Sunday, November 6, 2011

Shocking News about Pollution, Global Warming and Climate Change Too Awful to Accept

Whoa! Climate change and global warming are in the news again!

Self-described "global warming skeptic" Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller recently completed a global temperature study and concluded that the Earth is warming.

Pollution, plant in Port Huron, MI
The amount of global warming gases sent into the atmosphere made an unprecedented jump from 2009-2010 - 6%, according to the US Department of Energy's latest world data on carbon emissions. "These results show that it will be harder to make the tough cuts to emissions if we are to head off a climate crisis," said John Abraham, professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering in Minnesota. Gregg Marland, a professor of geology at Appalachian State University, called it a "monster increase," the biggest ever recorded and much more than the worst case scenario predicted by scientists four years ago.

So how much carbon is being pumped into the atmosphere? According to the data, over 3 trillion pounds of carbon. Every year.

One of the reports featured a poll. "Are you worried about climate change?" The poll results showed that 81% of the people who read the article said "No."

And why is that, if the problem is so grave?

The answer is simple. Not only do people not want to imagine such awful consequences, they simply can't. When faced with horrible realities, like death and disaster, they deny them, put them out of their minds. They have too many other problems to deal with. Besides, the numbers don't make sense to them. Paradoxically, while the impact is amazingly large, in everyday life it's impossible to notice it. Three trillion pounds a year? Who can imagine a trillion of anything? Nobody. Not even a trillion dollars. Most people can't even imagine a billion dollars, which is 1/1000 of a trillion. Besides, the changes are nearly impossible to notice. You wake up the next day, and nothing seems changed. The following year, nothing seems changed. The changes are noticeable only if you compare centuries, which is longer than a human lifetime.

Scientists have told us that by the time the effects of climate change push ordinary people up against the wall, it will be too late to do anything about it.

I'm in my mid-60s, so I can tell you, my brothers and sisters, that I won't be around when people cry out in anger and amazement, "They saw it coming way back in the late 20th century. They could have avoided this disaster! Why didn't they do something about it?"

The answer is, as smart as we think we are, most people's brains are incapable of truly appreciating the problem. So while this stuff may be making a small blip in the news again, it won't be there for long.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .


Joseph Bernard said...

Paul Gilding's Ted Talk this year will make it very clear why everyone needs to pay attention to what is going on with the planet. I highly recommend that talk. Thanks for the post Dennis.
I think denial is not acceptable if you have small children because they will have to pay the consequences for our being unwilling to seek the truth and act accordingly.

Unknown said...

I will make an effort to change the electrical generation landscape in my island of Barbados.