I know a guy, Bill, who categorically denies that there is global warming. His main rationale is that there was an article in Time or Newsweek in the 1970's predicting an ice age. Therefore, the media always has it wrong and is always trying to scare us in order to sell magazines. Yes, he's a typical right wing mouthpiece, and mostly I ignore him, because he is mostly wrong and time has proven me right more times than him. If one more Republican tells me that "Bush is not the man I elected" I will have to drop kick them. Of course he is the man they elected, the very same one. Wishful thinking rarely comes true.
This global warming got me thinking about scare tactics. The big ones he cites are the ones that come to mind first: Y2K and killer bees. Can anybody think of others? The most current one is that the war in Israel is the start of WWIII. Time will tell, and anything can happen. It sounds over the top but one thing leads to another, and it wouldn't be so hard to engage the western world if someone over there had it in their mind to do it. A terrorist strike in the US right now would probably seal the deal.
But I digress. Back to scare tactics. I wonder: since so many people worked so hard and spent so much money to make sure their computers were up to speed for the year 2000, is it possible that they actually averted any crises? I don't know. We never heard about if after January 2, 2000.
And didn't I hear that the killer bees stopped their northward journey in Texas? Were the people there ever affected by these bees? According to Wikipedia, the killers bees are still moving north, and nobody has figured out how to stop them. I was at a party on Sunday in Westchester, and boy were there a lot of bees there. Several people were stung. Maybe they were killer bees. I'm sure we would have no idea.
My friend also mentions earthquake scares and bird flu. These are weak arguents because thousands die every year from earthquakes, so maybe he is talking about California falling into the ocean? Does anybody really doubt that there will eventually be several big earthquakes that will be devastating to the western US? I never heard somebody say that they thought it was bunk. They just don't know how to predict when it will happen.
Bird flu is still around, and the effects of it are yet to be known. But try telling the person in Staten Island who just died from bird flu that it isn't scary.
Speculation is the question.But does denying that global warming might be true do any good? Would we really be wasting our resources to address it? It seems obvious that pollution can't be good. The greed of the polluters and their shareholders who aren't willing to trade cleaner emissions in exchange for smaller profits is stunning. What are they going to do with all that money if they create a legacy of pollution? Why does profit-making for shareholders rule the decision-making process? Why isn't it good enough to make some money instead of gobs of money, employ thousands of people and be kind all at the same time? I don't understand the shareholder thing. How come keeping employees who have good jobs and our air clean are not more important than the shareholders?
We all really don't have to be rich. We really don't. At the minimum we have to be not starving and not living outside and not cold. As I keep having to remind my mother who is freaked out that we are going to pack very lightly for a 2 week trip to Brazil, it wasn't that long ago that most people only had 2 sets of clothes. She can't fathom that we won't smell bad. I remind her that because I wear a pair of pants four days in a row doesn't mean that I don't take a shower. Nobody I know can understand why I live in a hovel that is cheap and small rather than a big house in the suburbs. If I had all that space it would have to be filled with more crap and more buying and more waste and more shopping and more repairs and more taxes and more stuff. I can't handle all that stuff. Don't need it. Sometimes I think I want it because my friends all have it and they seem to be much happier than me, but when it comes down to it, I must not want it or I would have made it a priority and be living there instead of here. I do wish I had more wall space to hang paintings. That makes me wistful.
But then I think about pollution personally. Could I have afforded an extra $3000 for a lower-emission car when I went car shopping in February? I probably could have managed it, but I chose not to. Why? Because I am also guilty of greed. I want that extra money in my pocket for vacations, clothes, cherries, cell phones for everyone, high speed internet, movies and cable tv. I did spend more to get the good seat so that my back would hurt less. What I really want is for the car companies to let me have the better-for-the-environment car that comes with the nice seat, at the same price as the polluting car. A girl can dream.
I want what we all want. I want to be good, as long as it doesn't cost me anything. Now I really hate myself. Thanks Bill, and stop picking fights with me.