I finished reading Michael Crichton's "State of Fear" last night. Interesting. I was a bit surprised to see that he doesn't seem to be in support of the idea of global warming, but he certainly did a lot of research, and makes a good case. I personally have never really gotten off the fence on the issue. I listen to what both sides have to say, but haven't found compelling enough reasons to take a firm position. When I was a kid in Missouri, I saw 12-foot snow drifts in front of our house, after a blizzard that arrived in May. Nobody at that time, as I recall, thought we were on the brink of a new Ice Age. Of course, we were much less sophisticated in those days....
Anyway, what seems more important to me is how we as humans relate to the world of nature as a whole. I am unable to grasp the 'logic' that is required for one to devastate his house for profit. Isn't the Earth our house – our home? What we do to it and the other inhabitants of it, we do to ourselves.
I think debating the truth or fiction of global warming distracts the average guy from taking responsibility for his own actions. It's the small, everyday things we do that are important.
I'm not going to make some big list, but say, food choices, for instance (which is a whole subject in itself) – whether or not to buy local; organic or not; that kind of thing. You've heard it before, but buying food that is out of season, or comes from another part of the world, uses huge amounts of energy (OIL!! COAL!!) to reach our local market. So if you REALLY want to make changes that will make a difference, sacrifice some of the goodies. I know it ain't easy, believe me, cause at heart we're all little kids who "want what we want, and we want it right now!"
Every dollar we spend that DOESN'T go to some big corporate entity whose only concern is profit, the Market is listening. Those are votes that count!
I think that if we waste, we'll pay for it in the end. And since we, at least in the developed world, waste a LOT, I get depressed thinking about what things will be like in 20, 50, or 100 years, should our habits of consumption fail to change significantly.