Tomyamaguchi’s Weblog

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Blog Action Day 2009-Climate Change

Today is Blog Action Day, www.blogactionday.org, when bloggers post on the same issue of global importance to promote discussion. This year’s issue is climate change.

A few weekends ago, I pedaled my bicycle to a celebration of the Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park in Richmond, CA. While the land along the San Francisco Bay waterfront is owned by the City of Richmond, the park is administered by the National Park Service. I took a free, short walking tour in front of the old Ford assembly plant where production was shifted from passenger cars to tanks and jeeps overnight to support the military effort in World War II. The park ranger emphasized the significance of how rapidly our country shifted from production of consumer goods to defeat the Axis powers. She compared it to our present efforts against climate change. It brings to mind the mice in those old Warner Brothers cartoons singing, “We did it before, and we can do it again.” The ranger suggested that Rosie the Riveter could inspire us to turn our economy into an engine that reduces our production of greenhouse gases. Can we again be called to action on a global challenge where time is running short? Yes, we can, but unfortunately this is a a different type of challenge.

During World War II, the enemy was well defined. The threat was easily identifiable. The threat of climate change is not so visible. We know that human beings are warming our planet, but we can only guess the results of that change. Scientists can model what our future planet might look like, but those are only predictions. The bad news is that as those predictions become reality, it may already to be too late to prevent further changes.

Those who deny climate change take advantage of our lack of scientific knowledge. Many of us do not understand the difference between weather and climate. The forces of the status quo wish to confuse us into inaction. Why change our behaviors if we are not convinced a problem exists? What if the cure is worse than the disease?

I am afraid I am one of those people who did not do well in science in school. I see now that the call to respond to climate change is a call to increase my own science literacy. Like the housewives who learned how to weld and build ships because the men who had been trained to do those jobs were away fighting a war, it is time for climate change activists to pick up the books and study what the scientists are trying to teach us. The new Rosies are the citizen activists on climate change. Our job is not only to change our own behaviors, but to educate our neighbors and to force our timid leaders into action.

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October 15, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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