Is Global Warming overshadowing other environmental issues?,

Charles M. 110°

Global Warming is definitely getting the attention of the masses, but is that happening at the expense of other environmental issues?

On the one hand, anything that makes people more environmentally aware, and modifies excessive consumption could have positive spin-offs for other environmental issues. Perhaps GW is bringing previously unaware people to a slight degree of awareness.

On the other hand, global warming is getting a huge % of the environmental press, time at environmental conferences and slice of the eco-dollar pie. So much that other issues just don't get any attention. Try raise concerns about the loss of habitat for a native mudfish when everyone else is bellowing about global warming.

Organisations like GreenPeace are diluting their efforts in other areas by getting involved in Global Warming, but on the flip side they are now getting a positive image and donations from people that would have previously discounted them as "tree huggers".

Often times, global warming issues can be in direct conflict with other environmental issues. For example, building a new hydro power lake might reduce green house gases but has impact on the ecosystem being flooded.

So is Global Warming positive, negative or neutral for other environmental issues?

2 replies

C Robb W. 429°

We need to careful not to let such issues divide us. If a researcher in mudfish habitat wants to stop a tidal barrage because it will destroy the habitat then that should have equal weight to the carbon free energy produced by the barrage. After all, when not if, sea levels rise the mudfish habitat will be destroyed anyway. The tidal barrage however is a big system solution designed to continue business as usual, to encourage people that real change on their part is not necessary. People need to realize that without the intact habitats, like the mudfishes, to support biodiversity we are in just as much trouble after we have the barrage.

My grandfather used to tell me "it is a poor man who won't stoop to pick up a coin". Global warming and biodiversity are two sides of the same coin. A coin we must trouble ourselves to pick up. The natural environment should be looked to as our saviour in it's ability to provide the necessities of life from oxygen to breathe, food to eat, and the only reliable method of carbon sequestration.

Without that coin we will not be able to buy our daily bread.

Written in September 2008

The problem is that climate change is controversial, so people find it easy to justify rejecting it. If the environmental movement has put too much emphasis on climate change, then when people choose to ignore global warming, they ignore the whole debate.
That means problems like deforestation, pollution, overfishing and species loss are all in danger of being ignored.The fact is, even if climate change turns out to be false, we still have a huge crisis on our hands. Climate change is just the biggest thug in a large gang of environmental disasters.

Written in October 2008

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