Fixing climate change

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

In the book The Time Machine, H G Wells introduced us to the Morlocks, a race of creatures who live beneath the earth. They run the machinery that keeps the earth above fresh and green and they only venture out at night.

It has been 13 years since Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, which pointed out all the dangers of climate change. Over the last 13 years we have done little to change the way we live. Scientists have been warning this could spell the end of the human race on earth.

There are plenty of people who do not believe the science. They think it is a hoax. They try to claim there are many scientists who disagree. All the real scientists agree on its presence. The only disagreement among them is how much of a factor humans are.

Those who deny it have nothing to lose. They want to keep the status quo. They know that they will be dead long before the changes are irreversible.

Those who want to make changes have all sorts of plans. For example, some people propose putting electric car charging stations throughout the country. Others want to increase gas mileage on vehicles.

The question is what good that will do if people don’t cooperate? You can have charging stations, but people have to buy electric vehicles. You can have improved gas mileage but people need to think twice about buying SUVs and trucks.

Produce from local farmers helps in multiple ways. It supports the farmers economically. It cuts down on the need to use trucks to transport the produce from a distance. We are lucky to be located in a farm area.

However, when people decide it is easier to pick up their produce at the local food store instead, they increase the need to use trucks for transport.

Some individuals are proposing a tax on carbon. This tax will add cost to any products that result in increased carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and will theoretically result in people using less of those products.

There is a misconception that climate change is a governmental issue. There is a perception that if something is to be done, laws need to be changed. There is also a perception that the solution is for all countries to be involved in the Paris Accord addressing the issue.

Those things have some truth to them. However, there is a more basic truth. What we are doing is depending on the government to fix a problem we are creating. Each time we do things to increase emissions, we are contributing to what may be the end of humanity.

If we wait for the government to force us to change our wasteful habits, we are just burying our head in the sand. Or perhaps we can be like the Morlocks. We can learn to live beneath the ground and only venture out at night when it is cool.

Those who enjoy my writing might be interested in a staged reading of a comedic play that I wrote called Hold the Phone (see how badly cell phones can mess up your life). The reading will take place at Possum Point Players in Georgetown on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. Tickets are free with a required donation to Possum Point Players. Contact me by e-mail at if you are interested in obtaining tickets.

2019-08-22T13:37:39-05:00 August 22nd, 2019|HEALTH|