Global Warming, A Smokescreen for Pollution
Just because I say we don’t have a problem with global warming doesn’t mean that we don’t have problems. It seems to me that the only problem with global warming is the rise in ocean level due to the melting ice caps. This is a self limiting increase in sea level that can easily be addressed by making adjustments to our coastlines and/or transporting excess water to higher/drier areas creating lakes and vegetation in arid desert and mountain areas. This could be done by creating pipelines to pump the water to these areas. This would be easier (the pipelines could be above or below ground and powered by solar pumps) and safer than oil pipelines currently in use despite the threat they impose to the environment. I don’t know if they used ‘pipelines’ but this is essentially what was done in Israel converting a desert into orchards and vineyards. The ocean water could be filtered along the way removing salt and other minerals and chemicals, delivering ‘purified’ water to the deserts and mountains, or to anyone along the way who tapped into it. Either way it would be ocean water diverted to offset glacial melting. (Do we need to look past that and worry about a future where we will be ‘draining’ our oceans by using it as a resource?)
The simple solution to global warming is to plant more trees, and other vegetation. The reason it is hotter in cities than in the countryside around them is the cloud of CO2 surrounding the cities producing ‘the green house effect’ and keeping the heat from leaving the surface. Besides the CO2 that we produce when we breathe there are industrial sources which produce quantities of CO2 that dwarfs what we produce by breathing, but what is lacking are green plants; the ‘factories’ that utilize CO2 and produce O2 for us to breathe, thereby reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere allowing heat to escape from the surface, while also filtering toxins out of the air. Part of the reason the planet has gotten warmer is because it was initially covered by vegetation and we have replaced sections of it with concrete cities spewing out CO2. Hopefully this is a connection that has already been recognized and is being addressed by those who can do something about it.
It seems likely that the industrial giants who were responsible for transforming a ‘novelty’ automobile into a system of mass transportation were well aware of the impact of burning large quantities of fossil fuel on the environment as far as global warming is concerned. It is even reasonable to suspect that at the turn of the century (1900) the reason the internal combustion engines were chosen as a design for mass transportation instead of electric cars was so that mass transportation could be used as a means of increasing the release of fossil fuel back into the atmosphere as CO2 and (through plants) to O2 as a vehicle to warm the planet in a gradual and regulated way. How close we’ve come to a need to put on the brakes is currently up for debate. Certainly there is still an abundance of fossil fuel available for conversion. The problem is toxins that are locked into that fossil fuel which are detrimental to the environment and should be ‘filtered out’. However these are nowhere near as toxic as the manmade chemicals (herbicides and insecticides) that are being released into the environment at an alarming rate.
Most of the ‘problems’ attributed to global warming are real but, just as the sugar industry pulled the old bait and switch, blaming ‘fat’ for the problems that ‘sugar’ was causing, the polluters who are destroying our environment and threatening the health and the very life of all living things on this planet are blaming ‘global warming’ for the problems caused by toxic chemicals and poisons being released into the environment, 1, 2, 3, with abandon, and even introduced into our food supply to replace food.
What some (many, most?) people are eating is not real food. It is packaged foodlike substances designed to resemble food with a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats (and assorted chemicals) but ignoring the vitamin/mineral/phytonutrient needs of the human body inevitably resulting in ‘system failure’ in one form or another. These people need to be made aware of, and given access to, healthy one ingredient foods and learn how to prepare them so that they not only taste good but keep them healthy by providing the nourishment (and lifeforce?) their bodies require.
It is not global warming that is the problem but rather global pollution. Tropical climates have historically been teeming with life while frigid tundras have sparse ecosystems. As the planet warms we should see frozen wastelands turning into savannahs and grasslands and tropical reef systems moving into what have historically been colder waters. Instead we find them dying. This is not because of a few degrees of warmer temperatures (if it were the fish would just naturally migrate away from the equator to cooler waters), but is due to increasing levels of pollution that accompany the changes in temperature.
Growing up in Coney Island in the 1960’s there was always a question of whether the water was ‘clean enough’ to swim in. It was acknowledged that that part of the ocean had been ‘polluted’ by the ‘fuel trails’ of all the big ships that passed by and they were in the process of ‘cleaning up’ the environment. It was comforting to see the schools of baitfish swimming along the shore. My brother and I would catch them with a drag net and fill up buckets to freeze for bait when we would go fishing. There were also striped bass and other game fish that swam around the rock jetties along the beach. While it was ‘unsettling’ for me the first time I saw a large stripped bass near me in the water while swimming and I moved away from it, I now realize that it was not a threat to me but only to those baitfish. (Fortunately I never even heard of a shark attack in the area at that time) There was also seaweed growing along the bases of the rock jetties with bunches of mussels (similar to clams) growing amongst the seaweed. While I ate the fish we caught it never occurred to me that the seaweed and muscles might be an edible source of nutrition, or that they were responsible for ‘cleaning’ the water.
I have not been back to Coney Island in many years so I don’t know if Coney Island has continued to get cleaner or has been moving in the direction of more polluted. Just last week I was encouraged to hear on the ‘news’ that humpback whales were seen traveling in the Hudson river, but it is my understanding that there are vast areas of our ocean that are still being used as a dumping ground for sewage and industrial waste, and there are other areas with massive amounts of floating debris that are vast enough to be a threat to boat traffic as well as wildlife. While these floating debris fields may be in international waters and no nation takes responsibility for them we owe it to ourselves as a species inhabiting this planet to make an effort to ‘clean up’ this mess, and the sooner the better.
I remember going to camp in Pennsylvania as a teenager (1959-1960?). There were salamanders running around in the woods everywhere. I now live in the woods in Pennsylvania, but since I moved here (in 1989) I have yet to see a salamander. I don’t think the ‘climate’ has changed that much in 30 years, but I do think there has been an increase in the amount and kind of chemicals being released into the environment, by farmers on crops and by communities to treat or prevent infestations of ‘pests’ such as gypsy moths (and salamanders?). If we don’t restore the health of the land so that it can support a healthy population of animals and birds (the ‘canaries in the coal mine’) and bee’s we will create a vacuum that will make the planet less health for those that do manage to ‘survive’.
Our land is being treated as a toxic waste dump and our oceans have become a dumping ground for solid and chemical waste as if there was no limit to its ability to continue to absorb it, but it now appears we have reached the limit and the resulting accumulation of toxins in our environment is beginning to adversely effect our health on an exponential level as measured by the rise in health conditions that can be directly attributed to toxins in our environment and in our food supply. Politicians can be in denial about ‘global warming’ but there can be no denying the increase in many ‘adverse health conditions’ (e.g. allergies and autoimmune diseases) nor can they be in denial forever about ‘chemical pollution’ being the cause, or a contributing factor, to this ‘health crisis’ If the ‘government’ wants to reduce the cost of health care it would do well to start recognizing the benefits of reducing the toxic chemicals in our environment and our food supply, 1, 2, 3, 4 and shift from supplementing the corn industry to make high fructose corn syrup (a cheap and unhealthy foodstuff) and instead supplement growing (and distributing?) healthy vegetables.
Wouldn’t it be great to see a next generation growing up with less allergies and autoimmune conditions than their parents generation? Wouldn’t it also be great to see their parents generation recover from (be cured of?) their allergies and autoimmune conditions, simply by changing their diet and cleaning up their environment? Granted this would be a blow to the drug companies who are providing a plethora of products to suppress the symptoms of these conditions and to the medical facilities who rely on treatment of these chronic conditions for a steady stream of income, but I think it would be worth the sacrifice. People working in these industries/professions could be retrained in more useful and healthy professions, such as farming, or their professions could be ‘downsized’ as these professionals ‘retired’, or ‘transferred out’ of them as the ‘need’ for them decreased.
Pollution began increasing exponentially under president Reagan when he cut back on ‘government regulations’ and married Monsanto to the FDA allowing aspartame to become legal despite FDA scientists finding that it was a probable carcinogen associated with brain tumors. It intensified to a new level when vice president Chaney made fracking a household word (rather than the four letter word that it deserves to be) not only poisoning the soil and undermining the ground, but passing a law so that he doesn’t even need to tell you what kind of poisons and toxins they are injecting into the ground to extract ‘fuel’. Lets hope our new republican president Trump proves to be a different kind of president who will make things better and not worse, although it does seem as if he’s moving in the direction of Reagan to ‘deregulate the polluters’, judging from the advisors he appears to be surrounding himself with. I can’t help but remain skeptical and fear the worst even as I hope for the best.