There are apparently tens of millions of people around the world who are convinced global warming is real, and mankind (particularly American mankind) is responsible. Further, they believe utterly catastrophic results are imminent unless we drastically alter our lifestyles — and soon. These alterations include the things we eat, our transportation, our daily work and leisure habits, and even the number of children we should have. The problem is there are also tens of millions of people around the world who are skeptical of this theory, and, despite one side’s claims the debate is settled, a significant and growing number of climate experts keep challenging their conclusions.
So, those who believe disaster is around the corner face a dilemma: while they’re educating their fellow citizens and demanding governments regulate believers and non-believers alike, the problem continues, and the date of the world’s doom draws ever closer. But there is a solution. It’s relatively simple, can begin immediately, and will change the dynamics of global warming overnight. Instead of continuing to preach to the rest of us, the true believers need to step forward and set an example. I’m not talking about recycling Evian bottles; I’m talking about giving up cars and moving into smaller houses or apartments, or even forming communes where people can live simpler, more Earth-friendly lives. Yes, I’m talking about living the kinds of lives they want all of us to live.
Such a movement could literally start tomorrow. It would need a leader, of course; someone who could inspire others to choose a more spartan lifestyle. The obvious choice would be Al Gore, who already has a loyal following. If he would eschew large homes, gas-guzzling cars, private jets and the consumption of meat, millions more would likely do the same. If enough people joined the cause, Mr. Gore and his followers would be able to demonstrate the results of this new way of living in very short order. They could lead by example. They could create a movement. They could have uniforms and badges and secret handshakes. The could have their own reality TV show. In short, they could become a major force for change. Carmakers would be driven out of business or forced to dramatically alter their products to meet the demands of this eco-friendly Gorian tsunami. Companies of all stripes would, similarly, have to adapt or perish.
Once the rest of us saw the presumed reversal (or at least slowing-down) of global warming, it would do more to convince us than any lecture or study signed by UN scientists, and it would likely add millions more to the cause. So what if you can’t get one-hundred percent co-operation initially? Wouldn’t half (or a third or a quarter) of the population make a huge difference if they made substantial sacrifices? You could argue it wouldn’t be fair to have some of us going on abusing the planet and leading our lives of consumption and gluttony while others are putting aside the trappings of modern life, but this isn’t about fairness; it’s about survival.
The time for talk is over. The time for action is now. Just think of millions and millions of committed Americans making the personal sacrifices necessary to demonstrate their resolve to combat man-made global warming. And, most important, thanks to their efforts, theory would be replaced by fact. It’s much easier to argue about a study than it is to refute the demonstrable results when the temperature drops and the ocean levels stabilize. When future generations write of the sacrifices of these men and women, they’ll use words like “inspirational” and “heroic”.
And so, I urge the advocates for change to embark on this important mission. Do it for the children. Godspeed.