Update: Thanks for all the comments! I found a book that will help me to figure this out called A CLIMATE FOR CHANGE. And you can even win a copy from Backseat Writer. For more information, click here.
To prepare for this Blog Action Day post on Climate Change, I’ve spent the past few weeks reading up on the topic—and I’ve got to admit, I’m more confused than before. There are a million different facts, opinions, and every side has a team of expert scientists.
I have no idea what to think about climate change.
On one hand, I’m terribly upset by the idea that we as humans are overheating the planet, but on the other, what if the temperature rise is a natural phenomenon, not one that is man-made? Is the Earth going through some natural cycle or are we headed to a Wall-E-like scenario where we will all vacate the planet? I just don’t know!
So I decided to look at pictures of polar bears. I mean, why not? I love polar bears and they have become the central figures in the global warming debate, right? Ever since that picture of a mother and her cub stranded on an ice floe in the arctic surfaced, scientists and even Al Gore has pointed to the picture and said, “See! This is conclusive proof that the polar ice caps are melting! We need to save the polar bears.” The image (see below) captured by Australian marine biology student Amanda Byrd was taken in August 2004 while she was studying zooplankton in the Beaufort Sea, just north of Barstow, Alaska.
Although Byrd is the rightful owner of the picture, Dan Crosbie, who works as an observer for the Canadian Ice Service (how do you get a job like that?) gave the photo to his employer, who later allowed the photograph to be used in an online magazine. By the way, the photo has been slightly altered, and it was taken at a time of year when the polar ice caps should be melting, regardless of global change. And the mother and her cub were just fine—not stranded—just fine!
I was thinking about all this one abnormally warm day last February while my friend and I walked around at a year-round outdoor market.
“If this is global warming, then I’m all for it!” laughed a man in a short-sleeved shirt who was selling merchandise on a weathered wooden table.
“Ha! Global warming, my a**!” agreed his grubby friend.
I looked up at the sun shining in the blue sky and shrugged my shoulders. Then it snowed a week later. Even the local weather plays with my thoughts on the matter!
At the end of the day, I have no great insight to provide about climate change. Merely that I think Planet Earth was a great mini-series, and if it’s true that the polar bears are in peril, then we’d better do something. Unfortunately, by the time, we determine what’s going on and what to do about it, the polar bears will either become extinct or overpopulation of the bear population will cause another ecological disaster.