Seniors: Global Warming and Its Effect on Us All

Oct 2nd, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Global Warming is now cornered.  It is showing up world wide because of action and inaction.  Action is the continuing behavior of industrialized countries who pump carbon into the atmosphere.  Inaction is the ignoring of the real, present and scientfically proven evidence that global warming is edging us closer and closer to a serious cliffhanger.

Yet, with all the validity of studies, both in the Artic and around the world, the general public seems blithely to deny the eventual impact of a phenomenon beyond believing.   While the sky isn’t falling yet, there is little comfort in imagining that those whose lives are dedicated to research do so just to while away the time. 

Seniors may conclude that the situation is not and will not be grave enough to make any difference in our life time.  Poor reasoning!  Those who refuse preventative care in their health would be unwise to apply that behavior to this issue.  In either case, one is creating a scenario for disaster.  Global warming, which some seem to think has something to do with the local temperature, is often seen to be a fallacy because those signs do not suggest  imminent difficulty.  Such simplicity, as always, leaves us with indifference, apathy on the part of leaders, inability to reach more informed decisions and to assume undertakings which may help.

There are well intentioned souls whose efforts, while small, are intended to demonstrate sensitivity and sympathy with the larger cause.  These are tiny and very incremental steps.  We are now at the point, as always, where individual action needs to morph into international initiative. 

Pressing organizations, leaders and persons whose influence is such as to make a real and immediate difference is the strategy of choice, while not ignoring smaller efforts.  For persons who suffer from respiratory issues the case is already closed.  There are too many issues, like this one, which have begun demonstrating serious impact on human beings. 

Storms and excesses in weather, ravaging fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural phenomenon do not seem to leave a lasting impression.  That’s just way the world is.  As ocean waters rise and creep into areas previously occupied by towns and cities, will that just be the way the world is? When persons worldwide begin to wear masks to ward off the threats of pollution in the air we breathe, will we get the point?  When the waters we drink become rationed because of the chemicals and polllutants found in them will we start to catch on? When chemicals used in agriculture begin creating more and more health issues, will we finally ask why?

Beyond immediate and predictable concern for ourselves, it is time we took a larger interest and demonstrated concern for the state of the world’s failing condition.  This is not “crying wolf.”  Living as if there is little to no reason for educated and energized involvement in issues of this magnitude will not make them go away.  They are here.  More than two centuries of industrialization have taken their toll.  The encroachment of lands and waters not previously occupied leave little opportunity for finding new space. 

Edna St. Vincent Millay put it like this:  ” O World I cannot hold thee close enough! Thy winds, thy wide grey skies! Thy mists that roll and rise! Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!  World, world, I cannot get thee close enough!”



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