Friday, March 12, 2010

Pondering, Musing, Mulling....

(NOTE: Pulling the ol' early AM weather shift for News 14 Triad this morning, so don't have the time to do my 'normal' Fried Fridays segment.  I started pre-writing this post yesterday to save time.  Who knows, maybe I'll write a 'Silly Saturday' story to make it up, since there are some really whacked stories out there this week...)

In the weather world, especially, an oft asked question is 'do you think man is creating global warming with CO2 emissions, etc.?  In fact, a friend recently posted such a question to a select group of us, this after a record cold and snowy could there be warming when there is so much cold and snow?

Keep in mind this issue is global and long-term, not limited to one season.  And even though the overall effect would be 'warming', it also means wilder swings in weather you would have the really cold with the really hot, overall setting a warming trend.

Even at that it's debatable, of course.  I didn't respond immediately to my friend's question, but a fellow meteorologist did by saying,

"I think we have some affect on the climate, but to what degree is still uncertain even with the millions of dollars of research spent on the subject of global warming. I believe at this point, to say that global warming is strictly man-made is a big stretch-the research certainly has shown many holes. Environmental stewardship benefits everyone, and I think that should be our focus for generations to come.

Cleaning up the environment by reducing CO2 emissions, and our dependancy on coal and oil should be a priority regardless of the global warming debate. The problem now is that too much has been invested into the whole issue that stopping one side or the other from continuing to press on will be nearly impossible. Let's just move on and stop wasting tax payers money on what should be an obvious choice... reduce, reuse and recycle!"

I happened to be at the computer when the email came in and I quickly responded thus:

"I second that emotion, Jason...whether or not we're warming the atmosphere is but a smaller issue to our rampant degradation of the planet in general, air as well as land and water. THAT needs to be the focus, to drastically increase stewardship and use political tools in addition to societal ones to minimize harmful environmental impacts.

But that means people, nations, and parties have to agree to compromise and work together...and judging by the way we're heading just within our own U.S. government, it's no wonder those prospects look so depressing..."

I grew up big in the student council world starting in junior high...any and all leadership classes and workshops dealt with what it was to be a leader...and while you have to have a vision you believe in and follow; yet you have to sell it to others, and you have to understand that you aren't God and that you have to COMPROMISE to see things move ahead.

Sadly, that's what I see SO little of in our government, yea, among individual citizens, absolutely hell-bent on seeing their ideology win out over someone else's, giving nary an inch of conciliatory turf.  That, to me, is pitifully, pitifully sad and heart-breaking. This I tell you:  We as a nation and society and democracy will get NOWHERE as long as we choose polarizing over compromising.  NOWHERE.  Some think it's all and good to stand for your beliefs, but not at the risk of destroying social and political fabric.  We have to wisely pick and choose our battles, and it seems waaaaaaay too many are dropping that aspect of 'wisdom' altogether...


One story that caught my eye Thursday is a northern Mississippi School district that has canceled Senior Prom altogether.  Threw the baby out with the bathwater they did, the whole shooting match.  Seems like the 'adults' in control of the Itawamba School District took issue with a student who challenged the rule that prom dates have to be of the opposite sex.  A same-sex couple wanted to go to the prom, with one of the ladies wearing a tux.  They challenged the law on the basis of constitutional rights, and the ACLU got involved.

So the board's answer was to just stop the whole shootin' match instead of dealing with a topic and situation worthy of consideration's that word again...compromise.  At least some other creative solution than ruining a huge event for everyone involved.

You don't have to agree or support or like same-sex couples and issues...but I really thought we as a great society were getting past such neanderthalic mindsets, sticking instead to baseless archaic rules created from manipulated religious roots.  At this moment I'm thinking of many same-sex couples I know well...and if this world had more like them (in terms of loving, kind, committed, philanthropic, giving, peaceful beings), we would have a far better place in which to truly live.  FAR better.


Anonymous said...

At this moment, there are people who are rowing across the Atlantic. They started in the Canary Islands and will end up in Antigua - 9 have already made it across. What is fascinating is the amount of trash floating in the water that these folks report finding thousands of miles from land. There is a famous trash "pile" in the Pacific ocean as well. No matter what you think of global warming, leaving trash anywhere is not good. Abigail

Suzy said...

Don’t even get me started on the arrogance and self-righteousness of indecisive governing bodies, religious zealots, or the irresponsible social mindset of this planet’s citizenry and culture in general ... this is neither our parents’ nor our grandparents’ nor our ancestors’ planet anymore ... and it’s a tragically sad, vicious circle that MUST be stopped. We as a global society, have sold our souls and our planet all for the sake of “progress” and “technology” and “invention” and “advancement”, etc. All of which are NOT inherently “bad things”, yet they have been pursued, and are continuing to be pursued, without any foresight into or respect for the immutable “Law of Cause and Effect”. Actions have consequences ... what we put in the earth, air, and water are not only detrimental to our environment, but these toxins all find their ways into our human bodies and the bodies of every living plant and animal. I have to believe that genetic mutations of microorganisms and other harmful, illness-causing bacteria (in both humans and the animal kingdom alike) are a direct result of environmental degradation.

I see an interesting oxymoron pretty much on a daily basis ... no thanks to the media and advertising hype: TV, web, and prints ads for “new biodegradable, earth-friendly trash bags” ... GREAT! ... except for the fact that the advertisements show “just how strong these bags are” by filling them with household junk and other non-compostable garbage! Hel-LO ... exactly what does that solve?! The bag biodegrades ... while the rest of “Joe & Jane Homeowner’s” trash and toxins lie in a landfill and/or waterway ... all in the name of “progress, technology, invention, and advancement”. And so the vicious circle continues ...

Sorry for the soapbox ... but it all just really ticks me off!!

Suzy :)

DAVID said...

You are right on the Mark, Bob. On many levels. And after reading the other comments, I don't really know if there is anything I can add! Way to go Suzy!

I will say that I remember an Oprah show years and years ago. The people were talking about learning to live on less. The ol', REDUCE, reuse, recycle thing, so to speak. It was about lifestyle changes and about not having or needing so much stuff. What I really remember about the program is how ANGRY the folks in the audience got at the suggestion to learn to live on less. I could not imagine such a reaction. I suppose it's the old "more is better" idea that was so set in their minds that they could not even give it a thought. But the anger?!? Blew me away.

We all could live on less, do without some of the "things" we have in our lives. I've always said if everyone shopped like my wife and I do, then the whole ecomony would collapse! We don't buy (no pun intended) into the "more is better" idea. And we live just fine.

I can't worry about all the others. I can only change one part of the world - my own. And maybe help spread the message a little. Thanks for doing that, Bob. You always make us think.