Sunday, March 17, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure

The title refers to a well-known quote from one of our founders, Benjamin Franklin.  Personally, I think it is easily as important as a guideline on how we live as is the Golden Rule.  I do my best, when making a decision or before going forward with an action, to consider the consequences.  If only those who wield power or who influence our lives now and into the future would adopt such a long range vision instead of seeming to only be concerned with immediate gains or results (the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico & Keystone XL pipeline to cite two examples), I feel all life on this planet would be better served.  That includes the lives of the powerful and otherwise influential as well.

Once again Moyers & Company had a powerful episode today.  His guest on the show was Anthony Leiserowitz, a researcher with the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.  I feel that everyone should take a little bit of time out of their busy schedules to watch this show.  The information provided, along with the presentation of that information, puts forward a wealth of information necessary for every person everywhere.  It isn't filled with charts or incomprehensible facts and figures to write down or commit to memory.  Instead he presents an easily understandable reason to move NOW to take action to do something about climate change.  He also presents facts in a reasonable way that anyone can understand, with or without an advanced degree in any of the sciences.

Some of the facts he presents are startling.  Working with Gallup, a worldwide poll about climate change was taken.  In some countries, they found that up to 75% of the people polled had NEVER HEARD about climate change.  He delineates six distinct groups based upon their position on climate change.

Most people rely on the media for their information.  Not only do environmental issues receive short shrift in the media, but climate change is barely a blip on the media's radar.  If our information sources don't treat this issue (or group of issues) as critical, why would the general populace?  Add to that the current state of our media, where a few corporations or moguls control most of the print and airwaves in the marketplace.  Plus the media rely upon advertising revenues to keep them up and running.  If the advertisers have a policy of denying climate change, what are the chances that the media will give front page coverage to the problems of climate change?  We have the internet, right?  Well, contrary to a current commercial - not everything you read on the internet is true.  Unfortunately much of the internet is polarized and biased.  A rush to be first in reporting something often leads to the wrong information being put out there.  We only need to look back to last summer when CNN reported that the Supreme Court had overturned the Affordable Care Act.  They didn't read the full verdict and were left standing with egg all over their faces.

Below is the video of Moyers & Company with Anthony Leiserowitz.  It's about 45 minutes long.  It is worth YOUR time.  Please take that time and watch it.  Let me know what YOU think.

For more information on Anthony Leiserowitz, visit this link.

Information about the Gallup Poll can be found here.


  1. I don't see anything that can be done on climate change. Look at the photos of China, where people wear masks and walk through a fog of pollution. Half of contributing factors to climate change is methane, much of which comes from exponential numbers of livestock. If most of the world went vegetarian, climate change could be reversed. You don't even hear that in environmental circles because many of those railing against fossil fuel use, eat meat. I think we're screwed.

    1. I'm surprised. You are so rarely pessimistic. That's generally my position. Have we passed the point of no return? It's possible, but I still think we need to try. And the public needs to get on the bandwagon.

      Personally it was only going to affect the human race, it wouldn't matter as much to me. It's the plants and animals who are of the greatest concern to me. They are going to suffer due our arrogance, stupidity & greed.

      For those who believe the bible verbatim, what manner of caring god would destroy the Earth's plants & animals because he was pissed at humans? Certainly not one I'd deem worth worshipping.

    2. I was actually referencing "the flood" in the bible & not climate change. But I guess that's part of the thinking from the religious right.

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    1. The thought of someone plagiarizing my posts never crossed my mind. It's just my opinion, with links to sites that either had an influence on a specific post or that has additional info on the topic. Short answer - no I don't know how to prevent it from happening.

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  3. OK... I think I'll go watch this video now... but my general opinion is that we're totally screwed. I mean, even if all emissions stopped today, the permafrost in the arctic is already melting, which means it's letting loose ton after ton of methane, and the feedback loop has already begun.

    The time for seriously limiting our emissions was 30-40 years ago. And don't even get me started on population growth. We're basically at the point where even per-capita emissions cuts WAY beyond what anyone is seriously discussing, would be completely wiped out by population growth as soon as they were undertaken.

    I'm not ready to start driving a Hummer and just say phuckit, but I do believe that short of some sort of crazy geo-engineering solution that removes carbon from the atmosphere, I believe our goose is cooked (literally!)

    Whatever life (human or otherwise) that does manage to survive this, I think it's pretty clear that the planet of the pretty near future will be a totally different place than what we'd recognize.

    1. Okay this is starting to bum me out - both of my online generally optimistic cat buddies are the pessimists. Not fair!

      I won't be around when (?) life crashes. I'm grateful I'm as old as I am, every single day. I still believe efforts must be made.

      Let me know what you think once you've watched the video. I think it's hard not to be encouraged by Leiserowitz.