"When one argues with a fool, there are two." -anonymous
Global Warming is in my opinion the single greatest threat we as a species have ever encountered and we are presently at a tipping point of no return. Having said that, I rarely discuss it with anyone, and here's why.
It's not necessary.
There are two ways to look at this. The first is that you believe what the Nobel Prize winning IPCC says, what science tells us, and what experts warn, that we are causing global warming and that the only way to reverse it is to radically and quickly rethink our priorities and the way we live. If you fall into this camp, than you're already on the right road and I'm preaching to the choir. The second option is that for some reason you buy into the spin, don't believe the science, and don't think you have anything to do with the whole global warming issue. Here's what I usually tell these folks, something which the 9 minute video above explains quite well and in much more detail.
Let's look at the four scenarios of global warming, assuming that you actually believe in thermometers and agree that the world is getting warmer as we speak.
- Global Warming IS caused by human activity and we continue living unsustainably - Lose/Lose situation. We could have turned things around and we didn't, and we are still addicted to fossil fuels, creating political instability, and destroying the environment.
- Global Warming IS NOT caused by human activity and we continue living unsustainably - Lose/Lose situation. On the Global Warming front we will have to ride it out, and we've missed the opportunity to clean up our acts.
- Global Warming IS NOT caused by human activity and we start living sustainably - Lose/Win situation. On the Global Warming front we'll just have to wait and see, but we pollute less, wean ourselves from cheap oil, take better care of the earth and help in a whole host of other ways.
- Global Warming IS caused by human activity and we start living sustainably - Win/Win situation. If we have acted in time and do enough, we could avert a major climate disaster, and at the same time, we get all the benefits of working towards a cleaner way of living.
For some more info and a good overview on what's going on and what can be done, check out the Union of Concerned Scientists.