Published On: Fri, Oct 4th, 2013

Is it time we stopped shitting in the bath?

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The thought of actually shitting in the bath makes most people squeamish.  It feels so wrong and, lets face it, gross.

And yet we do exactly that everyday, at least metaphorically.

Our planet is a gigantic bathtub.

It has oceans that we dump full of sewage, agricultural run off that causes algae blooms and dead zones, and carbon dioxide that acidifies the water which destroys coral reefs and disrupts the ability of all shell fish to create their calcium carbonate based shells. Additional heat, caused by global warming, is mainly absorbed by the oceans which is resulting in higher sea levels and more powerful storms and flooding on land. Sea ice covering the Arctic in the north is thinning and shrinking, disrupting its fragile ecosystem and enabling more oil and gas drilling, factory fishing and global shipping.

The atmosphere, which appears from space as a thin whisp of life covering the Earth’s surface, is being heated up by emissions from our cars and gas and coal power plants. While 90% of the heat is absorbed by the oceans below, enough CO2 stays trapped in the atmosphere to drive extreme weather events, floods and droughts.

So as you are lying in your warm bath, thinking how nice and relaxing it is, perhaps you should open your eyes and take a peak.

You should ask: “Why is the water so brown?”  And “why is it so thick?”

If this disgusts you, that is good: it is time we stopped this habit.

What we are doing to our environment is worse and will leave a lasting impact on not just our older selves, but on our children and on our children’s children.

 

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The latest IPCC report on climate change is now out and reiterates what it has said for the past 25 years – global warming is happening and humans are the cause. Click here for the IPCC climate change report summary.

 

 

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  • Eric Fletcher

    Meanwhile, deniers are covering their ears and eyes to drown out the evidence for human-caused climate change…

    What I can’t fathom is why such people feel that action would have any real downside: if it turned out that humans are NOT contributing, any massive efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption wouldn’t really be wasted because we’d end up with alternatives that would save hydrocarbons for future uses (plastics, more limited and costly fuel, etc.). But if we ARE a major contributor, it is surely in all of our interests to do whatever we can to slow down the rate of consumption—if not reverse it.

  • TJC2

    Some environmental engineers use the saying “dilution is the solution”.

    In the USA, “global warming” has not proven to be an effective political rallying cry. The science is too uncertain and too easily debunked politically….”this last winter was the coldest I can remember in my backyard”. Coal plants had effectively become politically untenable for years now due to local environmental opposition. The Administration’s recent issuance of regulations effectively outlawing new coal plants were an unnecessary overreach and will unfortunately excite a strong backlash.

    What has really excited people in the US is the emergence of wind as the lowest cost new-generation resource, and of solar having fallen in price precipitously over the last 2 years to achieve grid parity in many states. Three things are on the agenda to keep moving forward: 1) The wind industry needs to get off the Gov’t subsidy teat, 2) Solar needs to continue its incredible price drop (I’m working on that one), and 3) Storage needs to make visible (installed) progress.

    As I understand the data the US has been showing great progress on CO2 reductions and our best bet will be to keep focused on market approaches to do so.

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