[In case UBALT is researching me, I did rework part of this post as my application essay. I hope you don't mind - I thought it was relevant. Please accept me!]
Oh for the love of mustard and onions.
Okay, listen. I am not a fancy scientist with a fancy degree in fanciness. I'm a girl who grew up in a household that had subscriptions to Discover magazine and whose parents and sister are giant nerds. Armed with that background and the ability to read, I think that's about all the qualifications I need to say:
CLIMATE CHANGE IS FRIKKIN' REAL, GUYS.
Lorrie Goldstein? You're a freaking idiot. That may be disrespectful of me, I mean you are my elder and all that, but YOU ARE A FREAKING IDIOT.
I don't even know how I came across that article, such is the violence of my rage about it, because it's certainly not the only one of its kind.
Anyway, Let's take a look at the evidence, shall we? Go on, I'll wait.
Done? Annoyed that I chose Al Gore? TOUGH NOOGIES.
I know that things of this scale move slowly, so the evidence is difficult to see when you glance out the window. And to some, the recent ridiculous snow that kept me housebound for ten freaking days may seem like everything is okay.
But guys. C'mon. When has the Mid-Atlantic seaboard EVER had that much snow in a single week? That alone should tell you that things ain't quite right.
And, look, I'm not above conceding that perhaps this is part of Earth's natural cycle. I mean, we all know that the dinosaurs lived in a world that looked much different way back when, and judging by how many of their bones Montana and France has kicked up, I'd hazard a guess that it was pretty planet-wide. [We also know that flipping rocks from space came around and screwed things up, so perhaps that argument is also moot.]
HOWEVER. We do not need to help it along.
I'm not so arrogant as to assume that Humans are the be-all, end-all of evolution in the universe. I am sure that there are races of beings out there in the black pointing and laughing at our naked, fleshy bodies. They're probably watching us play with our dinky computers and ride in our cute, clunky cars like so many lumbering cows.
But we are here right now. And since we are dominant enough of this planet that we will build shit pretty much anywhere we like, we have a responsibility to its upkeep. You don't take a dump in the middle of your living room and then set it on fire, guys.
And if you do, well. You might want to stop that, cos it's a fire hazard and also kind of gross. Unless you live in a yurt and that's fuel for something. In that case, alright, carry-on, but I think that cow dung is more efficient.
ANYWAY. I suppose my point in this all is: Whether or not you believe in Global Warming [which you totally should because IT IS FREAKING HAPPENING, but I digress], pollution is real and is a real problem.
I mean, what will you be hurting by changing some things, except the profits of power companies? They need to change, too, and nothing is going to encourage them to do so if we keep plugging in stuff. So suck up the extra few bucks and buy those energy efficient light-bulbs. Carry your groceries home in a cloth sack. Recycle your damn newspapers. Support local farms. Do all that crunchy hippy junk, because the littlest bit really is helpful.
Because, if you're not going to listen to the fancy scientists with their fancy degrees, then perhaps you should start listening to people like me.
This interactive article from the Washington Post is v. illuminating, and covers a lot of ground regarding the Chesapeake and how we are screwing it up. You should read it.
This comic is a lovely commentary on how a lot of us are feeling about the whole thing. It's two pages, so make sure you click the arrow at the bottom.
And my whole post is basically just reiterating what Phil Plait [one of my favorite people ever, y'all] said here, BUT HE IS RIGHT SO READ THAT OKAY. HIYAH.
*pant* *pant* I hate when I have to get all Miss Piggy on stuff.
ETA: September 2011 - HOW ARE PEOPLE NOT TAKING THIS MORE SERIOUSLY!? GET OFF YOUR ASSES, PEOPLE, MAKE A DIFFERENCE.