Does Climate Change Exist, and Does It Even Matter?

It amazes me, really, how many different views there can be on any one subject. Whether it’s religion, the best-tasting tomato variety, or the right way to cook a chicken, disagreement is de rigueur. The urge to find disagreements about things is, I believe, human nature. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that climate change is still controversial, even as each year the global temperature increases and the glaciers melt and the snows of Everest thin and some rivers dry up while others flood.

The first mistake was calling it global warming.Even though, in aggregate, the planet is warming, in general, people like warmth. People don’t move to Florida when they retire to hang out with alligators. They go to bask in the warm weather. And while we might be sad to see the glaciers melt, hardly anyone lives up there, anyway; and now they won’t have to spend so much to heat their homes, right? Last summer in Pennsylvania, it was cold and rainy all summer long. So not only did it not feel like anything was warming, but it also blighted all of our tomatoes, which totally rankled!

A friend of mine who is a scientist said that a more appropriate term is “global climate chaos.” Now, that sounds a bit more frightening, and it’s a little more accurate. After all, scientists can model out different scenarios, but the truth is Nature usually seems to have a mind of her own—and will find a way to surprise us.

Of course, changing the name still doesn’t mean that everyone will believe that climate change, or climate chaos, is a problem.

Take the American Farm Bureau. They are not only outright disbelievers of the science of climate change, but also are fighting vigilantly to prevent any government action from helping to solve the problem because they think farmers should be protected from being held responsible in any way. And yet, as we now know, chemical agriculture is a huge contributor to this alleged climate chaos situation we find ourselves in. One of my favorite books is Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. In it, whenever the heroine gets stumped on trying to solve the mystery, John Galt, the hero, cryptically states, “Check your premises.”In this case, a common premise might be the belief that the American Farm Bureau truly supports farmers. In fact, it’s mostly a mouthpiece for the chemical-agriculture industry—which is the biggest financial backer of the Farm Bureau and by far the biggest beneficiary of both stalled change and the continuation of chemical agriculture.

So what’s a person to do? Go organic, of course. Whether you believe climate chaos exists or not, you are doing a world of good by not putting toxins into the soil, the water, and your family’s mouths. Buying organic foods is critical. Ultimately, farmers will change to organic farming if we insist that they change, and the best way to insist in a capitalist democracy is to keep on buying. Last, but not least, get active! Write letters and send emails to your government officials, including President Obama. Go to the Rodale Institute’s demandorganic.org and get involved in creating change and supporting independent organic research.

It starts with each one of us. We may not be able to agree on whether or not climate change exists, or is our biggest problem. We may not be able to stop it even if it is. All we can do is try to make the world a safer, healthier, and better place, one garden and one person at a time.

Oh, and watch my video. In it, I tell my story about why climate change really does matter…and it’s not the reason you may think! Share it with your friends! Pass it along.

Happy Earth Day!

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20 Responses to Does Climate Change Exist, and Does It Even Matter?

  1. Cyndie April 21, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    Touche’ Maria!!! Such a great video! Short and to the point!

    Love the ending! lol!

  2. Laura B. April 21, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Explained very well! I posted to my Facebook page.
    Big industry will time & time again fight against the truth to avoid emission restrictions & other regulations that may be imposed to slow climate change. Unfortunately, big industry also owns the mainstream media, and has it’s neo-con puppets to brainwash the people. (Limbaugh, Beck etc.) Can we, as individuals, really make a difference? We can! Buy organic whenever possible, ask for organic if you don’t see it, and PRACTICE organic at home! Not just food- in laundry, dishes, cleaning etc.
    Thanks Maria.

  3. Lisa S April 21, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Great piece Maria. I have to say that when I read your posts or book or watch your videos, I don’t feel very organic or green. I think I probably am, to some extent, more than some people but not as much as others. I like to think of it as a process. It is too overwhelming to go for all at once. Once you open up your eyes to it, it seems like waste and environmentally insensitive habits are everywhere!

  4. Patty April 21, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    I know there are more big farms than golf courses, but golf courses use a HUGE amount of harmful chemicals. If golfers knew what and how much poison is being used, they would never step one foot on the golf courses. What about the chemical lawn companies? They spray all over suburbia and leave little flags of a skull and crossbones when they leave. There are more places to vote on organic than in the grocery store. Keep up the good work Maria!!

  5. Jacquie April 21, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Thanks for trying to punch through the denial once again, Maria! Our planet is in a massive state of upheaval (species dying, weather patterns changing) because of our human influence. Anything that we as individuals can do to try to live in harmony (weaning ourselves off petroleum-based products and services [almost everything!]) and through connected communities will contribute toward a shifting awareness that it’s only through individuals that change happens. As always, I return for hope to the inspiring Margaret Mead, who said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

  6. Kimi April 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    Great piece, Maria. I believe we can make a difference in minimizing “global warming” or “global climate chaos” and it starts by writing to our house representatives, senators and even our U.S. president. I wonder if Michael Moore and Fmr. VP, Al Gore could do a film together on global warming–as a sequel to the film Al Gore did? Hmmm… BTW, thanks for the behind the scenes shot at end of video : )–funny!

  7. Amanda April 22, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    Okay…so as much as I love the name change and all the crystal clear factoids, my fav part is the blooper you decided to keep on!

  8. Werner April 22, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    From everything I’ve read and studied, we are facing more like a total
    “Global Collapse”, but our “decider” community and power brokers just like it the way it is, it’s called: conservatism, free markets, individual rights (now we can add corporations to that statement), and capitalism.

    Sorry to be so glum, but with 3 billion more people on the way real soon, the planet will change profoundly, and the pentagon is already
    anticipating this threat labeled “climate migration”.
    Thanks for trying Maria, our Rachel Carson of the 21st century.

  9. Donna in Delaware April 22, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    There will always be naysayers about any, all, and everything good, and/or bad in life. It always amazes me how some people just don’t get it until something drastic happens, if not to them, then someone they love, before things are understood. Some love to turn a blind eye to reality so that they can cope. No one wants to hear about the bad or potentially bad things in life, most can’t cope with simple day to day realities, much less something of this magnitude. Nontheless, they had better start getting with the program, time is short and getting shorter

    Watch it MARIA, they will start emailing you saying that this IS NOT A DEMOCRACY, but a CAPITALIST REPUBLIC, and to get your history straight. Some people are SOOOOOO PICKY and PETTY!!! This is what they worry about, idiotic things like that! Oh well, what can you do with them? Great video and thanks for all of the effort that you put in to educating people about the environment and what goes into food. Some of us DO GET IT! So all is not lost.

  10. Rmoen April 22, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Global warming is certainly occurring. According to the United Nations CO2 drives global warming. If ‘drives’ and ‘global’ are correct, America and the rest of the world must quickly restructure our energy infrastructure to reduce CO2 emissions. But if Mother Nature actually drives climate change, then we should not move precipitously to burden our economy with carbon taxes and alternative-energy subsidies. I, for one, do not want to pay a dollar or two more per gallon, skimp on heating my home or see the blight of wind mills because of faulty science. Moreover, America just can’t afford any more system-wide bad choices — we’re already bankrupt.

    Sadly, we’ve out-sourced our scientific opinion to the United Nations. …an organization more concerned about political influence and funding than conducting good science. The UN also needs to perpetuate the Kyoto Protocol to remain in the game.

    It’s crystal clear. The United States needs our own objective, transparent climate commission to think-through global warming. The advice of a Climate Truth Commission is needed before we burden our economy with expensive energy. Both sides of the man-made global warming issue should welcome such an approach. …each is so darn sure of their facts.

    — Robert Moen, http://www.energyplanUSA.com

  11. Roger L Whited April 22, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Thank you, for your things we should be thinking about, doing about and talking about. We should be thinking about the reasons and not listening to the sky is falling!! this perpetrated by our Al Gore, which his scientist now has admitted he fixed toe numbers! The evidence of huge rain forests being leveled for the wood, to raise cattle for about two yrs, is factual it will be as the Sahara , is evident ! This we understand has changed climates. Now the factor that has not been discussed is how does the sun figure in? The huge explosions it has, has disrupted many magnetic fields around our planet. these fields affect us in changing so many factors on our earth. It hasn’t been that long ago we had -40 degrees here in Nebr. in the winters and 105 deg plus in the summers that lasted for 2+ mo’s. Realize God has placed regulatory measures of climates and we are helping off balance these..About five years ago on the stone formations on the Irish coast they found in a cave drawings from civilizations that were there before the poles and ice age melting.. how u say ? these drawings and writings were 30′- 50 ‘ below the water level of the Atlantic . The oceans are warming, yes but with the melting of the poles and glacial ice, the waters cooled off stopping the changing of huge deposits way down, of methane crystals.(they go to gas when the waters of the deep, warm.)} Neo-con puppets? We need to look at-all-the-who: who are informing the masses ; consider who does not have a bias or an ulterior motive and see who amassed the millions because of his misinformation.We need to consider commun-ity, and have projects conserving their organic materials,stopping soil-chemical-water-pollution(including salt)! The great sin we all guilty of is”for good people to do nothing”,,, and DE Donna.. we do not have a democracy , we have a Republic that practices democratic principles…. God save this REPUBLIC !!!!!

  12. Roger L Whited April 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    DEAR MARIA, I think u have mistakenly read what the Farm Bureau, has stated, I am not F B, but I do live in an ag. based community. Essentially, they said that the regulations would put many farmers out of business because they could not comply because of the costs involved. I don’t know if U have read the booklet the USDA PUT OUT IN THE 70’S.. Explaining in a 1st grade way exactly what the farmers had to be safe! one of the don’ts was that the farmer should not go swimming in the

  13. Roger L Whited April 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    COW POO-KOO PIT… IT WAS WRITTEN BY SOME ONE WHO DID NOT THINK THE AG COMMUNITY HAD ENOUGH SENSE TO DO THEIR DUTIES!! THESE SAME UN- INFORMED OFFICE WORKERS WRITE THESE REG’S.

  14. Donna in Delaware April 24, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    AND Roger L Whited: It’s sad that sooooo many out there get their panties all bunched up at the WORD “DEMOCRACY”, especially when talking about the US. I agree, we have democratic principles, but there are a bunch of people in this country that get crazy at the mention of the word, and they are not all “LIBERALS”, as some would have you to believe. They are die hard REPUBLICANS, my ex-friends and some former next door neighbors. With friends like that, I’m glad they are not friends anymore. Anyhow, that’s another story for another time

  15. Donna in Delaware April 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    AND also ROGER L. WHITED:

    I do believe I did correct MARIA by saying that we are a REPUBLIC, did I not? Or was there something that you did not understand about that statement.

  16. Donna in Delaware April 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    P.S. ROGER,

    If you are thinking about my phrase “Capitalist REPUBLIC”, I was alluding to what MARIA already said in her statement.

  17. Donna in Delaware April 24, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    YEP, not only is it going to take GOD to save this REPUBLIC, but we had better put some serious effort into help saving it ourselves! We can’t wait for God to do everything for us. Which is why he gave us FREE WILL!!
    GET MOVING!!!!

  18. Roger L Whited April 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    wow WOW MARIA.! I DON’T WANT YOU TO THINK I AM SHOUTING BUT THIS ENABLES ME TO SEE MY ERRORS TYPING MORE READILY. I APOLGIZE! I DID NNOT KNOW THAT I HAD SO MANY P.S.’s I KNOW THAT GARDENING IS NOT A POLITICAL PLACE! Golly Maria did we not PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG …. OF THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS… AND … HATEE TO BURST YOUR BUBBLE BUT I AM AN INDEPENDENT!!!!! NOW MY QUESTION IS WHY U WANT TO BRING MY “LAUNDRY” INTO THIS GARDENING SITE???? I AGREE THAT WE ALL ARE NOT CAPITALISTS… THAT’S WHY WE ARE GARDENING!! Have u read the new bill that is in the senate right now for USDA, TELLING THE AGRA- BUSINESSES WHAT IS TO BE DONE TO FARM? WHAT THIS BILL WILL DO TO THE BANKING PRACTICES IN THE RURAL COMMUNITIES? PLEASE DO . I AGREE THAT YOU DO HAVE TO GET MOVING , BUT IF U START YOUR DAY WITH OUT TALKING TO OUR MOST HIGH” GOD,” MIGHT BE THE BEST LAID PLANS……GO A-WRY ,… THEN GET MOVING..!!! WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CAPITALIST IS THAT U HAVE SOMETHING TO SELL, INVEST, SUBSCRIBE TO, A BUSINESS, IF U HAVE NONE OF THESE THINGS U ARE A LABORER IN A CAPITALIST SOCIETY. LIKE” ME”.MY INTENT WAS TO BRING DIALOG INTO THIS SITE NOT TO ENGAGE IN A BATTLE OF WORDS WE TEND TO SEE ONLY WHAT IS IN FRONT OF US, I AM ONE OF THOSE, BUT I HAVE BEEN SURFING FOR INFORMATION AND AM SURPRISED OF WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW WAS ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICE BURG. DON’T FORM AN OPINION FROM WHAT ANY “PARTY “SAYS SEARCH OUT THE TRUTH…PLEASE!!! DONNA DO NOT PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH…

  19. Donna in Delaware April 28, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Not putting words any anyone’s mouth ROGER! Never have, never will.
    FREE SPEECH! Like I said, it’s a topic for another time and another place.

    DONE! Have a beautiful blessed day.

  20. Richard "Monk" Matz April 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    As long as we keep putting new strip malls in 1 mile away from a perfectly good strip mall and continue to blacktop the surface of the earth this problem will not go away!! Boycott all businesses that move down the road and leave a good building behind. REALTORS ARE EVIL

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