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Submitted by scholar warrior on
Dear Florian, I agree with the observation of some of the people here (and most out there) that there is a tendency to link any devastating calamity to global warming, even those that are seemingly far fetched. Climate change happens and will happen whether or not we spew something in the atmosphere. The earth is dynamic and has been for billions of years, yes, we probably our forefathers in the industrial boom have caused this change to occur at a much faster pace, can we slow down or reverse whatever has been done in the past? Nobody can say for sure. The earth has its own way of maintaining balance to itself, a process that we still do not fully comprehend. A volcano erupting somewhere, a specie lost, a chemical introduced to the ecosystem, nobody knows for sure what adjustments the planet would do to one of these things happening, what more if these happen at the same time. The planet is adjusting, and those adjustment may or may not have anything to do with what happened to the devastated areas you mentioned. If you can show me the specific linkages please do. That said, I believe we should still try to do something. While climate change appears to have caught the attention of many scholars, the media, policy makers and world leaders, it is but a small part under the big umbrella of environmental degradation, which sadly has been pushed out of the limelight. Population is growing at an alarming rate, a big share of that population is becoming more and more affluent (China and India to name a few) and would be demanding more resources, probably more than what the planet can produce. Companies in their drive to produce faster, and in bigger quantities introduce chemicals and processes that alter the environment, plants, animals, deplete water resources, devastate the land etc., and you don't need to wait 50 years to see the effects of these things. Go to any city and you'll see dead rivers, polluted streams and garbage. This can be linked more to dying species, deforestation, new diseases, war over resources, than some polar ice melting somewhere. What makes it worse is that everybody is talking about Climate change and how to make money out of the right to spew greenhouse gasses. We are also made to appear powerless by mainstream media (all of which depend on environmental degraders and oil companies for advertising revenue), who frame news as though the world depends on what leaders, policy makers, states and corporation decide to do, which should not be the case. We should remember that these companies exist because there's a global need that they fill - our needs for food, shelter, clothing, water, energy. We make them exist everytime we buy their products and services. Incandescent bulb makers ceased to exist (or forced to sell better things) because we opted to buy more energy efficient lightbulbs for example. If we can find a way to be informed and inform others about the impact of particular goods or specific brands to the environment, and suggest alternatives, those brands will cease to exist or at least be forced to innovate. Right now, for example, there is no incentive for alternative fuel innovators to exist because we don't make them competitive by supporting them with our purchases. Coal burning plants still exist because we don't demand for natural gas, geothermal, hydro, solar and wind power, and the reason we don't demand is simply because we don't know which products and services are made using coal power. The debade on environmental degradation should not be focused on climate change alone. It should be wholistic, and the market scheme (wherether it be trading carbon, or some other spewage) should not just be between companies and governments, the people should have a big part in that, and democratized media/information technology (internet/mobile) can make that happen.