I heard the words that shocked me and I remember it all very well -- the place a cute West Village cafe in New York, the time, around noon and the fact that I almost choked on my sandwich hearing the words, "Climate change is all made up, Anna." It was said by my best friend Sarah (name changed). Sarah and I have talked, partied, had fun and have known each other for over 15 years. We met right when we both moved to New York City. She's offered me personal and business advice on many occasions and I've always valued it a lot. You can only imagine my disappointment when I heard her opinion about climate change.
I had just got back from India, where I spent three days at the Climate Reality Leadership Training with Al Gore. 500 of us from different walks of life and from all over the world gathered in New Delhi on February 22-24 this year with a common goal to learn how to effectively spread the word about being more gentle to the environment. Al Gore showed a presentation and talked about how to raise awareness, he gave very convincing examples of worlds disasters happening more often because of the earth temperatures rising. Fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide, which makes the temperature rise, 90 percent of extra heat goes into the ocean. Warmer oceans hold more water so more water evaporates and this results in increasing downpours. And on all continents, larger downpours cause bigger and more frequent floods and landslides.
There's more but to start all the above makes sense, right? You'd think so. Global warming and climate change make sense to many. And yet some people still deny it. They mix in politics, focus on specific terms and banning them. Last week Wisconsin became the second state banning staff of Public Lands Board from talking about climate change. Taking the climate change theory aside and analyzing things in an oversimplified way, we can all admit - coal smells, you have to waste time and energy producing it. After the numerous fossil fuel power stations burn coal, natural gas or petroleum, what will become out of this emitted smoke? It won't transfer into clouds! It just means there will be more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - carbon capture and storage of emissions don't exist.
We have a fossil fuel replacement solution - it's renewable energies - wind and solar. Wind and sun is free - it doesn't smell, why not use it? People, who are against the renewables often have self interest in mind, are afraid of changes and worry about job losses. Yes, there would be a loss of jobs in fossil fuel power stations if the world decided to convert into wind and solar generated energy but how about looking at it not as job losses but job shifts? Making progress is all about making adjustments, shifting and growing. The switches are costly but the long term benefits huge. Kodak is an example of a company that was sticking to the film technology for too long and was against digital. Can you imagine if there were enough anti digital, anti change people? We would still be using film cameras!
When I was in New Delhi, I talked to one of the global warming scientists, who was at one of the panels. I asked him how to deal with people, who deny climate change. His answer was: "Be gentle." Of course I value my girlfriend the same as before finding out about her opinion about global warming. We didn't even have a discussion about it -- I was just too afraid it could jeopardize our friendship.
Sometimes you just have to change the way of having conversations. Often, in my climate change conversations, I don't use controversial words. There's no point in me insisting on using "climate change," "global warming" or "deniers" if it makes anyone upset. Spreading the word about conservation and eliminating waste is more important than fighting over the usage of some controversial terms. Let's all be gentle to each other and our planet.
Has to be one of the most meaningful video.
Posted by Furqan Shayk on Wednesday, January 14, 2015