In my CHS 725 Environmental Health class, we have been discussing the atmosphere and air pollution, along with quite possibly the biggest debate question of my time – does global warming exist and have humans contributed to it? It seems the majority of people, including scientist and the media are constantly going back and forth on this question, coming up with new evidence and then countering that evidence with yet newer and more complete evidence, only to be countered again and again. The cycle continues. I am not a scientist or an economist, and I have in no way ever claimed to even be very good at science. As my undergrad Public Relations class like to say, “we are not math majors.”
Yesterday, a student in my CHS 725 class presented this article by Paul Krugman from the New York Times about climate change and creating a green economy. This is my response to his article. I encourage you to not only read Krugman’s article, but also the comments section. Please feel free to add your own comments to this post.
One piece of advice that I heard somewhere a few years goes something like this… we hopefully will never be in a car accident, but we have insurance on our cars. It is not all that likely that our house will burn down, but we still buy insurance for our houses. Doesn’t it seem like we should put insurance on our planet?
This question really goes beyond political parties. It doesn’t matter if your Republican or Democrat, the earth is still our planet. There is scientific evidence that we have increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. To me, this seems obvious. All the emissions from our automobiles and factories do not just disintegrate into thin air. They rise into the atmosphere, causing smog, air pollution, ozone, nitric oxide, sulfuric oxide, particulate matter, along with CO2.
Whether or not you believe global warming is fact or fiction, whether or not your believe it is indeed caused by humans or it is just another cycle of nature, it makes sense to buy into the insurance. The insurance can be seen in the form of jobs – installing alternative energy and promoting alternative energy equals jobs and economic boosts. The insurance can be seen in the form of new industry that meets environmental standards or improves existing infrastructures to create less emissions. The insurance can be seen in the form of creating sustainable agriculture through local owned and operated sustainable farms. The insurance can be seen in the form of reducing, reusing, recycling, composting.
The what ifs can really be turned into let’s just do this, and everything is connected to the point that there would not only be a boost in the economy, but also in human health and environmental health, along with increasing the insurance policy on our planet – how can that be debated?