By Dr. Molly Barrow
How often do you heed warnings? Who was
listening when experts suggested that Japanese/ American
relationships were so bad that an attack was eminent? Who paid
attention when experts said Germany might regroup and strengthen for
WW2? Were you the first in line to get the polio shot? When did you
finally accept Nixon should resign? Did General Shinseki and Powell
seem absurd when they warned over four years ago that America would
need several thousand soldiers to deal with ethnic tensions,
post-hostility control of geography and to ensure that people have
water and food or we would fail to secure Iraq? Have you paid off
your credit cards and cut them in half yet? Have you noticed fixing
errors later, rather than sooner, is really expensive?
How do you react to more personal
warnings? Do you argue that the experts don’t know what they are
talking about? Have you worn a condom every time you had sex since
the early eighties or do you bet your life that your partner is
faithful or that HIV infection only happens to other people? Do you
order an organic vegetable salad for lunch like your doctor suggests
or are you still eating only cows and potatoes in search of a
cardiac? Do you heed expert Dr. Blane Crandall, Board Certified in
Obstetrics and Gynecology, who informed the United States Senate
that menopausal women benefit from prescribed bio-identical hormones
because the danger of illness and mortality is reduced? "Women on
hormones not only improve their bone health but their whole body
benefits... a women's memory, heart, colon, skin, sexual organs and
bladder all benefits from continued use of HRT".
Or do you believe what an article in the newspaper said about horse
urine hormones? Are you exercising every other day for thirty minute
hard enough that you can hardly chat? Or do you take a short stroll
with the pooch and your paunch? Do you look for sympathy because
your organs are falling apart after decades of mistreatment? Doesn’t
it make sense to take care of your health today the way experts
suggest rather than pay for doctors and surgeries later? Would these
same principles hold true for Mama Earth?
everywhere are shouting an insistent warning about the whole Planet.
A report from the Pentagon in 2004 urged that global warming be
raised beyond a scientific debate to a National security concern,
and warned us about rapid climate change, the possibility of global
famine and wars over shrinking resources, like clean water. “In
the course of the century, water supplies stored in glaciers and
snow cover are projected to decline, reducing water availability in
regions supplied by meltwater from major mountain ranges, where more
than one-sixth of the world population currently lives” (IPCC,
2007). Imagine two billion thirsty and desperate people!
outcry is not the same as a shaming nudge to clean up your own trash
and recycle. No, this is a major hand wringing from all areas of
science, an urgent consensus from experts around the world that we
must act immediately. As the biggest of polluters, America is
receiving strong pressure to change from around the world. Do you
listen, really listen, to experts and not to people with political
agendas or advertising and media connections? Americans do take a
process and form an opinion. We are busy doing important things like
soccer, business meetings and fund raising. Our government moves at
a snails pace, and our heartland moves even more slowly. Yet, the
buzz about global warming is heating up. Just what is all the noise
Our atmosphere is holding on to too much
CO2, a waste product that comes from our dirty little habits like
coal and oil burning. About 75% of the annual increase in
atmospheric carbon dioxide is due to the burning of fossil fuels.
The remaining 25% happens when forests are converted to rangelands,
rangelands to agriculture, and agriculture to urban areas, which
have the effect of reducing the net uptake of carbon dioxide.
Temperature is projected to increase by 1.4 to 5.8 °C this century
which is a much more rapid rate of warming than during the 20th
century. Heat holding CO2 is bad news but the really uncomfortable
part is that severe consequences are happening faster than expected.
Factual evidence before our eyes like drowning polar bears and
penguins may break our hearts, but still not make us change our
most recent (2007) report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change estimated that surface temperatures could rise up to 10.4
degrees F over this century, and sea levels could rise nearly six
meters. Since scientists underreported or missed the current effects
in previous scientific papers, can we assume the actual facts are
much worse than reported. If we list the annual death causes to
humans or species in a chart, terrorism is way at the bottom and
global warming is way at the top. That is the strange disconnect.
The tunnel vision politicians spend our tax money like a college
girl with Daddy’s credit card and sweep more important issues under
the rug for the next generation to solve. If only the people who
voted for bad decisions were the only ones to suffer, but never have
so many lives been controlled by so few individuals. When global
mistakes are made or problems ignored, we all suffer and so will our
grandchildren. Yet, we have been warned.
Complacent and egocentric Americans will eventually change light
bulbs, buy fuel-efficient vehicles and bury coal emissions. The day
will happen when American law says that we must or incur punishment
with stiff fines, and probably not one day before then. When the law
requires you to replace old refrigerators, furnaces, and boilers
with efficient Energy Star models reducing energy consumption by
almost two-thirds, then you will. A “carbon tax” (a tax which
reflects the real cost of carbon pollution cleanup) will force
change because there are expensive penalties to avoid. Governments
can reward every citizen who installs solar, wind, along with other
smart energy and clean world action by giving substantial tax
relief. City governments can give homeowners who plant a shade tree
a hefty tax break. The tasks sound easy enough. Is any of this as
bad as standing in line with your shoes off every time you fly?
Americans can adapt, we are just so slow and lazy about it. However,
a true positive is that nearly every American is a law abiding
citizen. We follow the rule of law. Grumble you may, but turn these
recommendations of world experts into American law. Then, withhold
American dollars to anyone or any country who does not comply.
Bingo, cooler Earth!
your grandchildren that you accept personal adult responsibility and
that you will change your home and office light bulbs this weekend.
Tell them you are listening to the experts. Protect your loved ones
and others from an unnecessary Katrina or Tsunami, drought, species
extinction or war? Proactively ensure that the beachfront property
you promised to leave them remains right where it is today-above the
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