Why “Climate-gate” doesn’t matter

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the whole “Climate-gate” story that broke a couple of weeks ago, and I’m getting a little tired of the people saying “See, see! You guys lied!” I expect that this won’t change any minds – those who believe that human beings are affecting the global temperatures will still believe that, and those that don’t will continue to not believe. I happen to be part of the first camp – living in a cold climate like Canada, I’ve seen the changes happening. Anyone in Toronto remember last winter? However, regardless of which camp you belong to, our species’ behaviour towards our home is still very important.

Global Warming isn’t the only reason we should be very concerned about humanity’s impact on its environment. Even our CO2 output isn’t heating up the earth, the vast majority of the activities which cause that output – Coal Power Plants, Gas-powered vehicles, etc. – do all sorts of other horrible things to our environment:

  • They pollute the air, contributing to higher rates of asthma and other respitory illnsses
  • The particulate contains really unplesant toxins that end up in our water supply
  • They use up a non-renewable resource; that is, when the oil’s gone, it’s gone for good

  • To me, these seem like pretty damn good reasons to be working our collective butts off to come up with a better solution. Even if we don’t cook ourselves, or drown ourselves by melting the polar ice caps, or completely bugger up the weather patterns, we can still very easily poison ourselves. Heck, we’ve been doing it for a while now!

    So before you use this recent “scandal” as an excuse to go out and buy that Land Rover to drive to the grocery store a block away, consider that we have all sorts of other impacts on our environment.

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