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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Climate Change is Real! But is Global Warming a Blessing or a Curse?

Recently most of the global leaders met in Glasgow to discuss climate change. The consensus is that climate change is real, it is man-made, and it promises to destroy all life on earth if the nations of the world do not take the necessary action to avert the coming disaster very soon.

   This belief is so ingrained in the thinking of the elites of the world that no one dares question the science behind global warming. For although they changed the name from global warming to climate change some time back, all the talk is around efforts to make sure that the world temperature does not increase more than two degrees Celsius over the next 100 years.

   The proposals offered to curb the growth of carbon in the atmosphere are very drastic and extremely harmful to poor people, and many black people fall into this category. The use of oil, coal and gas must be curtailed, they say. And the curtailing is happening so fast that it is seriously harming Americans. 

   Before the country can develop the new “green energy”—solar, wind and geo-thermal– sufficient to replace the current means of powering America, decisions are made by the government to curtail the use of cheap fossil fuels.

   The harm resulting from the fix for global warming is causing great harm and pain, especially to the poor and minority communities which must now pay very high prices for the fuel for their cars to take them to work and the fuel to keep them warm in winter. Perhaps the government should have first promoted the development of the replacement sources of power before killing the existing ones! There will be so much pain and hurt in minority communities while efforts are made to develop the new sources of energy, that one needs to ask whether the cure is worse than the disease.

   So then, the first “curse” that comes from global warming is actually coming from the proposed ways of fixing it. This fix will hurt the poor much more than it hurts the wealthy who can easily afford the elevated cost of gas for their cars and heating oil and propane gas for cooking and heating homes.

   Also, those who remain antagonistic to the drilling for oil because of their concerns regarding global warming seem to forget that oil is used for much more than fuel. Oil is a base material for many of the everyday products we use, from plastics to the petroleum jelly we use to soften our babies’ bottoms. Rather than rushing to stop the drilling and transportation of oil products before their replacements are in place, decision makers may need to pause and consider the harm to the economy and to the poorer people in the country that their decisions cause.

  Is it not ironic that the people who elected the current government who is so committed to transiting from fossil fuels, are the very ones who will be most hurt by the aggressive moves by the government they enthusiastically elected? Blacks in Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee and Atlanta provided the votes Joe Biden needed to get elected. And they are among the ones who will be most disadvantaged by the speed at which the administration they placed in power moves to put in place energy policies which hurt them most, in their pockets. It is as though the poor must carry the brunt of the burden to save the planet.

   It appears therefore, that if there is any curse accompanying global warming, that curse is currently residing in the fixes proposed, more so than the warming itself.

   Now, is it possible that there are blessings that come with global warming? People from the Caribbean may actually believe that a warmer earth is much better than a colder earth. How could anyone say such a thing when all the scientists are claiming that global warming is detrimental to human life on the earth? Well, consider the following initial suggestions.

 First, more people die each year from cold weather than from summer heat. That is a fact.

Second, more plants thrive in warm weather than in cold weather. Perennial leafy plants that thrive all year round in warm climates bring great advantages to the human race. These green leafy plants take carbon dioxide out of the air and return animal life sustaining oxygen to the atmosphere. And it is from the warmer parts of the earth that we get fruits like bananas; mangoes; breadfruit; avocadoes; oranges; coconuts, etc. to feed the world. In the parts of the earth where there is winter, crops mainly thrive during the spring and summer—warner months, and during the winter, very little food is harvested.

   This last observation can be supported by this one fact. In Viet Nam, a country which because of its length stretching from north to south, there are three different growing seasons for their main life-sustaining crop, rice. In the colder north of the country, only one harvest can be expected per year. But in the central region where it is a little warmer, two harvests are traditional and in the south, the delta where it is tropical, three harvests of rice are reaped. 

   Seems that warm weather is good for food production too!

   Note that there is no attempt here to deny global warming. The question is whether it is a blessing or a curse. If it supports food production, enables rain forest formation which helps in changing the dreaded carbon dioxide into life-sustaining oxygen all year round, could this be the blessing it brings us?

   Some would ask, “what about raging storms and rising seas?” What about them? Humans have the ability to adapt to changes in nature brought on by earthquakes, volcanoes and storms. Maybe we should not reside in river deltas and in cities located below sea level. Maybe.

   Then, what will happen to earth if a great big asteroid crashes into Africa and do to earth what scientists think destroyed the dinosaurs centuries ago, before mankind evolved?

   I told you that this column, the Blue Line, is designed to force people to think about issues that affect us in critical ways. I hope that this column does just that for serious thinkers.

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