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Climate Change: A Family Affair ~ Blog Action Day, 2009

POSTED BY MIKE, 2009

     I'm turning 40! I can't believe this milestone came so quickly. It seems like only yesterday for so many of my previous milestones: First day at school; first car; graduating high school; graduating college; first day at my first "real" job; my wedding day (Love you, Dear!) and of course, the birth of Lucas (who, as I write this, is outside playing up a storm in a t-shirt and shorts!) I can't remember ever still being in shorts at this time of year. Thinking back, the summers have been getting warmer and longer. Surely a sign of climate change! Not to mention the shorter winters and less snow. We can barely squeeze in 5 or 6 weekend trips to the slopes, anymore.

     Enough sulking! I was completely blown away that the family all pitched in for the new truck. Actually, it's an SUV, but I like the more manly description of truck. I need something to set me apart from the rest of the crowd on the roads - I'm not sure they even make small cars any more. At least the gas prices have come down and we won't go broke filling the thing up after all the 1 mile trips back and forth to the store. I'm starting to think society has reached the peak of laziness. When I was a kid, we used to ride our bikes to the store just for some Necco wafers. But, it was cooler back then and I have to admit, I take great comfort in the A/C havens of car (now truck!) and home. I'm just glad we didn't settle in the parts of the country that seem to be getting hit by hurricanes or forest fires or earthquakes these days. Is it just me, or are these events increasing in frequency?

     Maybe Lucas will be able to report on this at his 40th b-day... after he finishes playing in the fallen leaves, or course!

POSTED BY LUCAS, 2040

     I've just received a wonderful 40th birthday present, snow! My Dad handed down his childhood toboggan a few years ago, but Jason hasn't been able to use it since it hasn't snowed. We've been having fun today riding the toboggan and making snow angels. I started to think that he wouldn't be able to enjoy snow anymore, like I did as a growing up. The weather has been really strange this year. I was getting used to hearing reports of hundreds of people dying in storms but this year the weather has been pretty calm. Maybe the climate has stabilized and we can expect regular season changes from now on.

     It's been an exciting week. I traded in my gasoline car for an all electric car. All of the gas stations in our area finally converted their gas pumps to electric car charging stations. I'm so glad since gasoline is so expensive now. Gasoline powered cars have become a rare thing. They are just recycling the materials from the old gasoline cars to get them off the road. It's taken a while to get people to upgrade their cars, but it's been worth it.

     Initially I was depressed about turning 40, but things have never been better. It looks live we've done enough to get things back to normal. It's nice to know that Jason will be able to live in a world where he won't have to worry about the climate.

POSTED BY JASON, 2072

    Wow, I can not believe I am turning 40 years old. At least I do not feel 40 yet, so I have no complaints. Maybe I will feel more my age once I have children of my own, which should not be long now since just a week ago the doctor confirmed that Linda was pregnant. What a great birthday surprise! I wish my father could be around to share this moment with me.

     Just the other day Linda and I were cleaning out the attic and we found my fathers old toboggan. It made me think about him and how close we were. He was taken from us a few years ago due to sun exposure and I miss him every day. Some of my fondest memories of my father was with that toboggan and those winters upstate. I can not even recall the last time I have even seen snow, it has snowed around here in about 10 years. It worries me to think that my child may only witness snow through a television screen. It is strange how much I do miss that cold snow.

     Everything has changed, though. We are seeing diseases that we can not explain, let alone cure. Hell, we can not even go outside for more then a few hours a day, and some days the exposure warnings don’t let us out at all. With the days being so hot it is a shame when you can’t spend it at the beach.

     We watch the news and see constant forest fires just west of here. The smoke lingers in the air, making it hard to breath and giving the air an eerie grey glow. I am still trying to get used to it.  The sea level keeps going up, much faster then the Corp of Engineers can even work to slow it down a little. I do admire the resources that the government puts in to trying to combat the rising waters, but I also feel it is a waste of good tax money. They have already raised our taxes 4 times in the past few years to try and combat all these problems we are having.

     I hear Linda calling me, I will try to write more later. I know I have been a little neglectful lately.

(7 Months Later)

     Gaaash, Our doctor is unable to diagnose Linda’s disease, and she is getting weaker with every passing day. I think we are both drained due to losing the baby. Neither of us are sure we want to continue on. Most of the time, doctors cannot diagnose the cause of illnesses, but I think it is due to the unpredictable weather we have everyday. Our bodies are experiencing extreme cold one day and extreme hot weather the next.

(6 Months Later)

     Linda passed away today. We had been living without a doctor for the last 6 months. Almost everyone in our town has been wiped out in the last few years.  I am so frightened!  Just across the street I can see the factories, which are still in operation, because machines do not get effected by the weather.  Who will use these products once everyone is gone?

(3 Months Later)

     I am getting weaker every day.  I see machines and robots everywhere. I wonder if I am the last human being on earth or if there may be a few more strugling with their diseases.  I wish we could reboot the climate. If humans survive I hope they will not play with nature, or take things for granted, as we did.


>>>SYSTEM DATE: 2098-10-15<<<
>>>No human activity for 20 years. Shutting down all systems.<<<

  
EPILOGUE
     The events depicted above might seem extreme or exaggerated to you, but although they are fictional, there is a hint of truth in every fiction. Our current world is plagued by conflicts because of scarce resources and environmental disasters.  Hurricanes, tidal floods and landslides occur more frequently and our nature is losing its beauty due to pollution. If we preserve our nature, we preserve the beauty of the world we live in, which increases our quality of life overall. Even if you might not agree with our view on climate change you have to agree that the benefits of using our available resources efficiently are self-explanatory.

     The topic of resource dependency has been recently brought up more and more when talking about national security.  China’s oil consumption has more than doubled in the last decade and there are 1,300,000,000 Chinese people, who would like to drive a car, just as you do. Whether you like it or not, just like a company traded in the stock market, we are competing as a nation with other economies worldwide for resources, goods and services. If we are wasteful, we will have the same prospect future as a wasteful company.

     If we can ease some of the resource conflicts we are currently steering into, we all will live better and probably longer. You might ask yourself, “but what can I do as a single person?” Well, If you were to run a company and could reduce your cost per manufactured product (=resources) by 15%, would you not do it?  Now, just image the effect on oil dependency if the U.S could save 15% of gasoline on every mile driven by a car. Also, aside from the effects for a single nation, think about what efficient use of resources can do for humanity as a whole. Think about what we could do with all the money that we save. Think about what the future could be like if we can make scarce resources plentiful.

Below you will find a few links, leading to interesting information on how to save resources.

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_index
EPA Website – This link leads to the homepage of the EPA and the “Energy Star” seal. It has plenty of information available on how you can make you household more energy efficient.

http://www.charitywater.org/
Charitywater – Checkout this interesting charity, which is trying to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

http://www.ftc.gov/energysavings
FTC – This great website presents tips on how to save energy in your household in a very appealing and easy to navigate format. Check it out; your savings might pay for your monthly cell phone bill.
 

This Blog Action Day post was a collaborative effort by:
Ali, Software Engineer
Mike, Support Director
Phil, Network Manager
Robert, Software Engineer
Shad, Developer

 


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