More than occasionally I read articles or hear pleas for environmental change so we can "stop global warming." The climate is changing. There are natural systems that have been set in motion and there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop it. Yes, I agree that we can stop making it worse by reducing what we put in the air that doesn't belong there. But, even that is a bit tongue in cheek. The heaviest poluters simply buy carbon credits, allowing them to continue poluting the environment because someone else is doing something good. Well, one does not exactly equal the other. It will be decades before we can really do anything meaningful about the levels of polutants we put in the air. But, even that is simply a drop in the bucket. Factor in the growing population. Factor in China and India's growth into industrialization. Factor in the slashing and burning of the rain forests in South America to make room for more feed lots for cows which are spewing methane, a far worse green house gas than CO2.
I'm not a pessimist, I am a realist and I think a far better thing to start thinking about than "stopping global warming" or the absolutely ridiculous attempt to sequester CO2, is to figure out what positive steps we can take to adapt to all the changes that climate changes are going to bring. How do we deal with urbanization? What do we do with millions of people without water? I ask myself every day why I don't read about massive plans to clutter our shores with desalinization plants. Why aren't State governments buying up all the offshore oil rigs and turning them into water treatment plants? Why aren't we making plans in low-lying areas to build dikes, just like the Dutch? Why are we planting corn to create biogas when we are on the verge of a food shortage?
I am very excited about the advancements in nanotech and stem cell research and that we are going to wipe out cancer and malaria and stockpile organs grown from stem cells harvested from cord blood. I haven't seen any plans about how we are going to deal with the huge spike in population that these advancements are going to bring? People aren't going to just stop having kids, and if a culture is used to having seven children because half of them die, when the children aren't dying any longer, the culture is not going to suddenly change. China has a population growth rate of .35. The US has a rate of .95 but most of the countries in Africa are growing at rates or 3, 4 and 5 percent annually. It's these countries that are going to be hit hardest by water shortages. The fourth largest inland lake in the world was in Africa. It's almost completely dry now. What's the plan? Sequestering CO2? We are spending billions, yes, billions of dollars to sequester CO2. How much are we spending on food and water for a hungry world. I am all for a cleaner and healthier environment because I believe Aubrey de Gray. We are going to live very long lives.
It's time to start creating real plans based on real needs. We have to stop following the smoke and mirrors. The damage is done. The climate is changing and in a couple of years we're going to know it and then it will be too late for a lot of people.