OUR MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPEDIMENT TO FIGHTING GW
One of the most powerful, persistent, and overwhelming hindrance to our national ability to reduce GW is our arrogance. We believe we are due special consideration in the world.
This may be even the most significant element in our inadequate response to GW.
We think that whatever we have we have created, and we believe nature is here to serve us.
But that is not how the world operates. Nature does not care what we say or believe. Nature continues to respond to the unbalance we have created in its delicate natural cycles.
Our arrogance may stem from the immense, seemingly unlimited gifts nature gave us when we took over the US. Huge forests were covering much of the land, mighty rivers supplied us easy, low cost transportation, and all the minerals, oil and natural beauty were not yet used or destroyed.
We got the impression that we made all this wealth, and that we can use it as we wish. We ignored nature; it was here for us to use and abuse. It was seemingly unlimited.
Some thirty five years ago Professor Ian L. McHarg told us at UCLA environmental program that you must design WITH nature, not against it. This visionary architect and planner published his first book: Design by Nature, in 1969. In this book he projected his massage clearly against the traditional way that urban development must be imposed upon the landscape.
His craggy face was full of emotions when he discussed how irrational is the way we build our communities and also houses on angry coastlines. How much destruction will rivers continue to cause us as their floods overtake houses so near the flood plains?
Few listened to him. We ignored nature. And our governments, at all levels, continued to allow massive developments in unstable natural areas. The accompanying destructions have been so common, we are not even aware that we could have prevented many of them.There are some improvements, but limited. We continue to strip mountain tops to get our dirty coal with triple devastation: of the landscapes, of the air (local pollution), and massive GHG emissions.
We still believed that we are entitled to take from nature whatever we can. I read recently about a home owner in a flood plain that twice lost his home to floods, twice the federal government paid to rebuild it, and now he wants to do it the third time. And he believes he is entitled to be compensated for his stupidity, actually arrogance. He said he loves the beauty of being so close to the river.
And this American arrogance also shows its head when we are unwilling to reduce our massive emissions of GHG. We that emitted over 30% of all ACCUMULATED GHG TO DATE still believe we should not make any meaningful sacrifices to reduce GW.
But nature will continue on its way; global warming will continue to accelerate, global temperatures will continue to rise while we are arguing about it in Congress and the media.
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