On the personal note, and a tiny sliver of what was formally taught was that greenhouse gases were collecting and burning a hole in the ozone, particularly at either the north or south poles (or perhaps it was both). The topic was taught in a non-lab class titled Biology for Survival (taught in Montclair State University (then Montclair State College)). The class was informative on a number of levels, dealing with toxins in groundwater, basic information about toxic emissions into the air (which end up entering the earth that we stand upon, assuming that we don’t breathe them into our lungs first) and touching upon their dispersion by way of weather patterns that carry everything from tannic acid (produced by rotting leaves) to heavy metals and their effect on unprotected steel bits.
How does that affect “modern man”? There are some pundits who argue about biodiversity of species and there are those who hesitate to explore the oceans because of the dollar-value cost of doing so, but who find, upon exploration of the traditional fishing areas find that the catch of specific species is either non-existent or barely existent as compared with what they were a generation ago (my father’s a recreational fisherman who’s shared information in this respect). In a similar (and alarming) vein is the report (which I viewed) on the subject of the doomsday repository of plant seeds. This report was aired by one of the major television networks and was broadcast on (CBS television’s) 60 Minutes this past Sunday. How this figures in with the calving ice floes is plainly expressed (in a minimalistic way) as “something new every day”. Now that’s the nature of the news industry.
In my opinion, what we, as a global village, need as soon as possible is to elevate agrarian production with new education of people who operate businesses, and farms that have suffered substandard crop deliveries due to lack of arable land, find ways for each of us to produce a positive net impact upon society by re-organizing how our businesses function; much as 3M is reputed to function… a certain part of each employee’s day is devoted toward creative endeavors and paid by the company; in return for which some new products trickle-into the company portfolio of products (and employees tend to be less stressed out because the company culture acknowledges that creativity cannot be mandated per se).
How does this all fit in with “Today”. For one, it was just yesterday night (or perhaps the night before) that local television news covered the very current news about the calving of a very large portion of ice in the territory near either the north or the south pole. The hunk of ice had been there for a great many decades and has now entered the ocean proper. The result of calving on that scale furthers the amount of water that enters the biocycle of waters available to (or threatening) existing homes, ships and the like. Now, to be certain, I believe myself to have only earned a B+ average in my Bio for Survival course (or perhaps it was an A), but it doesn’t take a great deal of obsessiveness to realize that the hurricanes that form and ravage the east coast of the United States (and the tsunamis that ravage various other countries) to note that extra ice in the oceans means a net-lowering of water temperatures.
Now, I’m not sure we can save every species that currently exists, despite the existence of a polar seed-bank, but if we have the sense to borrow a few seeds from such seedbanks and learn how to cultivate land with older species of (tomatoes, for example) and go much easier on our gasoline usage (don’t ask me how, but a very good model of consumer marketing does exist in Aalborg, Denmark, where the city busses are limited to something along the lines of 4 different bus routes to get into most parts of the fourth-largest city in Denmark) we can extend our “doomsday deadline”, perhaps by generations. As for the rest of my thoughts on this topic, at least for the moment, I would think that there are other ways to conserve fuel by re-tooling the operations of various businesses and installing emissions scrubbers on “18-wheelers”. Comments are welcome, especially if paired with workable ideas.