Indifference to the Earth, Our Home

Open field (photo by John P. Flannery)

Open field (photo by John P. Flannery)

There is this ridiculous notion that the earth is some magical waste dump that can absorb every harmful thing we do.

Some believe we can spew forth every kind of toxic garbage into the air, water, and earth and, magically and somehow it’s all good.

This happy time worldview is a direct result of a rampant childlike indifference to preserving and protecting our natural resources, and our own lives.

The “need for greed,” to get top dollar, that infects our energy industry “leaders” makes them distort the facts of global warming in the junk science they publish.

Our leaders take the corporate contributions of fossil fuel predators and vote their way, insisting that we not trust our senses that that’s what they are doing, even as they do it at the cost of our health and safety and survival.  In the bargain, they stall cleaner, safer renewable energy sources.

Remember those tobacco execs swearing before Congress that they weren’t spiking cigarettes with nicotine, and that no one’s health was at risk.

It’s the same thing when oil and coal and nuclear energy spokespersons tell us, in essence, that we can inhale deeply and with impunity the airy poisons that travel downwind from West Virginia coal mines, that we can drink waters spoiled with mined minerals, and that we need not worry about radioactive materials leaking into our groundwater.

They falsely reassure us with a wink and a nod that they can pump billions of tons of toxic gasses into the air because the so-called greenhouse effect is a myth.

They pump oil for our fuel inefficient cars, and wrongly reassure us that the expansive and inexhaustible waters of the world can and will absorb any oil spill, and that car exhaust is as natural a gas as life and death.

Politicians tethered to energy contributions add their voices to this choir of false calm.

We have a so-called democratic system paralyzed by the lowest common denominator of “understanding” of these dire threats.

We have a so-called democratic system that tolerates small and great corruptions in our public officials who have and may yet again compromise our general welfare.

With all this misdirection and misinformation, it is little wonder that some think global warming is a debatable point – and talk about the science as if it’s a “consensus” rather than a proven fact.

Dr. Tim Flannery (no relation), in his book the Weather Makers (talking about us “making” the weather), calculated that the daily emissions from 24 coal power stations in Australia, serving 20 million Aussies, was equal to 1.3 billion drums of Carbon Dioxide released directly into the atmosphere.  The really scary part is that Australia’s only 2% of the planet’s total daily emissions,

If you need evidence that, where there’s Carbon Dioxide, there’s greenhouse heat, take a gander at the shrinking ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica – melting faster every year.

Because the ice is melting faster, the sea level rise is being upwardly adjusted.

Our skies have warmed, and the air now holds “huge” quantities of water drawn up from our vast seas.  The skies carry and dump the waters on our coasts and inland.  The rising seas and storm waters overrun our sewers and water systems, flood our streets, float cars and homes, and are prompting migration from the water’s edge inland.

We can continue to fiddle or we can fix this.  Fixing means correcting our private conduct and public legislative policy.  We should drive a more efficient car, use energy more efficiently, stop using plastic bags, and elect much better public officials who will vote to reduce carbon emissions by 70% by the year 2050.

We can’t do nothing, not if we care about our own survival and the legacy that our children will inherit.