Every once in a while there is something really, really scary in the news. This happened a few months ago, when CNN reported a major ice bridge collapse in Antarctica, followed only days later by the prediction that this would be the first summer ever with no ice covering the Arctic. Why is this scarier than, say, an Airbus falling out of the sky or a mass murderer? Plane crashes are rare enough to not affect many people, which minimizes the threat tremendously, and mass murders can be caught and put in prison, not only removing the threat but also enacting some level of revenge. Ice, though, can’t be replaced and we need it at both ends of our earth. We are literally on the brink of catastrophic (for us) climate change. Ice reflects heat and sunlight back into the atmosphere, so with less ice at each end throughout the year, we are going to heat up faster, which causes more ice to melt, causing less sunlight to be reflected back, and you get the picture. Climate change is happening, and it is caused mostly by human industrial activity.
We have a moral imperative to do our best to live within the limited resources of our planet. These are resources that we are sharing with everyone else who will ever live on earth. We make decisions daily that affect our environment, whether we admit it or not. With a little conscientious attention to the decisions, we can make a difference. Thankfully, this does not entail running out and overhauling your house and your life. I’ve been at it for more than ten years, and I continue to adjust my habits. The nice thing is that these habits are passed on to our children, so we can reverse the craziness that has taken over in the last few generations. Think about it, the majority of environmentally destructive habits have started within the 65 years since the end of WWII. 65 years is less than one lifetime. Even if it takes us 65 years to assume more sustainable habits that halt or reverse climate change, it’s still within a lifetime. 65 years is doable, but only if we start now. So I say, all hands on deck!