Two articles caught my attention this week about climate change and the human part of the equation.
The first was a series of photographs posted on Facebook showing how humans are interacting with our planet, and not in a good way. These photographs have had climate change on my mind more than usual this week.
The second was in our local paper this morning, The Albuquerque Journal, by Brian K. Sullivan. It discusses the recent past on weather fluctuations of extreme drought to extreme storms.
I’ll be upfront, I’m a believer in climate change.
I’ve seen a change in weather patterns just from remembering my youth in southern Ohio. We would get large amounts of snow each winter and it was cold. Now, in watching the weather, and talking to family, southern Ohio mostly gets rain during the winter, with bouts of snow here and there. In my youth it was all snow as I recollect, that would come and go. Although, in speaking with older relatives, they can remember when it would snow in November and wouldn’t melt again until Spring. So the changes have been evident over at least an 80-year span.
Living in Albuquerque, which has very little rain along with very little snow overall, there have been noticeable differences.
Some of our neighbors have lived in Albuquerque their entire lives (most of our neighbors range in age from 60’s to 80’s). They can remember monsoon seasons in which it would rain every day during the season. In my 13 years in Albuquerque, that hasn’t been the case. We’ll get heavy rains from late June to early September, but definitely not everyday, and definitely not as hard as when I first moved here.
If we pay attention, we can see the signs around us that humans are having an impact on our climate. Yes, the earth does go through cycles, but I would suggest not at such a rapid pace when one looks at the entirety of what we know of the history of our planet. Change happens, but very slowly over eons.
So, for me the bottom line is this. Let’s say climate change is a natural cycle upon which humans have no impact, does it really do any harm to continue to work to clean up the environment for coming generations as it will make it better for us all?
The flip side is this, if you don’t believe humans have an impact on climate change, and act accordingly, then you may be helping to accelerate our demise. If you are wrong about human impact, you are helping to create an unlivable planet for your children, grandchildren, and so on, until humans cease to exist.
Personally, I’d rather err on the side of caution, because the alternative doesn’t seem very moral or ethical to me.
I’d rather leave a better world for my children and so on for generations to come.