Guest opinion: By 2017, warming is an obvious truth | PostIndependent.com

Guest opinion: By 2017, warming is an obvious truth

Charles Loomis

Not long ago, I pulled out my old DVD of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and watched it. I was genuinely alarmed and surprised — much more so than the first time I watched it. The DVD hit the market around 11 years ago and now we are seeing that many of the things that Al Gore’s DVD predicted are beginning to come true.

If you never bought a copy or have lost yours, you can pick one up on Amazon for a penny plus shipping. That’s right, just 1 cent.

That brings to mind another interesting point — isn’t it a shame that a DVD factually warning about the beginning of the end of the human race can be purchased for just a penny? (Four dollars includes shipping.) Consumers today spend hundreds on workout and diet videos to improve their lives in hope of living longer but hesitate to spend a penny on a frightening and life-threatening phenomenon?

The DVD was produced in 2006. Eleven years later and we are witness to record temperatures, and abnormal and serious weather events are beginning to happen at amazing frequency and intensity, as warned in the DVD.

Global warming is happening whether we like it or not. An overwhelming majority of scientists today are saying that human activity is the main cause of the warming of the atmosphere and oceans. Many doubt that but the doubters and deniers are disappearing daily.

I lean toward a very negative opinion regarding the ability of us to work together to effect any meaningful change regarding our extractive way of life. Extractivism is the main cause of warming. We are so caught up in the removal of fossil fuels from the earth via oil wells and the removal of huge mountaintops that we have created a society based on that activity. It is so pervasive that we have created a leadership class where a great number of leaders holding the finance pens in Congress are deniers. In some cases, projects are automatically denied if any reference is made to climate change or warming of the oceans or the atmosphere.

In some areas, leaders have been threatening underlings with reprisals for even mentioning changes in the climate. Florida is a good example — even with the prediction of many experts that Floridians will, over time, lose the southern portion of the state, department heads are forbidden to mention climate change.

This is so even as Miami, the largest city in the state, is spending millions to prepare for a frightening future of rising sea levels. Right now, some residents in southern Florida are very worried about losing their water sources because of salt water incursion.

Take a close look at Gore’s graphs and charts in the DVD. The evidence is incontrovertible. Without a doubt, man and his extractive economy is causing climate change. With great haste and intensity, we must act in efforts to study how to leave polluting fossil fuels in the ground and develop sun, wind and other sources of energy.

Having read and studied many articles on the problem, I have become a doubter — not about the climate change issue but of humankind’s willingness and ability to make positive efforts to move away from that extractive way of life. I don’t see how effective change is going to happen because so much of the world’s wealth is centered on the harvest of fossil fuels. Will companies and individuals change their ways when trillions of dollars of income are at stake? I have my doubts.

The graphs and examples set forth in the DVD are shocking and factually based. Graphically represented, the problems are shown that will result from the flooding of land where millions now live. Displaced seaside populations in the millions, perhaps as many as 120 million, will be roaming and searching for food and shelter.

Deniers today should hold down their heads in shame. There is just too much evidence that they are absolutely wrong.

Here’s the latest from our largest naval base at Norfolk, Virginia: Some of the piers built in World War II have become unusable at high tide. The supply pipes for the delivery of steam, electrical, communication and internet services that run under the piers are often immersed in seawater, making them unusable during storms and high tides.

I’m speaking out because I don’t want my grandkids coming to me in the future and chiding me for not doing anything about this problem early on. Unfortunately, “doing something about it” right now is even more complicated now that we have a denier in the White House.

We can’t wait until the world is overcome with an estimated 120 million refugees from flooded island and coastal areas soon to be banging on our doors. It is beginning now with Syrian and African refugees fleeing aberrant weather patterns that have destroyed crops and lives. In 20 to 50 years, the world will be a very unpleasant place to live if we don’t act very soon.

Charles Loomis is a partial-year resident of the Roaring Fork Valley.