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One.

Introduction


An Open Letter To The Graduating Class.



This introduction is framed as an open letter about global warming, centering on the question,- “Can I really make a difference with my life?”.. (Photo Credit)

Oh, Where to begin??


“It was a cold, foggy night… His hands clammy and damp, detective Jones reached to his holster to pull his gun…..”


Lol!

Nope! Prob’ly not!

See, what I’m trying to do here is come up with something decently interesting to say about global warming,- something absolutely captivating!

To get people inspired, to really care and take action! Would be a dream come true!

But the action that is hoped for is something that requires a consistent amount of self-sacrifice.

Over a long period of time.

And the subject matter inspiring the action, which is the topic of global warming, is mainly about ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane, and a class of gases called greenhouse gases. With their negative impacts mostly delayed until the far distant future..

See my dilemma??

It’s not like reading a crime novel.

Well ok,- here goes nothing!

((insert drumroll please!)),..

Let’s try,- the ‘inspirational’ approach…

Beginning with one of my most favorite quotes of all time..


“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now,
and nothing can stand in your way…”

(from ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’)


As I’m writing to you today, I’m sitting on the beach on the outer banks of North Carolina.

It’s a bright and sunny day with a cool breeze, my toes are buried in the sand and I’m surrounded by all kinds of seabirds. A half a dozen ‘yellowlegs’ are standing like sentries at the surfs edge, watching for critters to gobble up. There’s a flock of seagulls flying all around me, and out in front of me, there’s a few great big pelicans dive-bombing for fish, smacking straight down into the ocean headfirst!

Best of all, there’s a cute little sand crab on the beach about 10 feet away from me.

His eyes are like two great big round saucers. He’s very shy, and I’m pretty sure he wishes that I would just go away!

I see him peeping up out at me from his little hole, and scooting out about a foot or so. Then, if I move even one itty-bitty little finger, he just zzzzips back into his hole!

I’ve named him “mr. skittles!”

When I was a child I spent many a summer here on the outer banks, vacationing with my family. Names like ‘Manteo’ and ‘Wanchese’ were household words for me growing up.

I grew up collecting shells at Nags Head. Scampering around the Hatteras lighthouse. Skipping stones on the Roanoke. Exploring the wonders of the tidepools.

Everywhere falling in love with nature..

Now, as an adult, I’m reading the oceans are threatened by acid rain. Scientists are telling us that the sea levels are rising, due to global warming and the melting of the polar ice.

The coral reefs of the world are slowly dying away.

And on top of all of that,- experts are predicting that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

As I sit here gazing out over the ocean, and feeling the amazing life energy emanating from it, I’m just sitting here asking myself,-

“What are we doing here??”


A Science Class Experiment

There’s a little science class experiment, commonly performed in classrooms around the world.

Did you ever do this one?

It goes something like this:

Bacteria are one-celled (unicellular) microorganisms that are so small, they can only be seen with a microscope, but as they reproduce they can form rapidly into huge, fuzzy colonies that can be easily seen with the naked eye. The purpose of doing this science experiment is to demonstrate to students how quickly bacteria can reproduce, in a geometric progression, when one cell splits into two cells through a process called binary fission.

This process of growth can begin quickly,- in as little as 20 minutes!

The way this experiment works is that, under the care of a qualified instructor, sterile powdered agar is mixed with water and nutrients, and heated and poured into an empty petri dish. Then a source of bacteria is added. The most common method of adding bacteria is to place a dirty coin right in the middle of the dish. The bacteria will start to grow immediately, and over a period of days the students can peek in occasionally, and watch as the dish fills up with the fuzzy bacteria.

As the nutrients are devoured, the fuzzy bacteria completely fill the dish!

And then finally at last, when the nutrients are all depleted, the colony just dies off.

And that’s it!

End of the experiment!


Extrapolation

Global Warming?,- is a real thing.

Habitat Destruction?,- on a global scale?,- yep!,- also a real thing!

We are living in a closed system.

It doesn’t matter what label you want to use! In the true tradition of science, you can break it down and call it whatever you want!

You can call it air pollution, water pollution, plastic pollution, global warming, environmental destruction,- doesn’t matter!

The simple truth is that all of our ‘stuff’, referring to our smog, and our trash, and all the rest of our waste, is trapped in here, right here with us under this giant dome that we live under.

At the end of the day, we are chopping down tree after tree, while our vehicles, and our factories, and our lifestyles, and our ever-growing population, are slowly filling our air and water with pollutants, toxifying our environment and heating up our world.

I’m not a scientist. I’m just a simple, regular, everyday kinda guy, asking a simple question,-

Are we no better than a dish full of mindless bacteria? Gobbling up our resources,- and expanding?

Until there is nothing left?


Imagine this,-

Here is the picture I’m trying to paint,-

The adults of my generation, just like every generation before us, are basically spending our days sitting on a set of railroad tracks, with our heads down.

We are looking at our phones. We are checking our graphs to see how our stocks are doing, plotting our next move, planning our retirement, paying our bills, and we are mowing our lawns and trimming our hedges. All-in all, doing well in keeping up with the Joneses!

Presently using our charts and graphs to determine how we can maximize earnings during covid, and during its aftermath.

Should I buy?,- or should I sell?

All the while, there is a headlight coming from a train that has appeared in the distance. It’s just a faint ‘twinkling-star’ kind of light at the moment. Just a bit far away..

But, with a few drips of water from one of those melting glaciers,..

(Going plink,… plink,.. plink…)

Along with a few well-captioned photos of a polar bear, struggling to survive all lonely in some distant, faraway land where the ice is melting all around,…

There’s really nothing for us to worry about.

It’s all so far away..

The train is just a faint tremor in the ground at our feet…

Are we going to wait, and turn our heads at the very last moment? When the ground at our feet begins to shake and rumble with a roar?

I am writing you today because our world needs a generation of brave, young, and fearless leaders.

We need a generation that is not afraid to be different, and not afraid to be looked down upon by their elders or their peers for doing something different.

We need a generation that is motivated by something other than the greed and lust for gold and power and comfort, that soooo much, characterizes our world.

A generation that is not afraid to break ranks.

A generation that looks to the future…


I’m closing my eyes, feeling the sunshine on my face, and hearing the voices of the birds in the air, and the sounds of the waves breaking in front of me,-

And I’m reflecting on the awesome natural beauty of this world,..

And I’m reflecting on how precious every moment of this life is,…

Reminding myself,-

Hearing these words in one ear,-

“From ashes to ashes, and dust to dust…”

And then hearing a voice whispering in my other ear,-

“He who dies with the most toys wins.”


And so, as you move forward in your life today, stepping from one stage to another, what I’m asking you to do is look yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself,-

Which of those two voices will you heed?


Taking the first steps.

For each of us as individuals, I find that if we are going to care about something enough to want to make a change, especially if the change requires a sacrifice of our personal conveniences and time and energy, the reason for it has to do more than just scratch the surface of our brains.

We have to process it a bit deeper, so that it becomes more meaningful.

With that thought in mind, in the sections that follow, I’ve gathered up some basic information, based on the opinions of the experts, to form an overview to help you understand the basic fundamental challenges we are facing in relation to global warming.

In creating this overview, I leaned heavily on the writings of a few of the more prominent scientific organizations.

Written for a novice, by a novice.

It only takes a few minutes to of your time, and it can certainly help it stick in your brain.

In choosing your life path, the first step in the decision-making process is arming your brain with some basic information!

We have a problem that is centuries in the making, that we only have probably less than 10 years to resolve.

Please take a moment to review:

Continue with:

What is Global Warming?


Part 2.

What is Global Warming?

Based on the measurements that we have available to us since record keeping first began in 1880’s, the facts seem to indicate that our world is getting warmer. This is the trend that we are referring to when we use the phrase ‘global warming.’ Before we debate whether this is true or not, let’s take a look to see what the scientists are saying. If you’ve heard of global warming but aren’t familiar with the details, this is a great place to get started. Empower yourself with knowledge.  The first step in saving the environment is educating yourself:

Learn more


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