May 30th, 2024

Man versus the Earth

By Letter to the Editor on March 28, 2020.

I remember Charles Atlas, a man with the Earth on his back, advertising body-building techniques. That was never my thing, but cleaning the Earth and its pollution has always been a keen task. Lethbridge started a feeble task in recycling with the blue bins, but most things, especially industrial waste, still ends up in the landfill to rot and give off toxic and unwanted greenhouse gases.

Carbon dioxide has become a bad apple in our world, but is needed to grow those apples in the first place. We learned in school that without it, we would not exist because plants, vegetables, grains, trees and so many plant-based food items would not exist. Even cattle and other life on this planet would cease without carbon dioxide.

The major problem is an overabundance of the gas in certain parts of the world. We learned there is a ratio of the gases. Air has 80 per cent nitrogen, 20 per cent oxygen, with a few per cent carbon dioxide and other gases in between. Lately, cities like Los Angeles have had oxygen levels as low as 10 per cent in certain areas and higher CO2 levels, which our bodies cannot tolerate. The easy solution is to have more trees and other oxygen-generating plants, but the only way to alleviate the big-city problems is to cut oil emissions.

So where does global warming come in? For more than 5,000 years, the Earth has been getting warmer. That evidence is found in the Arctic, Antarctic, in glaciers all over the world. What is causing it? There are contributing factors.

One thing must be clear to even the most serious protesters: no matter what we do over the next century, we will not halt or slow this catastrophe in its track. We cannot cork the volcanoes. We are helpless in stopping all the brush and forest fires. We can, however, trim our emissions and clean up our act.

To clean up our act, we must do it sensibly and efficiently, balancing manufacturing emissions against our emission savings. Some of those savings in energy are outweighed by the manufacturing.

As extreme weather materializes from the changes in our climate, governments must take preventative steps to ensure the safety of people in harm’s way, such as low areas next to water and areas prone to landslides and avalanches. These events will happen. There will also be events related to plate tectonics, causing volcanoes and earthquakes we should prepare for.

Walter Kerber


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the cavalier and carefree days of out of control human population growth embracing unlimited wants must cease. underwriting this madness is our economic approach, which is no longer sustainable. as too much of our energy use goes into producing for our wants, we can do much to clean up our act by focusing most on needs. this will require a new economic paradigm, and an acknowledgement that humans are only as important as the overall health of the living planet.
we require diversity of all species, wetlands, grasslands, forests, clean water at source (not just the heavily chemically treated tap water stuff), well managed habitats for all. needs focused living will put an end to the raping and pillaging of not only land and water, flora and fauna, but also peoples and cultures.
new paradigms do not come easily or without resistance, as social conditioning is a force to be reckoned with. in fact, there are the many that will still react negatively to this entry, despite the very obvious reality that we have too long been following a destructive and wholly unsustainable model of living. the rot and devastation is everywhere to be seen, save for the human-caused extinctions.