Is The World In Danger From Us?
I’m not a great environmentalist. I do care though, to the extent that I make sure to throw my trash away, I recycle, and I don’t throw things out of my car windows to add to the pollution that already exists. I’m not yet willing to give up my car and go buy an electric one, but I do worry about global warming, the shrinking of glaciers at an alarming rate and the rising of the oceans. Just thinking about New York City possibly not being there in 30 years, when it’s still possible that I might want to visit (possible if not probable) is a depressing thought.
Is the world in danger from us? The debate goes back and forth as to whether anything that man does can really affect the environment, ergo the world, in a negative fashion.
There are many people who don’t believe in the concept of global warming, and don’t believe that pollution has as much of a negative impact on the world as some scientists and other pundits have stated. Even former Vice President Al Gore has come under criticism for some of the green stances he has taken since leaving politics.
The debate stems from the fact that the earth has shown patterns of both warming and cooling throughout its life. The last ice age, which came about 20,000 years ago, came on its own without any impact from humans whatsoever. The Earth’s axis is known to tilt a few degrees here and there every so many millennia, and that can affect the climate of the earth.
So even as we seem to be having some very strange weather patterns lately, some people chalk this up to the normal patterns that the earth goes through from time to time. Yet, only last month CNN had a story saying that the next ice age has been delayed because of humans… and didn’t say that was necessarily a good thing.
There are some realities that everybody has to deal with that are man made. Pollution is an invention of man, and when there are problems with breathing because there’s too much pollution in the air and the air is so warm that it restricts airflow, there can be no debate that man has had an effect on the environment, at least locally. I haven’t even mentioned methane and fluorocarbons.
When we know that there is land that suddenly can’t produce crops or any other plant life, we know that it was man that pretty much overworked the soil and knocked out everything in the ground that it took to raise those types of things. Land doesn’t just go bad on its own, unless there’s a great environmental change to bring it on.
When lakes or the air around you starts to turn funny colors, you can pretty much bet that it’s related to pollution that’s either been put into the air or dumped into the water. Sure, every once in a while water may take on a different color than it normally has, but water usually goes between clear, blue, and green. If water is suddenly brown, yellow, or pink, or even gold, you know that’s the result of chemicals that have been poured into the water. When the sky around you is suddenly dense with white mist, pink mist, or pretty much any other color, and it’s close to you rather than way up in the sky, you can bet that it’s because of chemicals that have been put into the air.
I can talk about some of these things personally. I live in an area that still has what’s called the most polluted lake in America. For decades the company that’s responsible for it produced some kind of toxicity that went into the sky of one particular village and, at least until the mid 80’s, made the sky pink and left most of the houses in the area with films of dirt that couldn’t be removed because it couldn’t keep up with what the organization was putting out.
It’s easy to answer the question then as to whether the world is in danger from us; that answer would be yes. To what extent it’s in danger from us might be legitimately debatable, but there’s no doubt that in many communities the pollution factors can be so bad that it could affect the health of the people living there. All you have to do is spend a week in Dallas when the temperatures are in the 100° territory and the air is so thick that the city is putting out ozone warnings alerting people that it may be dangerous for them to be outside without something covering their mouths to help them breathe.
This proves it’s better to at least try to keep the air and ground around us as safe as possible for our survival. In my area, they’re working on cleaning the lake; they have a long, long way to go.