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Global Warming: Do we just enjoy the time we have left?

Global Warming: Do we just enjoy the time we have left?

I’ve been an active environmentalist for years, but nothing makes me feel more powerless than two words: “Global Warming.” I’m SO done with the debate about whether or not climate change is happening. What I want to know is this: can we as individuals actually do enough to stop it in time, or should we just do what little we can and enjoy the time we have left?

 
I think a lot of people feel very upset about global warming but do nothing because they feel their individual actions cannot really make a difference. I can understand how someone mostly focused on spending her next paycheck would simply ignore the whole thing; it’s too big and scary to think about.

 

I feel that way too, at times. I know that growing my own food, owning a fuel efficient car, and riding my bike to dinner add up. I make fewer emissions in that moment, but it’s hard to overcome the feeling that my singular action is less than a drop in the bucket of melted glacial peaks. Even if I add up everything I do, which is a lot more than the average American, the earth continues to warm and dead sea lions keep showing up on my beach. So sometimes, I just ignore my concerns and drive.

 

The government’s been no help. By heel-dragging for years, the White House has set a terrible example of apathy. If our elected leaders can’t do better than declaring CO2 emissions a health threat, we’re sort of… in deep trouble.

 

Yet, I also find that taking action – doing ANYTHING – makes me feel better. When my whole family gets out and bikes to dinner, we’re all happier. The simple joys of fresh air and wind on our cheeks give me hope and inspire me to do more. When I resist the urge to buy my kids a new toy and instead offer them an old silky sheet and clothespins, I’m making a difference and my kids are happier than they’d have been with a new “thing.” And since it’s my children who will suffer most from the effects of global warming, it gives me the resolve to keep trying.

 

In truth, the White House’s recent global warming report indicates that we need massive change now. We need everyone to make significant changes, and I don’t know how to make it happen. We need ideas, and then we need to implement them. And while passing belated legislation to slow warming is key, it doesn’t seem good enough. Do we need to wait for the government to mandate all the changes we’ll need to make if global warming is to be stopped?

 

So, here’s my challenge to readers: how can we convince the majority of emission producing citizens that we need to make individual change, that every change counts, that every action can be empowering? How do we persuade the masses that we’ll need to make sacrifices, change the way we live, to save ourselves before it’s too late? Or have we become too committed to our disposable lifestyle to turn things around in time?

 

I’m curious about your responses because perhaps they’ll tip the scales the next time I’m feeling pressured to make a not-so-green choice.

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62 comments

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10:47AM PST on Jan 31, 2013

Climate change is a reality. I remember in 1998 when Peter Jennings on the 6 o'clock news stated, "Scientists all over the world have now agreed that the hole in the ozone layer is only getting bigger and cannot be repaired," and I wondered if anyone else was listening and really "heard" what he was saying.
I have been a student of yoga philosophy since 1977. The only thing I believe someone can do to effect change is at the level of local community. Because, if you take a look at China, for example, they are creating so much toxic waste and pollution - with little or no regard for environmental consequences - that really, it wouldn't matter if everyone here in the U.S. did something to counter the damages. And that's just one country who don't give a s**t.
On one level, I try not to think about what's happening, as it's just too disturbing to contemplate. On another level, I am aware that true peace is only found within, not in the outside world. So, whether we should all ignore the obvious, put our heads in the sand and dance/play like there's no tomorrow, is a personal choice. We can only do what is put before us to do. Personally, I feel best when I am being of service to someone or to some worthwhile organization.
I also believe if it weren't the intervention of Angels, Diving Beings and other Enlightened Entities watching out for our planetary well-being?.. we'd probably all be blown up by now!
May I suggest we all do our part.. then dance to Prince's "1991" like th

10:41AM PST on Jan 31, 2013

Climate change is a reality. I remember back in 1998 when Peter Jennings on the 6 o'clock news stated, "Scientists from all over the world have now agreed that the hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger and cannot be repaired," and I wondered if anyone else was listening and really "heard" what he was saying.
I have been a student of yoga philosophy since 1977. The only thing one can do to effect change is at the level of one's local community. And that is only to make oneself feel good. If you take a look at China, for example, they are creating so much toxic waste and pollution - with little or no regard for environmental consequences - that really, it wouldn't matter what anyone did here in the U.S. to counter the damages. And that's just one country.
On one level, I try not to think about it as it's just too disturbing to contemplate. On another level, I am aware that true peace is only found within, not in the outside world.
Whether we should all just ignore the obvious, put our heads in the sand, and dance/play like there's no tomorrow, is a personal choice. We can only do what is put before us to do.
Personally, I feel best when I am being of service to someone or to some organization.
I believe if there weren't Angels, Diving Beings and other Enlightened Beings watching out for our planetary well-being?.. we're so greedy and lustful and selfish as a species.. we'd probably all be blown up by now, if it weren't for their interventions!
May I suggest we do ou

10:02PM PST on Jan 30, 2013

Thank you for article... interesting comments.

10:01PM PST on Jan 30, 2013

Thank you for article... interesting comments.

10:00PM PST on Jan 30, 2013

Thank you for article... interesting comments.

5:07AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

As individuals we could vote for the political parties that offer to make the changes needed (voting apathy is a part of the problem), we can try and reduce our own personal emissions (even though this is not radical enough), we can reduce our own individual guilt by being a part of the solution, NOT the problem. But frankly, the debate is poignant in that we don't have much time left. I intend to enjoy it by appeasing mother nature. Sadly after 37 years on the planet I have just learnt to drive and I love speeding along in my turbo charged, petrol guzzling, sports car...some times I see why most people choose to ignore this dilemma as "ignorance is bliss". But my kids have a right to point the finger when they work out that my generation, as guardians of the planet, handed over a global mess.

6:20AM PST on Dec 14, 2009

Ihave already given my comments on June 24th.WE HAVE LOTS TO DO TO GROW MORE TREES AND ADD MORE OXYGEN

11:25AM PDT on Jun 25, 2009

I don't think the debate is whether global warming is real or not, but rather whether it is happening because of our actions and if it's our responsibility. (Which in my opinion, it definitely is).
What sucks for me is that I've grown up debating whether I should even have children for fear of bringing them into this world. On one hand, I don't want to contribute to overpopulation or have them face whatever hardships climate change brings about. On the other, I know that it's people like me, people that are actively trying to stop global warming, that need to carry on their family line.
Most girls pictured their fantasy weddings when they were 11; I pictured adopting orphans in Africa.

9:30AM PDT on Jun 24, 2009

I am surprised that, even on a site like Care2, some comments reflect disbelief in the reality of global climate change and its effects. There are so many studies by so many different bodies all of which show that it is occurring, has already significantly changed ecosystems and will cause much more dramatic changes. There may well be differences of opinion as to the rate at which such changes are occurring and as to the causes, but I do not understand how someone examining the scientific evidence available can doubt the phenomenon.

2:28AM PDT on Jun 24, 2009

I am also an ardent environmentalist collecting lots of seeds of Avenue Trees and donating them for Free tree-plantation/Sapling plantation. I have given a write-up about my Hobby sometime back. Some 50 people have signed this. Out of them, some are seriously concerned about Global Warming and are actual tree-planters.For Global warming to be tackled properly, everyday should be an Abbor-Day and every citizen in all parts of the World should plant daily 10 trees minimum

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