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Man versus nature

Water overflowing the auxillary spillway of Oroville Dam |  Photo: California Department of Water Resources

Water overflowing the auxillary spillway of Oroville Dam – Feb. 11, 2017 | Photo: California Department of Water Resources

One of the classic conflicts in literature, screenplays and on television is man versus nature. Basically, the conflict involves man trying to overcome a force of nature like a blizzard, hurricane or earthquake. Usually, the hero survives and gives hope to the reader or audience. Unfortunately, in real life, nature always wins.

The reality is that humans can only keep nature at bay, but then she rears her ugly head, and we realize how weak we are compared to nature’s wrath. Category 5 hurricanes leave unimaginable devastation in their wake. Earthquakes crumble buildings in seconds that took years to build. Tornadoes hurl trucks hundreds of yards like a child throwing a toy.

Over the centuries mankind has made major changes to the way it lives to accommodate nature. We moved from caves to man-made dwellings with indoor heat and air conditioning. Humans built concrete roads to overcome the transportation problems created by rain and dirt roads; all to keep nature at bay. People still die in intense cold in their homes in the northeast. People still die from extreme heat because they don’t have air conditioning. I know you may be asking, “What’s the point”?

The point is climate change should be one of our nation’s top priorities. While we have climate change deniers, I don’t understand why denying climate change should even be considered in the equation of what America and the world should do.

President Donald Trump leads the charge as the top climate change denier, reportedly going so far as instructing the Environmental Protection Agency to take down the climate change page from its Web site and barring its staff from discussing or disseminating climate change news.

If climate change supporters are wrong, but the world embraces the solutions for which they advocate, the world is a better place. A reduction in the use of fossil fuels, investing in infrastructure, reducing deforestation and unplugging, meaning not leaving your charges plugged in incessantly – all will reduce greenhouse gases that are believed to cause climate change, thereby staving off climate change’s negative effects.

If climate change deniers are wrong, mankind dies. No, I am not being dramatic. If climate change deniers are wrong, the world will experience changes in temperature and climate that may destroy our food sources in certain regions while increasing the ability to grow crops in other regions. Climate change may create social chaos because food and water sources will be completely changed: countries that provide food to the world may experience incredible droughts while those who currently cannot grow food turn into fertile regions. That type of economic change will upset the order of the world very quickly. Imagine if the U.S. became completely dependent on food from other nations? It would clearly effect America’s ability to be a “world leader.”

We are already experiencing the effects of climate change in California. After drought conditions for the last several years, Californians are now seeing the effects of excessive precipitation. The Oroville Dam spillway has been damaged due to excessive rain that it cannot handle; a large 250-foot-long pothole has been discovered. The Oroville Dam and spillway provides vital water for irrigation in the Central Valley, generates electricity, as well as provides drinking water for Southern California. Not allowing water to continue to flow through the spillway is not an option. Currently, the situation is a crisis because the emergency spillway is being used and is creating erosion of the hillside that could affect the spillway’s stability.

This is exactly why the prudent decision is to follow the advice of climate change supporters; the world should begin the steps necessary to forestall environmental impacts before it’s too late.

Climate change deniers say there is no proof. Given the choice does it really matter? An ounce of climate change prevention is worth a pound of cure. After all, nature always wins.



San Diego LGBT Weekly


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Posted by on Feb 16, 2017. Filed under Commentary, Editorial, Latest Issue, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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