Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Climate Change or Not? Does It Really Matter?

Here in the Midwest we are currently enduring the worst winter that I remember in 34 years. Sure, I've endured cold winters and I've endured snowy winters, but this winter takes the cake. Technically I have been back at school for 16 days. I have worked nine out of those 16 days because of snow/ice/cold days. We've heard about about the polar vortex, we've witnessed the weather reporters shivering in the cold all around the Midwest and Northeast, and we've seen the photos and memes advertising just how cold it is outside. With the last two days off of school I have stayed at home with my two young children, making the decision to not take them out into the cold to daycare. Yes, this winter appears to be quite the phenomenon. And it's not just because of the weather outside of our houses.

For years there has been a lot of discussion in the scientific community concerning first "global warming" and now "climate change." The argument is that the earth is warming due to greenhouse gasses produced by world wide pollution. Much has been made of this suggestion. Al Gore made a lot of money off of An Inconvenient Truth while several conservative pundits have pulled together their own "experts" to prove that there is no such thing as man-made global climate change. This winter's weather has given the latter a lot of ammunition for arguing against man-made global climate change. After all, how can one argue that the earth is getting considerably warmer when it feels like Dante's last circle of Hell outside?

But my response to all the bickering is, does it matter?

At creation God gave us ONE planet, ONE home on which to grow families, communities, cities, and countries. That's it. Until death and eternity we have ONE place to live. So shouldn't we take care of it regardless of whether or not we believe the temperature of the earth is increasing due to human pollution?

Clearly, my response to this question is a resounding yes.

I get it. We are Americans. We like our personal liberties. We like to be left to make our own decisions. We don't want people telling us what we can and cannot do. It goes all the way back the Revolution. But at some point common sense should prevail. If something will save money while at the same decreasing fuel and power usage and as a result decrease pollution and destruction of our earthly home, why not do it?

In our home we started moving to CFL and LED lights years ago. I realize that there are many who cannot handle CFLs because of migraines, but for us the switch has been good, especially in a house with a lot of lights. If we could afford solar panels we would buy them to get as much off of the grid as possible. We have a truck but are excited to find out what the new F150 holds with better gas mileage, and we will switch a more efficient sedan when our kids no longer need the space of an SUV. We recycle everything we can. And our favorite vacations involve camping and taking our kids out into nature to see God's creation. We want them to appreciate the world around them. We want to teach them how to take care of their earthly home. We want them to understand that until they are in heaven, this is what they have so they should take care of it.

This is a big world. There are a lot of countries that have both a negative and positive impact on our worldwide environment. And while some national laws may be extreme and have an negative impact on certain sectors of our economy, common sense must prevail. We have to stop looking at each other as adversaries. If we are more focused on how we can clean up our earthly home and keep it clean we all benefit. It needs to stop being about whether man-made "global climate change" is real and start being about preserving the beautiful world we live in for our children and grandchildren. We need to stop making discussion of environmental issues about national politics and make it about doing the right thing for us and the generations to come. This is just one place of many where we need more common sense, but it's a place to start.

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