Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Global Warming? Yes, please.

Yesterday was Earth Day. I missed it. But I am in total support celebrating The Earth, after all, without it we would all be floating around in outer space, which looks like fun at first but then when you think about things like plumbing, which requires gravity to work, well then some less pleasant thoughts than weightless somersaults start to come to mind...

Since it was Earth Day there was a more-than-usual amount of focus on the subject of Global Warming. There was an article in the paper about a "green" family that powers their 4,000 square foot house with windmills. It has a solar-heated indoor swimming pool. And there were lots and lots of "tips for saving energy" which all look to me like exactly the kinds of things I always try to do, but not because I'm trying to "reduce my carbon footprint" but because I detest anything wasteful because I have always been what I like to call "frugal." Another, less flattering word that could be used is "cheap." So when you put the whole "saving the planet" spin on it suddenly the concept of cheap takes on an altruistic tone, perhaps with a little smugness thrown in. I just go on using only as much as I need of anything, recycling, reusing, and stretching whatever I can, and living in a way-less-than-4,000 square foot home with no indoor swimming pool.

But the issue of Global Warming has me conflicted. I know that there are people out there (possibly ones driving full-size SUV's) who would like to argue whether it exists at all. I think that science has proven that there is definitely a warming trend, and from that they make predictions about ice caps melting and polar bears falling into the ocean, and the types of crops that can be grown will change, and the temperatures in Michigan will begin to creep above their current averages.

It's that last part that gets me. After an entire winter of way below average temperatures and record snowfall, we have been enjoying temperatures above the average for the last several days, and it has been glorious. Sunny and 72 degrees. The kind of days that are depressingly rare in this state. The kind of days I just finished driving 900 miles to experience. Just think, if Global Warming comes true as they predict, there would be more sunny days like these. A longer bike riding season. Less snow days. More types of flowers. A longer growing season. Last night at our subdivision homeowners meeting, they talked about whether rising expenses might cause our dues to go up. If there are less times they have to pay to have the streets snowplowed, that would cover it.

So then I feel like global warming is getting a bad rap, and maybe someone needs to be on the PRO side of it, and I could be the one to lead that movement. Of course, that would be me being selfish, and I do get that there could be truly serious results of the climate changing too quickly. It's just that it would be easier for me to rally behind a cause that had a different name, and didn't make me think of sunny days. Like if there was a trend toward "Global Meanness" or "World Stink Increase" or "National Lawnmower Noise Reduction Initiative" maybe I'd find those causes easier to embrace than one that would make the daffodils bloom a whole month earlier.

But don't worry, it's not like I'm going to go outside and spray my Ultra Aerosol Aqua-Net into the sky to try to create my own personal hole in the ozone layer. It's just that I'm in a quandry of being confronted with something that is a possible problem for much of the world, but a possible treat for me.

Happy (Belated) Earth Day, go hug a toilet.


kid_curry said...

Here's where I question the whole thing. If the ice caps are melting, than why is Lake Michigan strinking? I don't get it. Where is it being shipped?

Anonymous said...

Dearest Mindy- THIS TIME, I was annoyed with your less than educated blog. There has been media overload so that global warming has become triviata. The coastlines, water level around the world and and other changes also affect climate changes causing more hurricanes, etc.. This would be very serious. Of course I have to study the subject myself. Here is something to dwell on: My sister in law heard on a newscast that because of global warming, the scientists who study penguins have not seen any evidence of ANY breed of penguins reproducing themselves this year. I wonder why there isn't more news about this. Are we looking at the last generation of penguins except for the few that might mate and produce babies in zoos? And if penguins are smart enough to know that there won't be enough ice for their babies, why are the polar bears just waiting to fall into the water? And why isn't Al Gore talking about penguins and bears?
Aunt Chris

Mindy said...

My recommendation for avoiding annoyance would be not to rely on niece's blogs or sister-in-law's secondhand news reports as sources of educated information.

Heather Leigh said...

I, in my very full size American GM Tahoe SUV, would LOVE global warming if it means that we have Indian summers every year like the one we had last year (Hello! We went SWIMMING in our lake OCTOBER!!) But, unfortunately, it also seems to mean that not only are our summers getting warmer (love that!) but that our winters are getting colder (don't love that!)