I'll just go ahead and paraphrase off the top of my head without linking to anything. New studies show that the Carbon Dioxide released into the atmosphere over the last 100 years, would take over 100,000 years to be reabsorbed by natural processes. Google the words "stop climate change" and you will find multiple websites with passionate people behind them, devoting their lives and their careers to a futile effort. Normally, or at the beginning of the curve of industrial Carbon Dioxide emissions, the oceans would absorb much of the Carbon Dioxide circulating throughout the atmosphere. However, in recent years, as the top layer of the ocean has been absorbing massive amounts of CO2, the world's oceans have become increasingly acidic and less capable of absorbing CO2. Normal ocean currents would eventually circulate this top layer and thus allow for more C02 absorption but as ocean temperatures increase, these natural cycles decrease. Therefore, the once held theory that slowly weaning ourselves off C02 emitting fuels like gasoline for our cars and coal-fired power plants for our electricity would slow this impact of the greenhouse effect on our climate is false. The chain of events we've started will not go away. It will however continue to get worse as we don't change our polluting ways. So give up this idea of stopping climate change, it's too late for that.
So now you want some hope? Let's look at things on a more micro-level. Gasoline powered cars make for smoggy, air-polluted cities. So if we stop driving gasoline powered cars and switch to CNG powered cars like they did in New Delhi, then the air we breathe will be more fresh (natural gas is a very short-term solution). Stop blowing up the mountains of West Virginia for coal extraction and we'll stop polluting the water of cities all over that part of the country as well as stop destroying the second most biologically diverse eco-system in the world.
We need to stop polluting because it's wrong - not just because it's going end humanity. This evening I saw a woman come out of Starbucks to enjoy a cigarette in the fresh night air. When she was done with her cigarette she bent over and put it out on the concrete and then left the butt there and walked back into Starbucks, passing a trash-can at three paces. What in the world makes this woman so myopic that she doesn't see the end result of a shortened life-time's worth of non-degradable cigarette butts strewn across the land in her wake. Imagine if I would have called out, "Ma'am, excuse me - that cigarette butt you just left on the ground was specifically designed so that it wouldn't burn up, and will never bio-degrade in your children's-children's lifetimes. You'd help us all out if you always threw away your cigarette butts from now on." Could you imagine her embarrassment and disgust? She might have even insulted me. But it would have been the right thing to do, and I'm morally responsible for my inaction.
I'd lost my way for a while in the face of all the hopelessness and greed and perversion of this generation. But like Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire, I believe God made me for a purpose - to educate and inspire people to be moral (I originally wrote "to kick ass for morality") - and to run very fast and very far.
If you're doing the right thing, if you're living your life responsibly, if you're helping those who don't have a voice and can't help themselves, keep it up, don't give up in the face of this fallen and foolish world. It's going to pay off eternally. And to all the people who are adding to the problem, I'm smarter than you, I'm stronger than you and I'm coming for you.