With Earth Day and Arbor Day behind us, it’s worth looking back on the environment news of the week, just to get an idea of how the messages of climate change are being perceived.
The American response has been a resounding “meh.” Perhaps that’s fair enough, given the fact that much of the national news was focused on the capture of the Boston Marathon bombers and the devastating explosion of a fertilizer plant in Texas.
Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out that there were some powerful newsworthy items that should make us think about what’s happening to our environment:
- The surface temperature of ocean waters on the eastern coast of the United States are the highest recorded in 150 years.
- Research has shown that the number of flooding incidents worldwide has “jumped 9 times” since the 1950s to 180 events per year. Not through bad weather – but by humans altering the landscape.
- Thousands of species of plants and animals face extinction through climate change, destruction of habitats and poaching.
- The desperate demand for oil and gas is threatening some of the most beautiful places in the United States.
Before you throw up your hands and say exclaim that it’s all in the hands of the politicians, consider this:
- Our politicians are confused about the statistics and sources of information on climate change.
- The think tanks and sources used to inform politicians have been found to provide unsound and occasionally false information.
- The media adds to the confusion by often mis-interpreting and mis-quoting the information available.
So what can you do?
Read as much as you can. Draw your own conclusions. Express your views.
How often have you been at a meeting, conference or lecture where the speaker opens the floor to questions and then faces a wall of silence? It’s awkward. People are not thrilled with the prospect of raising their voice. They may get laughed at – or thought to be a bit stupid – or a trouble maker.
Wake up people! Your silence is giving the decision-makers free reign to do what they want. They take your silence as approval.
If you have a problem with climate change or other environment issues – cough a little and raise your hand. Ask questions, write letters, buy a friggin’ bumper sticker – but do something.
It’s never too late…