I learned the other day that there’s an organization out there which is selling the message that you, yes you, can stop global warming by shouting a number at everybody.
Where was I? Oh. Yeah. Shouting a number at everybody, and what does that have to do with global warming? Well, at present, scientists put the concentration of carbon dioxide gas in Earth’s atmosphere at 387 parts per million, give or take a part or two. Whatever happened to Brylcreem, anyway?
That 387 ppm is higher than Earth’s carbon dioxide concentration’s ever been before, so far as we can tell, and it’s way high enough to stick us all in the greenhouse under the hot sun and turn up the furnace. To get us out of the greenhouse, the carbon dioxide level’s got to come down. Somebody somewhere said that it’s got to come down to this round number in the middle of the 300s. And that’s the number which the organization wishes to have you stick onto picket signs, with which you’ll walk about until the politicians drop from exhaustion.
No, sorry, I’m not going to give you the number. Or the website for this organization. If you wish to do the heavy lifting, be my guest. I’d rather not assist you.
Why not? Because the organization and its founder(s) remind me of … wait for it … Billy Graham.
Yes. That Billy Graham. The one who made a whole lot of money (some critics suggest an $80 million personal fortune) on Crusades. Crusades that played to packed houses in
football gridiron stadiums and made thousands of rapturous friends of Jesus at a time.
Who turned into thousands of rampaging enemies of Jesus six months later, when they discovered that, rapture or no rapture, they still couldn’t pay the rent, and now they had tithes they couldn’t pay either.
What does this have to do with global warming?
Let’s assume that a whole lot of people buy into this global warming organization’s call to action and become rapturous converts to the cause of saving the planet, George. Thousands of people at a time pack arenas, shouting and carrying picket signs with the organization’s number on them. What will happen?
1. The organization’s founder will become rich and famous.
2. The organization will fail to convince world leaders to enact policies that effectively reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, leaving thousands of people with broken picket signs and broken finances from paying dues to keep the organization’s founder rich and famous.
Or (and this is worse):
3. The organization will succeed in its mission, and will goad world leaders into making the kinds of decisions that will lead to significant reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide. The crowd goes wild.
Until the crowd discovers just how much, in personal liberty and living standards, their success is going to cost them. Information that you’re not going to get just by chanting a number.
Awhile back, the Dudes related the story of the global trash pile. How each person, on average, generates twice as much trash today as 50 years ago, but, in order for the globe to generate no more trash than in 1960, each person has to reduce/reuse/recycle to one fourth of what had been going into the waste stream before this paragraph hit the blogosphere. Because there’s now twice as many people on Earth as there were in 1960.
One-fourth of the driving, one-fourth of the electricity consumption, one-fourth of the food consumption …
And it would not be enough. For atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were already rising at unacceptable rates in 1960. So the world’s leaders, goaded by picket signs into trying to meet the goal of reducing global atmospheric carbon dioxide, will have to try to cut personal living standards even more.
Inside of six months, the same people who were carrying carbon dioxide numbers on picket signs and screaming “Save Our Planet!” will be back carrying starvation budget numbers on picket signs and screaming “Give Us Back Our Lives!!”
The environmental awareness movement would be taken down by the wrath of its own erstwhile converts. Planetary ecological collapse might actually happen sooner than it would have otherwise, thanks to all this.
But the organization’s founder would still be rich and famous.
Doesn’t sound like a recipe for saving the planet to me.
– O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.