Climate change solutions aren't easy, but necessary

Conrad Weiler /

Published Mar 26, 2013 at 05:00AM

Concerning interest in our climate, I think the tide is slowly changing. Almost every day there are new articles in magazines and newspapers with climate stories and information. Recent and ongoing droughts, ocean acidification, deforestation, and chemicals being added to the atmosphere are better covered and help educate readers.

Recently, there was an interesting story about future energy sources that included discussion of ongoing fission and fusion projects being researched. To me, this seems a possible useful addition to climate change forecasts and energy needs in our future.

Right now, there are deniers, proponents and doers in the climate change stories. There are also people in the dark, and the “I don’t care,” and the “I/we can’t do anything about it” crowds. Hopefully, there can be a better exchange of information about negative and positive actions leading to a healthier worldwide environment. We, the United States, are not alone in this problem. All countries on planet Earth are involved. The more participation in the search for solutions, the better chance for success and a healthier environment.

Presently, we have wind power, solar power and wave/tide action energy activist movements to cut down on our big oil dependence and reduce our carbon footprint. However, considering how we and the rest of the world are currently operating day-to-day with use of transportation, manufacturing, mining, and other activities, carbon dioxide, methane, and other chemical discharges — climate change is going to continue with warming of the planet. Slight temperature changes are not to be passed off lightly. Human, animal and plant health are affected on planet Earth.

One example — the car I use to move from home to town. Fuel used, energy to produce the car and mining energy to provide metals adds to the larger carbon footprint. I don’t think we are going to see a change away from this form of transportation in the foreseeable future. Business interests and jobs make this very unlikely. Even converting to less polluting cars or more public transportation still requires mining of materials, manufacturing and worldwide distribution methods. There seem to be no easy answers.

Well, we also have people looking for other scientific solutions to climate change problems. Energy sources from nuclear fission and fusion research may lead to cleaner forms of energy production, including reusing some of the current nuclear wastes. Today’s new nuclear energy plants are safer than the older technology. It may come to pass that those countries adopting more energy-producing nuclear technology will greatly benefit their economies, people and environment. Also, researching ways to take carbon dioxide out of the environment may prove to be a helpful approach. Maybe methane could also be removed from the environment and be reused as an energy source. Other harmful chemicals related to climate change might also be removed from the environment. Research in these areas could be very useful in helping with climate change challenges.

So, we have quite a diverse set of groups presently at work in the climate change area. Hopefully, this will prove beneficial as we approach the year 2050 and an Earth population estimated at over 10 billion. I don’t think any one magic bullet is available to solve our climate change situation. However, a healthy mix of the proposals above may prove successful in saving a healthier planet Earth for future generations down the road.

These are some of my thoughts on current 2013 climate change views. As you may have guessed, I am a proponent for taking positive action in protecting our limited atmosphere. Your outlook may be rosier or darker than mine. Hopefully, things will turn out well for future generations on planet Earth.