we are placed in charge of one would think. After all Senator, when you were elected by the good people of OK to exercise a level of control over their interests did you think then, or now, that this meant you do as you wish; that you could burn OK to the ground and it will all be all right? Or did the mandate include that, with this control, you worked in the best interests of the people and the land of that area specifically, and the USA in general, and even the planet we live upon? I bet it is the latter, if not in your mind, then in the minds of you constituency.
That we are the current masters and hold dominion of sorts over the planet I will grant. That this dominion allows the wanton destruction of life and the alteration of the climate and environment that life, as we know it, needs to thrive, I will dispute.
Well we are not being good stewards of this nation, or this planet, as one is merely an extension of the other. We have the ability to pay attention. We have some knowledge, some capability, to effect positive change, and yet, for the almighty dollar, we sit and argue and bicker over why it cannot be done. We need to adopt renewable resources for power. We need to limit as best we can the pollutants we spew into the air, onto the earth, and into the water. These are not abstract issues that need a consensus of scientific minds. These are look out your damn window and see what is happening realities.
I recently visited my old hometown of Waterloo, NY. I came to see for my first time the mounds of garbage piled high on the edge of town in the inappropriately named Seneca Meadows. I saw no meadows but rather mounds of trash that spew what toxic chemicals into the water, and air, and land, I know not. I saw three mounds which, according to  concerned citizens of the area that have been fighting this issue for 6 years, are 275 feet high and the truck traffic that hauls an average of 5,500 tons of trash to the landfill daily. The smell alone is described as toxic as methane and other toxins spew from the ground through pipes to release the pressure building up underneath. It is almost an afterthought that the existence of these mounds is also an eyesore. To my knowledge no one is doing health studies in the area to find out if there is or is not a risk attached to living and breathing in the shadow of “Mount Trashmore” as many of the locals call it. Also, as far as the future of this landfill is concerned,  “a 2011 assessment by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation indicated that Seneca Meadows still had 28 million tons of capacity under its permit, enough for about 14 years of operation.” This, coupled with the fact that new York City is a trash generating engine, as all metros are, means these piles of trash will continue to grow. If not in Seneca Meadows then in some other community willing to trade their health for their wallet.
If you believe man has no impact then live next to such a landfill. if you believe man has no impact drink the water from the lake directly. If you believe man has no impact move to Chernobyl.
For all intents and purposes the Earth is a living creature. We humans are parasitic little creatures fussing about making its existence miserable. Do we have the ability to destroy the Earth? No, we do not. I am not so arrogant as to think that we can do more than make it wholly unlivable for its current residents. We can not destroy life on Earth in its entirety but we can change it. We can pollute it enough to cause an evolutionary shift to creatures that can live and tolerate the waste products of man. Time for the cockroach to take center stage as it were.
When I was young in the 70’s we piled into the theater in nearby Seneca Falls, NY every Saturday afternoon to watch Godzilla and his cohorts muck about the planet for various reasons. One trend back then was Godzilla being spawned by the actions of mankind. Also many of his nemesis’s were spawned by pollution and other threats to the planet that mankind was responsible for. Time and again we convinced Godzilla to take our side against the vile monsters our pollution would create. Time and again Godzilla and his mutant child won these battles for us. Godzilla isn’t helping any longer.
Like a living being the Earth has a tipping point. We walk about feeling absolutely fine but then we do a little thing like get exposed to the cold for too long, get exposed to a little to much of a chemical or even a bee sting. In short we reach a tipping point where that one extra event compromises our immune system, throws the body out of whack. We are now the Earths extra event. Humans are the tipping point. When books like the bible were written, by humans, there were not many of us on the planet. In that time we had no industry, no cars, planes, trains, no understanding of the inner workings of the atom so no nuclear power plants. It is not hard to imagine that we also had no way to imagine we were going to grow to what we are today. Today we are maybe 7 billion strong. We have all the toys and the plants to make more. We have demonstrated an ability to cause massive destruction in many ways. We have become the actual masters of the planet. We are in control of much of its fate. In this respect I will agree with your book Mr. Inhofe. I will never agree with your interpretation of this book.
That we are the current masters and hold dominion of sorts over the planet I will grant. That this dominion allows the wanton destruction of life and the alteration of the climate and environment that life, as we know it, needs to thrive, I will dispute. Genesis 1:26 says to me that we are to be caretakers. That we may use what we need to survive but be aware of the limitations of this and our responsibility to those limitations. That we have the preferred status of an ability to understand our impact, to adjust this impact to suit the needs of humans, but equally important, the needs of the world upon which we depend.
We can argue till we are old and dead about climate change. We have no such luxury over pollution. Pollution is among the enemies we face as population grows and our economy, based on the production and distribution of today’s products and directly linked to the need to discard yesterdays products, continues unabated. Ignore this at your own peril sounds such an epic thing to write at this point but this is not a movie. I hear often from the right wingers in my life that we need to erase the national debt. They assert our need to leave our children and our children’s children a debt free world in which to live at nearly any cost. Where is it that these debt free children will live? On a planet so polluted by industry and wanton greed that they will not be able to eat the food, drink the water, or breathe the air? What dystopian future is planned for these joyous debt free youth?
Ask any professional sports team struggling with salary cap issues what happens when you leverage your future to feed your present. Maybe the companies don’t need the extra billion in profits this year. Maybe they can use that money to make the world a tad safer for those debt free kids. I am no tree hugging human desirous of the move to a little house on the prairie lifestyle. I love my computers and toys. There is a balance and this balance is being willfully ignored. I am saying this needs to cease.