“When people feel insulted or disgusted, they generally do something about it, such as whacking each other over the head, or voting…If climate change were caused by a brutal dictator or an evil empire, the war on warming would be this nation’s top priority…Or if it were caused by gay sex, millions of protesters would be massing in the streets.” ~Daniel Gilbert
In addition to naturism, I’m interested in a lot of other things. Such as the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that are quickly (not slowly) destroying the planet Earth.
Now, I love summer and warm weather, and I’m just as eager as the next nudist to leave the clothing in my dresser and run to the nearest nude beach or club on the first decent spring day. (Sunshine!! Spring! Flowers! Sunscreen! I get very excited.) But I’m more worried than excited this year. With all the record-breaking hot temperatures all over the U.S. (80 degrees, Chicago, in March?!), you may have been wondering like I have…Is it just part of the natural weather cycles? Or is it…dun dun dun…GLOBAL WARMING ?
Just concerning the March heat waves, that question will take several months of research and analyzing to answer. But global warming, more accurately known as climate change, is NOT just a natural weather cycle. It’s happening, it’s human-caused and we need to do something about it. Yet according to a Gallup poll, only 34% of Americans agree that it’s a serious issue needing immediate action. Have you witnessed or read about scientists or anyone debating the occurrence of climate change? And debating whether it’s caused by humans or not? Newsflash: It’s not a debate. The world’s leading scientists have already gotten together, did their studies and research, and confirmed that. In fact, according to the book Think by attorney / legal analyst Lisa Bloom, the UN brought them together 4 times since 1990 to confirm that it’s a human-caused phenomenon taking effect right now.
The National Geographic Society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the EPA, NASA, NOAA, all agree that the effects of climate change can already be seen in rising ocean levels and melting glaciers. The IPCC is predicting disastrous effects (some of which have already started) including flooding, extreme tropical cyclones, droughts, hot and cold temperature extremes, and an overall temperature increase of 2.5 to 10 degrees F, all likely to occur in the 21st century. Millions of people will be forced to relocate or flooded out of their homes and villages, and yet people in the Pacific island nations for example, will have nowhere to go.
Meanwhile, apathy seems to rule the American population as well as the U.S. government. The United Nations has long been criticizing the U.S. because “it has not adopted a comprehensive domestic program for reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions,” according to the NY Times article, “Global Warming & Climate Change.” The last big climate change bill didn’t make it past the Senate.
Now I know that there are plenty of other issues to worry about in the world like poverty, slavery, FGM. But who cares about the slaves and the poor people if they’re going to die in a massive cyclone in the near future? If we can no longer live on this planet, I (like Bloom) argue that all the other issues become secondary. Including naturism, if we have no planet to go naked on.
Though climate change is a huge global threat, elected officials are sitting on their hands. Thankfully, we can combat it on an individual level. So what can we do? One of the best actions is to switch to public transportation or a fuel-efficient car like a hybrid, which saves money (as much as $18,000 in the long run) as well as the planet. I’ve also never seen a better reason for going vegetarian or just eating less meat. Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how much of an impact agriculture has on climate change, but one IPCC author estimates that industrial farming accounts for 17-32% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Another recent study says we need to cut meat consumption in half by 2050 to avoid climate catastrophe. This is not hard to believe when you consider all the effects of slaughter, deforestation for grazing, and toxic animal methane gas/waste. In the National Geographic documentary, “6 Degrees Could Change The World,” one scientist calculated the carbon footprint of a cheeseburger and found that the entire production of one burger produces 200 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent! Beef and pork in particular have a high carbon footprint, so eating more chicken or fish could also help cut personal carbon emissions. See resources below for more ways to cut back emissions and slow down climate change.
So, what do you think about global warming / climate change? Do you think it’s a problem? Are you taking action and if so, how?
What is Global Warming? (Note: Global warming refers to the Earth warming up, but “climate change” is now the preferred name since some parts of the Earth will get hotter while other parts get colder.)
More Ways You Can Help Reduce Greenhouse Gases
- EPA lists ways for at home, on the road, at work & at school
- The Nature Conservancy has a simple list
- The Union of Concernced Scientists also lists what you can do
See comparison images of the effects of climate change from space like the one above on NASA’s website.