Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009

Well, Company, today is Blog Action Day 2009, in which blogger all around the world register to talk about the same issue on the same day in order to raise awareness and spark conversation. You can get all the details at Now, I am, as usual, a little bit behind the times so I didn't find out about this until today, but I still was able to sort of jump on the train at the last minute and do my little part in order to combat...hmmm, let me see, what are we combating this year? Oh yeah, it's climate change.
Climate change is a little bit of a tricky subject, just ask Al Gore. He will tell you all about it. It is unfortunate that climate change is such a tricky think to tackle because it is exactly what we need to be looking at right now. Not that there aren't other important issues out there that need to be addressed, but none of them will matter at all if there isn't a planet with a nice, healthy climate in which to address them. Does that make sense?
So anyway, climate change is pretty tricky, because for as good as we are at sort of figuring out what happened a long time ago in the days before reading and writing, the overall changes in the climate of our gorgeous blue ball of life works in hundreds and thousands of years. And sure, like I said, we can dig up all the rock core and ice samples that we want, we can spend all the time that we care to analyzing the data, the problem is that in the last several hundred years we have, as a human race, had more impact on our climate and our planet that ever before.
It is true. The Information, Automobile, and Industrial Revolutions have had impacts on our planet so much greater than any other "revolution" it can barely be quantified. While the Agricultural Revolution had an epic effect on the human condition, there were so fewer humans on the planet at the time that it scarcely registered as a blip on the screen of climate change. But now, there are so many people treading the face of the Earth, who are using unprecedented technology in unprecedented ways, that the effect on our climate cannot even begin to be understood.
Part of the trick is to understand just how large of an effect the technology we use has on the world as a whole. Think about it like this: the thousands of bloggers who are sitting at their keyboards today, much like I am, and pecking away all these wonderful and eloquent words about climate change, are each using electricity, to power their computer, plus to power the servers that host these blogs. Add to that the electricity used by each person who reads these blogs, plus the electricity lost through the grid, the fossil fuels used to create that electricity, the fossil fuels used to mine the metal and silicon that goes into the computers, the shipping of the computer, etc, etc. It's immense. Now, I am not saying that you should stop reading Big Dave and Company by any stretch of the imagination, but it is important to realize that, in this day and age, with the world being as interconnected as it is, every single thing that we do created ripples in directions that we cannot even fathom.
So what's the solution when it comes to climate change, Big Dave? What do we do? I don't know. I don't pretend to have the answer. But I do know that there is certainly power in numbers, and the fastest way to cut down on our impact, and to maybe put the brakes on some of the human-created climate change, is to just do a little bit. We have all heard the statistics but they are true. If each of the six billion of us on Earth just cut down a little bit, turned off one unneeded light bulb every day, used one less gallon of water, poured one less pound of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, you can see how quickly that would add up. Now, I am not saying that a nomadic herder on the Mongolian steppe needs to cut down on his carbon footprint, he is having a very appropriate amount of effect on the Earth. However, I am sure that if I looked around I could easily find a gallon of water or a couple of pounds of emissions that I could cut out no problem. And I would venture to guess that the same can be said for you.
Before we go, I think that it is important to note that not all of the climate change that is occurring around us today is the fault of the human race. Some of the changes are just part of the cyclical nature of our climate, that is for sure. But the impact of homo sapien cannot be ignored. If the climate is changing on its own free will and volition, that is fine. But if we are the engine that is driving it that is unacceptable and we need to hold ourselves accountable and work to reduce our effect. Otherwise none of it will even matter. Happy Blog Action Day 2009.

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