Drawdown book explains global warming

I have had it with global warming! It’s too hot, it’s too sticky, it’s too rainy and it’s making me cranky! I want my old summers back.

I’ve been reading Drawdown, The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. It’s a 240-page book that can be summed up in nine words, “We have met the enemy and they is us.”

Born in September 1769, Alexander von Humboldt was a German, who became a naturalist and explorer who wrote about earth as a “microcosm on one page.” More species and places have been named after Humboldt than any other human. In September 1969 thousands of people met in cities around the world to celebrate his 200th birthday.

There are estimates that 10,000 people gathered in Pittsburgh to commemorate Sept. 14, 1969. They were wearing flowers in their hair and little else, so they might have been hippies straggling home from Woodstock. No one knows for sure.

In 1829, at the invitation of Czar Nicholas I, Alexander von Humboldt journeyed to Russia. He traveled throughout Russia for more than six months. It was in those six months that he confirmed his theory that our atmosphere is sensitive to the changes we make on the ground.

He saw and reported to the Czar on the consequences of deforestation around mining centers and warned him against using steam engines to drain flooded mines, because more trees would be lost fueling steam engines. Tragically, the cycle continued.

He journeyed to Baraba Steppe in Siberia where an anthrax epidemic had devastated the population. He saw the drained swamps that created fields and pastures. He blamed the epidemic on the desiccation of the marshes.

Humboldt arrived at his conclusions by comparison, not discovery. He thought there were three ways man was affecting climate. “Deforestation, ruthless irrigation and great masses of steam and gases released into the atmosphere by industrial centers.”

When I think about it, I think about the areas in Blair County where woods used to be — I-99, the shopping centers. I’m not knocking them; I’m just exercising my memory.

My grandmother told me the area around Bishop Guilfoyle High School used to be called Mud Town. It was a swamp and now it’s an area where championship basketball players grow. I think about the gallons of water I’ve squandered on our lawn and the number of stupid Mylar balloons I’ve released.

Reading Drawdown has made me examine my Global Warming conscience. So, I’ve resolved to do my bit. I’ve removed plastic straws, knifes and spoons from my life. Ditto plastic bags for groceries. Who needs sporks to eat KFC? I’m not using them any more.

Recently I saw John Frederick, Executive Director of Intermunicipal Relations Committee, refuse a Styrofoam container for his left-over pizza. He asked for a recyclable cardboard box and the waitress gave him one, suggesting once again individual actions might make a collective difference. He forgot it when he left, but that’s a different story.

Contact Teresa Futrick @esroyllek@hotmail.com.

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