Category Archives: pollution

Environmental Wars

Another article sent to me by the Republican in my back yard (TRIMBY) was about global warming. If you watch any of the news channels you probably already realize that many Republicans argue that global warming is not real. They believe that any warming trends we see are just part of the cyclical nature of rising and falling temperatures on earth. It did not help that the study on which Democrats and others based their conclusions about global warming contained made up data. Republicans argue that Democrats invented global warming to rein in Big Business and, that by calling Big Business to task as the cause of the pollution that in turn caused this “supposed” global warming, they forced businesses out of America and destroyed our hegemony. I cannot imagine why Democrats would want to drive manufacturing out of America. Most Democrats are not socialists; they believe in the economic energy of a capitalist market place. It makes no sense to believe that Democrats would create an imaginary environmental problem, lay it at the feet of Big Business, and deliberately destroy the American economy. This is either deeply paranoid or is an argument being used for political spin by the GOP to tar and feather the Democrats.
As to whether global warming is real, it looks like we do not have enough data to draw a definitive conclusion. There is evidence on each side, none really definitive. The article that the Republican in my back yard sent to me contained a number of graphs that supposedly prove that global warming is not only hogwash, but that the opposite is true; the earth is actually cooling a bit. The problem I had with this article is that the author has a background in statistics which I do not and used quite technical language to make his points many of which rested on whether data was statistically significant or not. I must admit that my brain turned off a little bit and my eyes started clouding over and I went off into my to-do list for the day. To me it looked as if the temps in the charts actually did trend upward.
On May 3rd, 2012 the article in question appeared in the publication American Thinker, a conservative on-line journal. The article “Global Warming Melts Away” by Randall Hoven is a scientific article with many graphs and even a bibliography and is worth checking out.
When the author started talking about linear regression trends for the extent shown that’s when my eyes really started to glaze over, but those of you with a good background in statistics can check this out and see if these graphs have merit. I can wait until the evidence is clearer, but I still believe that the activities of 7 billion people on our little planet do have some powerful effects on our environment, that these effects are not always positive, and that, in our search for greater comfort, we have not always been careful caretakers of earth.
So TRIMBY and I had an email exchange about these topics of global warming and pollution.
Me: Whether the earth is warming or not, the effects of humans on the earth are huge and not all positive (TRIMBY) (true, so you are admitting that global warming is crap??). (He’s a witty guy.) The enormous amount of trash we have stashed all over the planet, the chemicals we have pumped into the air, the soil and the water are real.  The earth has much more capability to recover than people understand.  That is not to say I (or Republicans, or Conservatives) want to pollute the earth.  The reality is, that we do, we will and there will always be some.  Great example is how the ocean “ate” the big spill from the well that exploded in the gulf a few years ago.  The spill is gone…   The difficulties all this “pollution” presents to the cycles of nature that keep the earth refreshed are real. The exponential growth of the size of the human population on this planet is real. True in some place, not all;  in Europe, they are having problems with shrinking populations, except for the Muslim populations.  The eventual exhaustion of the fossil fuels stored under our planet is real (true, but it has been greatly under-estimated when it will happen.  Further, as it does occur, economics says that we will find alternatives.  We are searching for alternatives now and if they are more economical, then we will use them.   It is not wrong to look to ways we can lessen the negative effects so many people have on the state of our planet.  Look is fine, force is not. Planning should be more intense rather than less intense. You know I worry that fresh water resources may be our most pressing problem can be in some areas but shortages will raise prices and make people more conscious of the problem. and that our reliance on fossil fuels is wreaking havoc on what fresh water we do have (and even on our salt water resources) (How so??). I don’t understand why people argue that it is harmful to take care of our planet and to find ways to keep it healthy. It is about balance.  You can’t have zero pollution, or you can but we would be living in grass huts.  It hurts all of us – not just business.  You would not be able to afford to eat, shop, or own a home.  It hurts business! That’s it? But a polluted earth will hurt business and it will hurt all living things. We can’t listen to corporations when they complain that environmental concerns are hurting their profits (which by the way they are not sharing) (they share their profits with the owners of the business, as they should) if ignoring the needs of our planet will eventually kill us. Corporations who are far-sighted would realize that helping to take good care of the earth benefits their bottom line far, far into the future.  It isn’t about being farsighted, the environmental movement has raised awareness of pollution, buy things and really directly influence corporations.  This is good.  Corporations are about making money- which is good.  If they can make money by being environmentally friendly, they will.  You and I are both old enough to remember the 60’s and early 70’s… the air quality, the quality of the water in the lake, just the general amount of pollution.  The environmental movement has been good for everyone. Today, corporations know that by being green, they will attract more clients, generate more business – make more money… If a corporation is bad, a polluter, then shine the light on it and it will change from public pressure.
As for the fact that our environment is cleaner than it once was, that is because our businesses took themselves off to places where there are fewer laws against pollution and are now dirtying up other, once pristine locations.  Again, not really true; there is bad pollution in China today (probably one of the worst), but by far and large, those are companies that are owned by China.  It is really up to the people there to take control of the country – that is problem with Socialism, Communism, dictatorships… they don’t care how the people live.  From what I understand, they are getting better.  Also we are not the world’s policemen, we have helped and continue to help this country clean up.  If the liberals want to do something about it, publicize it, figure out which companies are the worst and boycott them, put them on the spot… democracy at work.   If we don’t regulate what businesses can do to the environment they will have no qualms about abusing it for profit.