Saturday, June 23, 2007

What to do About Global Warming?

By Captain Capitalist

Is global warming for real? Is it a short term trend or a major climate change? Is human activity responisible? I don't know. What I do know is that at some point the climate will change. It always does. What do we do about it? Be aware, and be prepared.

Climate change isn't something that happens overnight, but recent studies suggest that major shifts in the Earth's climate in the past (way before SUV's) have taken place over a period of decades rather than centuries. It can be devastating to individuals and economies. But in each instance of climate change over the past million years or so, hearty humans all over the globe made it through, because they found a way to adapt.

We have the benefit of accumulated knowledge, experience and technology. That puts us in a better position to deal with climate change than humans have been in any point in our history. Yet, we spend most of our time trying to figure out how to make it stop or who to blame and very little time thinking about what we're going to do when, not if, the climate becomes substantially different.

Companies and households have been encouraged to make contingency plans in case of fire, flood, severe weather, why not climate change? It's not something one has to spend hours a week on, but as a company, a meeting once a year to discuss what if's in the event the weather gets a lot warmer, or colder, or wetter or drier might be time welll spent. As a homeowner, one might at least spend a little time thinking about what modifications one could make in the event of climate change, and maybe put a little money away for it. As an entrepreneur, think about what products and services might be in demand should the average annual temperture or rainfall shift. Look to other areas of the world for answers. How do people in the middle east deal with 130 degree days? How do people in the Arctic deal with 35 below zero? Instead of just thinking, "How can I put a stop to this?", spend some time thinking "How do I take advantage of this?".

I'm not suggesting that we ignore the impact of human activity on the environment or the weather. I am stating the obvious fact that the climate has always changed and will do so again. It may do so in your lifetime. When it does being prepared to adapt and look for opportunities might be a better use of time and resources than figuring out who to hang in the town square or shaking your fist in the air and demanding someone do something about the cycles of the sun. Part of "being in tune with the planet" is the ability to adjust to its changing temperment. Climate change is going to happen, no matter what kind of car you drive or how many waterless toilets you install. Deal with it.

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