Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FireFighting a Global Warming Duel

For those of you who are unaware, I am actively involved in an Environmental and Health NGO – Green Coalition Network. Part of my participation involves reading voluminous environmental reports related to climate change, global warming, sustainability, pollution, public health, etcetera, etc - submitted by various organizations that is later compiled and summarized for content syndication worldwide. Being an avid green activist, I would be a hypocrite if I criticized the reports I read every week, discounted their theories or disputed their findings.

But after 4 years of almost significant participation, I am still wondering where this is leading to? Daily news continues to roll in with regard to global warming and weather change especially but international and national policymakers remain unsure of both its veracity and consequences. Information that supports the theories of eco-alarmists and environmental skeptics alike seem to pepper the airwaves, while news of bush fires in Australia and devastating floods in India only aggravate the issue. To add to the barrage, I recently read that an internationally funded Weather satellite has just been tasked to exclusively study the melting of ice that sits atop the North Pole, allowing researchers to watch the movement of ice in great detail for the first time (yes, apparently first time). And the borders of Italy and Switzerland have to to reworked due to the melting icepeaks!

This issue that the human industrial presence was causing an unprecedented rise in global temperatures sparked a lively discussion among 2 of my close friends who are also involved in this area but in diametrically opposite fields. One is a researcher at a Greencetric NGO that actively hunts environmental violations by corporates and fights it out in courts while the other is a lawyer who coincidentally represents these corporate baddies. I played the firefighter albeit with a green bias and got to hear interesting arguments.

For my attorney pal, he dismissed the alarmist point of view and argued that nature needs to be harnessed. With regard to ice melting at the poles and the Italian-Swiss borders, he felt we could gather scientific data before jumping to political conclusions. Just because a wacky global warming activist misrepresents scant satellite information for her own visionary schemes, he felt there was no reason to go off half-cocked and ban the global internal combustion engine.

He complained that there were too many people who wanted social change at all costs, such as those who released urban bred animals to certain death in the forests rather than use them to warm our bodies or fill our stomachs, those who would rather leave millions starve for water than let build a dam and those who preach about poverty alleviation, govt negligence but themselves don’t pay the tax. Hmmm!

Even if the ice was indeed melting at the poles, he argued that we needed to avoid the divisive rhetoric of the eco-radicals in dealing with it, if we need to deal with it at all. After all, he felt there has been far more damage to forests from Mother Nature’s rains and floods than harvesting by loggers would ever cause. And responsible loggers replant with a constructive purpose; nature still needs to be harnessed. Mother Nature doesn’t think, and often environmentalists and global warming worrywarts don’t take time for that either. He stated both needed to be challenged when they run amuck.

After my lawyer pal was through downing almost a full bottle of Smirnoff, my eco-warrior buddy made his case for caution in our overconsumption and overcopulating ways.

Mother Nature, as you say, “needs to be harnessed” because we as a species have this mistaken notion that our running amuck is a “natural” Progression. If we hadn’t been so arrogant as to think plopping down 7 billion people on this planet wouldn’t have adverse effects on the climate, ecology, etc. then we’d understand that losing 200,000 acres of forest to wild fires isn’t that big a deal – or wasn’t till we reduced our forests to such a small tiny mass. We’d rather believe that this planet can get along fine with very limited populations of all species except our own.

Sure, the ecosystem is very large and not all effects are felt immediately; however, the belief that our present course of action won’t result in the destabilization of said system and the destruction of the planet as we know it - is the same stupidity and lack foresight and judgement which resulted in so many our children being born deformed due to their parents either exposed or/ of drinking contaminated water and food. He added that everyone wanted to believe that if it looks good two years down the road, then there are no worries… but as we all now know, that’s a big mistake and too big a gamble to risk this planet.

After hearing this loud verbal duel, I was left with enough food for thought of my own that I couldn’t declare a verdict nor present my personal view to this hugely gigantic issue. Mankind I realized needed a much bigger, collective and gargantuan firefighter for this burning problem and I was just a small fry. Really small indeed.


  1. Didn't really know you were involved in Green issues. You get bonus points for this.


  2. u made a lot of sense on BJP bloggers meet

  3. nice to post to here global warming. i like some word to your post like green collection issue.


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