A Climate Modest Proposalmountain musings
There are a lot of things that humans are good at; innovating, adapting, avoiding blame, and most of all causing global warming. Humans are getting better at each of these things too. For example, over the past 150 years, we have seen more innovation, adaptation, pointing fingers, and of course, climate change than at any other point in human history. That's pretty impressive, but there's always more that can be done. With everyone talking about stopping the warming of Earth–which is an odd idea seeing how good we are with causing the warming–I have been pondering on if there would be a way to cause the warming to increase even faster. I believe that there is, and it involves all the other things that we as humans are skilled at.
Before we go into the specifics of accelerating the warming of the globe, let us first assess the state of the world that we live in today. Currently, about 84% of global energy comes from burning fossil fuels. That means that we could increase our usage worldwide by an entire 16%! Imagine the amount of power we could provide people with this resource! I figure that since we have access to fossil fuels, why not use them? It’s like giving the ancient decomposed life another chance to experience the world; this time in the form of greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the biggest obstacles to accomplishing this goal–accessing the last 16% of global fossil fuel energy–is the limited resources we have available to us. Or at least, they would appear limited with the current boundaries that are set. In many of the National Parks and Wilderness designated areas, there are large untapped reserves of coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. The only thing stopping us from utilizing these resources is legislation removing these special designations.
In abolishing National Parks and similar federally preserved lands we would not only be gaining fossil fuel resources, but we would also gain access to large forested areas to use as lumber for building or fuel for burning. Removing forests is also advantageous for our growing population. This to be barren land would be available for developing new communities or agricultural resources like farming!
Speaking of agriculture, there are several things that we can do to increase our greenhouse gas emissions in that sector as well. First, we need more cows. Cows? You might ask. Yes, cows. You see, of all the animals that are grown, cows are what provide the most amount of meat and use the most resources. So in reality we are killing two birds with one stone! Not only will we increase greenhouse gas levels by raising more cows but we will also increase the supply of meat. Fun fact about cows, it is through belching, rather than farting that the most methane is released.
Another action related to agriculture that is needed in order to accelerate climate change involves the actual farming of crops. At the moment, several crops are heavily subsidized by the government. These are corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice. Corn is America’s largest crop but only around ⅓ of it is consumed by humans. The rest is fed to livestock or converted into ethanol. For boosting global warming these are great numbers! Because of how cheap corn is to grow it makes sense to allow big corn corporations (corn-porations maybe?) to buy out the smaller “sustainable” farms and grow more corn there. This provides more food for our food–the cows–and fuel for our cars.
Growing more corn and the other heavily subsidized crops are also helpful because it makes it so easy to keep growing the same thing year after year. Some would argue that rotating crops is what we need, but that takes more time and planning and could potentially even sequester carbon from the atmosphere into the soil. By only growing these major crops we will have all the resources needed to continue raising greenhouse gas levels.
Finally, cars. That’s the last big thing needed in order to keep bringing climate change around. Currently, the transportation sector is responsible for 24% of global CO2 emissions and studies are estimating that with “business as usual” practices, transportation will grow to provide for 50% of emissions by 2050. I don’t know about you, but I think that 2050 is a long way off. I would suggest moving that goal to 2030 for a few reasons. First, why procrastinate the warming when we can just embrace it? Second, the best way to increase transportation emissions is by providing every household with their own car. And while proponents are advocating for all-electric vehicles, if we were to get fossil fuels from the National Parks and ethanol from corn we would have more than enough fuel to get everyone personal vehicles. By moving the 50% goal forward to 2030 we are also accelerating the rate at which everybody gets their own car which would allow more people to directly participate in the emissions game. This would also help people get to work on their own and not have to rely on carpooling, public transportation, or even just walking to travel.
But what about all of those tree-hugging hippies that are trying to stop the climate from changing? There are all sorts of wild proposals like “alternative energy” and electrifying everything, but why would we want to change what is already working? These pushes for innovation are simply too radical for us to implement. And then people argue that less rather than more meat is what we need, there’s absolutely no way anyone would actually do that, right? The world is burning, let’s embrace our fate and maybe even throw some fuel on the flame for good measure.
These are only a few of the many ways that we can participate in the acceleration of climate change. It is our privilege to participate in such a powerful movement. Destroying the earth one drop of oil, one cow, one crop, and one car at a time. Imagine the grandeur of it all.
In writing this article I do not support in any way these propositions. The purpose behind writing these things is to point out how it is so easy to accelerate climate change but what we need right now are not easy solutions. We need dedicated people joining together to speak out for this planet. We cannot just sit back and watch our Earth burn. It starts with each of us to make a difference. The scenarios described throughout my article are unfortunately not all that strange, and with the trajectory that we are on might be what we experience in the near future. I implore all to look at our ecological footprints and take steps to reduce our impact on the world. Reach out to your local, state, and national leaders; it will require every hand on deck to solve this climate crisis. It may require sacrifices, but it is absolutely worth it for the future.
A few sites for climate solutions:
Sources for data from the article: