Earth Day 2007 Confession

Despite turing into a green wacko of late, I have a confession to make: I have never seen Mr. Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.” In fact, I have no plans to ever see it. But probably for a reason other than you might think. I’ve thought about it for some time and my view is you don’t need to see the film to accept things are not good and something must be done. This movie is the classic issue of the messenger getting in the way of the message. I have no qualms with Mr. Gore, but I know plenty who do. How about we try this argument? Whether or not global warming exists is actually irrelevant.

Many of you have likely heard of “Pascal’s Wager.” Blaise Pascal is the famous 17th century French mathematician who developed a way to rationalize one’s belief in God. It goes something like “If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing — but if you don’t believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you will go to hell. Therefore it is foolish to be an atheist.”

I think an updated version of Pascal’s Wager in regards to global warming would be: “If we believe that global warming is caused by human behavior and we do something about it yet we turn out to be incorrect, the world is a cleaner place. But if we don’t believe humans are causing global warming and therefore do not modify our behaviors and turn out to be incorrect, we leave the world a dirtier place. Therefore it is irrelevant if global warming is caused by humans.”

So whether or not you believe the hype doesn’t really matter. In fact, in the end a sustainable/renewable lifestyle is essentially a testament to one’s preferred sense of history than to a person’s ability to be persuaded by scientists, former Vice President’s or Hollywood actors. How do you want to leave our Earth? How firmly will your footprint linger on the environment, the ecology and the biosphere? I know many of us in the United States are only now awaking to these issues; perhaps it is a symptom of too much abundance, too much space and little history.

There is a Native American saying, “we cannot own Mother Earth, we only borrow it from our children.” It seems to come down to how you want to live your life not what you believe about your life. Finding solutions to less footprints is simply the right thing to do because whether or not humans are causing global warming is relevant.