Monday, September 28, 2009

a life or death or both situation

I just read this in a BBC News article:

Richard Betts of the Met Office Hadley Centre described himself as "shocked" that so much warming could occur within the lifetimes of people alive today.
"If greenhouse gas emissions are not cut soon then we could see major climate changes within our own lifetimes," he said.

I started wondering why we are so resistant to change. It's not just catastrophic change we dislike. Fold a shirt a different way and conflict can arise. Sitting in someone else's seat can unsettle a whole class. Milk in my coffee? You better watch out.

Global warming seems a bit bigger though. Rising sea levels, increasing average temperature, melting glaciers. All of this spells trouble for humanity. We don't really want the opposite of any of these to happen either. Decrease the sea level and now our ports are in the wrong places, your beach front home is now dune front, yadda yadda.

Increasing temperatures seem to also imply an increase in the human death rate. This website (dubious and unreliable as it may be) estimates that the current death rate due to global warming is 150,000 people per year. This is about the number of people in the US who die from stroke each year.

If global warming is preventable, these deaths are preventable.
If you could, would you prevent these deaths?

Now, imagine instead of 150,000 extra deaths per year we have 150,000 extra BIRTHS per year, also preventable.
If you could, would you prevent these births?

No comments:

Post a Comment