Another area where I find myself constantly surprised is climate change deniers. Colin (aka No Impact Man) recently wrote a post addressing the "what if climate change didn't exist?" question. It was a nice reminder that there exists an entire movement of intelligent, educated individuals who vehemently deny the existence of climate change.
My first experience with such a person was when my former colleague (an Audiologist) came to Halifax for a National Conference. As we were walking downtown I mentioned something about how warm it was this summer. B. asked why we didn't have an air conditionner, to which my reply was, of course, "Because they're bad for the environment". From there he, to my complete surprise, continued to question my answers as to why, leading to the ultimate- "Well Lisa, don't believe everything you read online, climate change doesn't exist."
Screeeeeech (cue sound effect for stopping, gaping open mouth, unsure how to respond look). This conversation spurred months of back and forth emailing, him sending me news articles, my ever increasing frustrated responses until finally I politely suggested we agree to disagree. As I've learned over these past six months, there are many degrees and versions of a climate change denier, ranging from denying that climate change exists at all to whether humans are the cause.
Now as someone who believes that climate change does exist and is caused by human activity, it is quite difficult to read accounts from very passionate deniers. However, I have come to realize that understanding the intricacies of the debate is important.
The most frustrating point, though, is it feels a bit of a waste of time to argue over the why's, or even the existance of climate change. This is why I thought Colin's post was so timely and eloquent. Regardless of whether climate change exists, or who caused it, pumping thousands of tonnes of CO2 into an atmosphere that took millions of years to evolve in order to support life over a infitismally short period of time (100 years) is not advisable. Using energy that has an expiry date, dumping chemical toxins into our precious water systems and bodies, creating huge "dead" zones where fish can no longer live, destroying our forests who are our Earth's respiratory system... these are all catastrophic actions by a civilization that claims to "know" all there is to how our planet functions.
So trying to change my mind about whether climate change exists would never change my views on the importance our changes can bring to a planet we have been bent on destroying. Or the fact that I won't ever own an airconditionner, contributing to my city's smog (and subsequently increasing respiratory diseases in it's citizens) just ain't my thing. My favourite "I'm glad..." of his list: numbers 4, 5 and 12. :)
If you'd like more information on Canada's official position on climate change please check out their site. They also include a convenient link and summary of "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment (2007). Also, David Suzuki has an article addressing the debate on the existence and cause of climate change.
Brooks reminded me today (with her ever thoughtful posts!) on how strongly I do believe that, however naive I may seem, "Yes, together we can make a difference. That my choices, however small, are statements that my Earth matters to me. As a community, we can savour our world and help Her maintain Her Sacred Balance. That we all have potential for compassion, love and action."
Article authored by EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com