A rant about global warming

I grow a garden. I buy locally grown produce, organic whenever possible. I compost our food scraps and garden waste, keep chickens for eggs, and save rainwater in barrels to supplement tap water for yard yuse. But

I should be doing more. I should have a hybrid car. I should have solar panels on my roof. I am not doing enough.

I can’t do enough by myself. Not when China is building new coal-fired plants at breakneck speed. Not when the world has 7 billion people and more on the way every second. We’re gonna go to hell in a hand-basket and it’s gong to be an increasingly hot trip. How can we fight global warming if people don’t believe that it’s real? How can we fight global warming if people are more concerned about the economy or whether or not OJ did it, or whether or not Dr. Murray killed Michael Jackson, or what Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan are up to. Wh Who the hell cares about them? Not me. But apparently millions of other do.

Jeez, people, wake up. The planet is going to burn. We’re headed for more severe storms, more severe droughts, and food and water shortages.

To keep the planet from heating up another 2 degrees C, we need to keep carbon dioxide levels below 450 ppm. Some say 350 is better. We’re at 390 ppm now. Every day, more power plants are going online, burning more fossil fuel. The International Energy Agency says that we have only five more years in which to get things under control. After that, it will be too late. Those new plants will go online and they will be producing all the carbon dioxide that the atmosphere can hold without cooking us.

But I may be preaching to the choir. Where do you stand on the issue of global warming? Do you believe that the planet is getting hotter and the climate is changing? Do you believe that it is manmade? Do you think we can do anything about it?

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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8 Responses to A rant about global warming

  1. Bee Girl says:

    Well now…where do I even start? I stand beside you on the issue of global warming. It’s happening, whether we (the collective we) admit it or not, and we are responsible for it. The climate is changing, the storms and droughts and melting ice caps and earthquakes are freaking me out. I’m changing how I interact with the world, just as you have (gardens, chickens, rain barrels, lower thermostats, etc), in the hope of affecting change in a positive way. Can we do anything about it? Yes, we can speak our truths, we can spread the word, we can share our veggies and eggs and hope to inspire someone who might inspire someone else. There is no quick fix (although we sure have quickly messed it all up…100 years ago, no one would have seen this coming), but if we focus our attention on our intention and try our best, then we can sleep well knowing we’ve at least done something.

  2. Ali says:

    Great post. I too believe global warming is here and will be a huge problem. I do my best to live in a way that minimizes my impact. I don’t, however, think we can do anything about it. It saddens me, I am deeply saddened by habitat loss and the fear and suffering it creates, but I also feel as though the people in this country are too selfish and unwilling to change or demand change. And while many individuals like you, Bee Girl and I do live in a way that minimizes climate change, the actions of individuals are not enough. We need governmental action and investment in green energy, and it will not happen quickly enough. That’s one reason Dan and I are going on our road trip next summer, because we believe things will get much worse, and peak oil will exacerbate the damage. Just call me Eeyore.

  3. Brenda K says:

    I’m with you, Dr. Lou! Line-by-line, in fact, up to the chicken part, and actually we just last night got the “all clear” from our landlord to add chickens to the Panache menagerie. We have also discussed rain barrels, but still have to work out the logistics of it. I even risk life and limb traveling most places within the metro L.A. area (and occasionally further afield) on a 50cc Yamaha scooter!

    I agree that all we can do is whatever we can to reduce our personal carbon footprint, however futile it seems, and hope that the less considerate (or more poorly educated?) members of the human race eventually wake up and increase the political will to at least make a collective effort to reverse the damage. What do you do with people who are apparent victims of a poor quality education and dysfunctional hereditary beliefs? If I hadn’t left the US to study/work/travel abroad when I was at university, I might well be still echoing the right-wing rhetoric of the working class San Diego neighborhood I grew up in…..

    And I eschew television and practically all American mass media for the exact reasons you cited – who the hell has time for such utter B.S., much less cares?!

  4. Lou, I know this is a late reply and I hope you get this. I agree, global warming is real and we are going to cause a great deal of pain to the generations to come if we continue doing nothing. It disturbs me greatly that some people with a public forum have taken to deny global warming and call it junk science, when they in fact know nothing about science. People who deny the findings of climate science do so because they don’t want to believe that this is happening. I got an MS degree in chemistry at the age of 49. I think I understand the scientific process better than most laymen and I find absolutely no reason to believe that climate scientists are making this up. Considering how bad the consequences of climate change will be, it’s unconsciable that people and corporations are denying this for their own gain.

    • Maryanne, yes the dwarf Meyer lemon will do well in a pot, a large pot of course. They are easy to find at good nurseries. Thomas at A Growing Tradition grows one in a pot in New England, bringing it indoors in the winter. I never really appreciated the taste of my Meyer lemon until I started reading Thomas’ blog. Now I enjoy the flavor. He has a recipe (me too, I copied it and then modified it) for Meyer lemon marmalade that is wonderful.

    • Mike, I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for stopping by and weighing in.

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