Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Crazy Debates

I've written before about the media-fueled "debates" about global warming (see here and here). Now, MSNBC tells us, there's a new debate about climate change: whether we're already at an irreversible tipping point that will lead to widespread destruction. Here's the spin:
This "tipping point" scenario has begun to consume many prominent researchers in the United States and abroad, because the answer could determine how drastically countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. While scientists remain uncertain when such a point might occur, many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 50 years or risk the triggering of changes that would be irreversible.
It's important, apparently, to determine if we're really, really doomed before we get off our seats and do something, do a lot of things really, about global warming.

The article goes on to tell us that the Bush administration scientists are still trying to determine if we're doomed:
"There's no agreement on what it is that constitutes a dangerous climate change," said [President Bush's chief science adviser, John H.] Marburger, adding that the U.S. government spends $2 billion a year on researching this and other climate change questions."We know things like this are possible, but we don't have enough information to quantify the level of risk."(emphasis mine)
I don't know about you, but I think that a better use of that $2 billion would be researching how to change our ways now. Or better yet, stop researching and use the money to start making changes. What am I missing here? This stuff is making me crazy!


  • At 9:40 AM, Blogger Melissa said…

    I totally agree! Why can't the people in power stop talking about a solution and just get moving? We don't need more research to confirm what we already know: the environment is in great peril. Whether the damage is great or small is insignificant. Things like this get me so worked up - Stop talking! Get moving!

    But I guess that's where people like you and me and all our fellow bloggers who care can make a difference. On a daily basis, we are all obligated to make responsible choices. Even though, for the most part, we are all doing small things (recycling, turning off the lights, carpooling, etc) the impact of those "little" things as a whole can make a BIG impact on the environment. Hopefully our blogging about these issues will inspire other people to be more "green," but the important thing is we practice what we preach.

    I've been wondering what I will post today on my blog, and now I know. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger madcapmum said…

    Makes me crazy, too! There's nothing more that needs researching, for pity's sake - we can see and feel what's happening. I think I'll go hyperventilate in my little corner. Er, with the lights off.

  • At 5:39 PM, Blogger spiral said…

    Interesting. The "level of risk" hasn't mattered when it has come to our anti-terrorism measures--we'll take over the world no matter what the risk--so why does level of risk matter for climate change? And why are NASA climate experts like James Hansen, who is part of that $2 billion we spend, being quieted for saying we need to do something and do something now? Aye de mi.

  • At 4:51 PM, Blogger lauren said…

    Nice connection with the Bush administration's treatment of risk when it serves different aims, spiral.

    As for the silencing of Hansen, well, that just makes me feel like joining madcapmum and breathing into a paper bag.


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