15 October 2009

POLAR ICE: Who Needs It?

15 October 2009

A study released today announced that polar ice will be gone in 10 years. My initial reaction to such traumatic news is so often sarcasm, that I resist with great effort. The ramifications (those we can understand) are so far-reaching as to leave me a bit breathless. Let's not even talk about the polar bears, as they are already functionally extinct. The estimates I have seen predict that sea levels will rise 250 feet when all the ice has melted; goodbye New York City, Boston, Charleston, and all those places dear to me. It's hard not to think selfishly about these things; after all, we are each the center of our own universe. And therein lies the problem. I know plenty of good people that still drive SUV's and have houses that burn megawatts of electricity. I think we discount the larger effects of our own actions. We think to ourselves: because I can afford it, I am entitled to it. And there are so many rationalizations: "everyone else does it," "it's just a hamburger," "science will provide an answer." Comfort and desire are so seductive, and our contributions to the problem seems so small. Though we might have heard that livestock produce more global warming gas than cars and trucks, why should we deny ourselves that steak? After all, the world will end when we die, right?

4 comments:

Captain said...
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Captain said...
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Captain said...

To answer this query is to examine the human history of apathy. Who controls the power to create opportunities for change? Who controls the banks? We do, but we often don't realize the simple mechanism underlying all the bureaucracy. Language and terminology I would argue are the pre-ideology. As such the current dominating ideology, is that of apathy. Apathy controls the banks, and the resulting ideology, and postmodern capital theology resists education.

Scribe816 said...

I was into recycling before it became popular. I see the world through the same point of view that you do. I recently read a story where the younger generation of Japan was asked a question concerning the environment. They were polled as to what was more important to them, having the conveniences of today’s society or the environment. The vast majority picked conveniences over environment. To say it was disheartening would be an understatement.