Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yes! President Obama's Ocean Policy & Much News on Global Warming

By Marcie Barnes

What's Going On

I joined twitter in February. I've been following a lot of "green" people, groups, and organizations. Yesterday, I was in a really down mood after watching the film HOME on youtube (what a beautiful film, with a great ending - please set aside an hour and a half to watch it!). It was just hard to watch the beauty and life on this earth being destroyed by man.

Today, I was delighted to see tweet after tweet about our government, our people, our leader -- all working together to reverse this horrible problem!

Now, what I'm talking about is a general problem with pollution and general disregard for the Earth by humans, coupled with the whole global warming crisis. Now for those of you still caught in "global warming denial," this is the way I look at it: let's just go ahead and say that humans are not causing global warming. Fine. I've been watching footage of icecaps melting (both inland and at the poles) and if we start to lose the hundreds or thousands of species that live in these areas, it quite frankly could be the beginning of the destruction of the food chain and loss of a beautiful part of our ecosystem as well. Who cares what the cause is? We need to do all we can to reverse the problem, and hey, let's try reducing "industrial age emissions" just in case.

In my last post I was happy to receive a comment from Anthony Pickles, a Web Editor for the documentary The End of the Line. Please take a moment to watch the trailer on their website and make a pledge to only eat seafood that isn't harming the earth, threatening species, or hurting you!

Twitter gem #1 comes from planetgreen.discovery.com - news about President Obama's Ocean Policy, which is a "soon-to-be-crafted, first-ever national ocean policy that will sustainably manage our country’s oceans" ~~~~hallelujah~~~~! The article suggests that you hop on over to the White House web site and send Mr. Obama a thank you note.

Next gem comes from worldwildlife.org -- an interactive climate map and summary of the "The U.S. Global Change Research Program report “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States." One of the most striking conclusions from this report is this: "Threats to human health will increase. Health impacts of climate change are related to heat stress, waterborne diseases, poor air quality, extreme weather events, and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents."

What You Can Do

1) The Natural Resources Defense Council has a handy-dandy online form you can use to automatically send a message to your lawmakers. This one is specifically in reference to the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Go here, now, fill out the form, and send.

2) Sandy at Green Eco Voice posted an excellent summary of what the average person can do to help. My favorite part: "You can become an extraordinary hero! Practice modesty and courage everyday. Become a leader for social change beginning in your home and your community. Personal actions defeat feelings of hopelessness and you can and will 'Help Save Our Planet'!" Oh, and the movie trailer made me shed a tear - how did I miss that movie???

In Conclusion & More Breaking News

This quote on worldwildlife's article really echoes my sentiments about these issues: “Climate change and what we do about it is going to transform the world much more rapidly than people realize. It’s my goal to get us moving to a world we will want, not one we’ll regret leaving for our children and grandchildren.” - Richard Moss, WWF's Vice President and Managing Director for Climate Change

And today from the White House blog: "An important element of this new report, apart from that it is deliberately written in plain language so we can all read and understand the science in it, is that it dives down in the various regions of the U.S. and provides much more regional detail about possible impacts than ever before – critical information for an effective response. It also breaks down the potential climate change impacts by economic and social sectors, most of which transcend regional boundaries, such as water, energy, health, transportation, and agriculture – all vital components of a healthy and stable society."

Thanks to all the tweeps who helped point me to all this information on twitter: @greenbiztweets(via@NRDC), @thegoodhuman(via @sampsa & @WWFUS), @gristvia@ClimateChangeUS & @whitehouse), and @PlanetGreen


Anonymous said...

Marcie, Check out Ray_Calabrese on Twitter. He also speaks to the EARTH cause! Let's keep our world GREEN. Thanks for your efforts.


Matthew Tripp said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kamal S. said...

I like your blog and message. In particular the time you spend making practical and concrete suggestions on sustainable food and life choices.

With all respect, on one point you do yourself and readers a disfavor. By using the phrase “global warming denial” you make a cheap shot; this is an emotive sensational and rhetorical term, worthy of glib pundits, not the responsible blogger you otherwise appear to be.

The link you attach misrepresents the arguments to the point of dumbed simplicity - choosing reduced presentations of points not as argued by scientists, but as presented by other pundits. It really doesn’t touch more nuanced arguments real actual scientists, not tin hat wearing paranoids, but tenured and well respected scientists, who criticize the theory of anthropogenic global warming, are making.

This is dangerous, the issue’s important. In throwing around emotive terms that are design to demean and ridicule people who disagree with you on this point you open yourself up to similar ridicule if you happen to be wrong.

The state of the environment and issues of sustainability are serious matters, and the general public has great difficulty deciding who to actually listen to.

A responsible blogger should be keeping the discourse level in an area rife with propaganda, grandiose claims, and exaggerations. You could have made a point without slipping in rhetorical weasel phrase and repeating rhetorical talking points.

I think you're sincere and too good a blogger to be irresponsible or sloppy here.

Have you honestly reviewed the literature claiming that anthropogenic climate change is a flawed theory? Not using a "debunking global warming deniers" website to catch up with arguments filtered by one whose explicit agenda is punching holes in “warming deniers” arguments. Honestly reading up on the scientists who have problems with the theory.

If not then you are simply not being intellectually honest, with all respect.

IF you are in this for humanity and environment (flesh and blood humans and their needs, you and I, family, lovers, friends get left out when we deal with abstract ideas) then I urge you to honestly engage both sides of the issue and leave your biases at the door.

Three years ago I firmly thought those denying climate change were tin foil hat wearing loons. I saw myself as a fair person and these people as paranoid ideologies. After a friend, a scientist on campus, challenged my assumptions it struck me that I was not fairly examining the other side. The literature seemed biased – Fox News talking point material – but as I read deeper I came to rapidly realize that there is no scientific consensus on the issue. Many scientists voices have been systematically ignored, even in the UNIPC. The issue was more contentious than publically presented.

The sneaking resemblance of the rhetoric condemning voices questioning the matter to the rhetoric rightly condemning Holocaust Denial struck me. Unlike the Holocaust, a historically recorded event of huge horror and magnitude, denied by politicized revisionists, there were responsible. Sober, sane, and professional scientists challenging the theory of anthropogenic Global Warming. Nobel prize winners, climatologists, physicists, and more.

I have not made up my mind on the issue, and I suspect that the actual truth lies somewhere in between the rhetorical extremes of both sides, but I do know this for certain.

There is no scientific consensus, and far more scientists disagree with anthropogenic Global Warming than the media leads us to imagine.

What upsets me is your tone seems self assured almost to the point of snarkdom, but there is every reason to suspect that you have not spent the time actually really delving into the issue. is it too much to ask that you simply spend some time giving a fair, and honest, examination of the other side’s points? The issue is far too important to just take matters on authority without really looking in.

It would reflect well on you as a thoughtful blogger. The choice is yours.