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We are Witness to our OWN destruction!

I've been going through a lot of "things" lately because we're moving.. and something I came across was a box of old National Geographic magazines.. about 50 of them!
Apart from being quite heavy.. my goal at this stage is to reduce the amount of clutter and junk I hang onto.. and so with some reluctance decided it was time to part with these "treasures".
(I don't know about you.. but these magazines have always been one of my favorites)

So.. I'm bundling them into packs of 10 and taping them together to be put into recycling pickup.. and I note one of them is silver instead of the familiar yellow bordered edition.
December 1988 titled National Geographic - "Can we save this fragile Earth?" (They were celebrating the 100th anniversary of National Geographic 1888 - 1988)

I started to flip through the index and to the editorial, and from what I read decided I had to keep this copy and write to all of you about it.
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Perhaps it comes as no surprise to some that even back in 1988 there were growing concerns regarding this planet and our activities, concerns over population growth, poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation.

What really stands out to me is that concerns over what humans are doing to this planet aren't something new. We are active and knowing participants and witnesses to our own destruction.

We allow distractions like some fool politician (paid by the likes of Monsanto or Cargil or BP) arguing that global warming is a lie, but Global Warming is accepted as fact by the brightest scientific minds and clearly backed up by all the available data.

We ARE changing this planet. Worldwide pollution of the air adds millions of tons of carbon to the atmosphere every day. Besides being a major "heat sink" to the energy of the sun and warming our atmosphere.. this CO2 is being absorbed by the oceans.

*Current rates of ocean acidification have been compared with the greenhouse event at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary (about 55 million years ago) when surface ocean temperatures rose by 5–6 degrees Celsius. No catastrophe was seen in surface ecosystems, yet bottom-dwelling organisms in the deep ocean experienced a major extinction. The current acidification is on a path to reach levels higher than any seen in the last 65 million years, and the rate of increase is about ten times the rate that preceded Paleocene-Eocene mass extinction.

**Although no single country comes close to the 2.8 billion tons of CO2 produced annually by the U.S. power sector, other countries collectively account for three-quarters of the power-related CO2 burden. China comes second after the U.S. with 2.7 billion tons; followed by Russia -- 661 million tons; India -- 583 million tons; Japan -- 400 million tons; Germany -- 356 million tons; Australia -- 226 million tons; South Africa -- 222 million tons; the United Kingdom -- 212 million tons; and South Korea -- 185 million tons.

This is only POWER production.. and doesn't include transportation, deforestation, home heating, other forms of CO2 pollution, and as one link below indicates.. Earth's own CO2 production from volcano's etc..

Have you read this far? Have you checked out the links below?

What strikes me the most.. is that we have known about the effects of our activities on Earth for decades.. and we still doubt and argue in the face of science.. yet we believe everything else that our science teaches us.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle to humanity developing the will to effectively deal with this looming disaster is money.
We worry about what it's going to cost to clean up our "act".. rather than worrying about what it's going to cost if we don't.

This is very much like a delinquent mortgage situation. Sooner than later I believe planet earth is going to hit us hard with an "eviction notice".


* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification
** http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071114163448.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming
#environment #globalwarming #CO2
National Geographic provides free maps, photos, videos and daily news stories, as well as articles and features about animals, the environment, cultures, history, world music, and travel.
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Michael Fullerton's profile photoTim Southernwood's profile photoKathryn Brown's profile photo
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really interesting read. I recently came across the nat geo edition from the American Bicentennial in which the first satellite image of the country was included as a pullout map. It really made me think about how, even though we've known about the problems facing our planet for some time, we're only just starting to get the technical ability to share such findings widely in a timely manner and see the "bigger picture". Hopefully this will push us in the direction of making some real progress.

have you ever considered donating your old magazines to your local library or elementary school? Many would appreciate such quality literary material!
 
Really well said, Tim.

No one will ever accuse me of being the optimist in the room, but, that said, I think we've had our chance to clean things up and now we are hosed. Anytime anyone tries to make changes now, it becomes about "JOBS" and how many we'll lose if we change from the status quo and how much it will cost and "we can't afford that right now", etc, etc. Yes, it is all about the money.

I'm not religious in any way, but I was brought up going to church and Sunday School and such, and I remember the story of Jesus throwing the money changers out of the temple. I often think how that relates to our current situation in this world. All the people in the world that go to church on Sunday to forgive themselves for what they do Monday thru Saturday. Using the Bible to excuse their greed and destructiveness. If they really wanted to learn, the lessons are there and elsewhere as well. We have our Garden of Eden here and we're blowing it.

Very often, I'll hear a story about Mars and how similar in many ways it is to Earth and how, at one time, it may have sustained life. And I wonder if Mars was, in fact, just like Earth with cities and civilizations and cultures, but they did what we are doing. I wonder if that's where we're headed with this destructive behavior.

At this point in my life, I try to be a responsible human. I use as few chemicals as I can, I recycle, I try to conserve. When I get more money, I will get a vehicle that gets better gas mileage or is electric. I try to be aware of the problems of the world and do what I can - I try to be the change I want in the world. That's all I can control, at this point.
 
thanks Michael. I can't say enough how much I appreciate your comment, and I heartily agree! we are probably hosed because everyone IS just thinking money and not survival.
The crazy thing is... if ALL countries decided to quit spending so much on the war machine.. we would have more than enough money to deal with the changes we have to make.
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