Digging Deeper. Essay on Global Warming
At first glance, “Happiness is a Warm Planet,” by Thomas Gale Moore grabs the attention of readers with his controversial answers towards global warming. In today’s day and age, a simple article on why global warming is bad would be a norm and not particularly interesting to many. This article, however, goes against the grain by claiming “Richer is better, warmer is healthier” (Moore). If one never read into the credentials of Mr. Moore, they might think these claims are silly. Moore, however, was more qualified to talk about global warming then Lebron James is to play basketball.
Though a person may be qualified, it does not mean they are absent from mistakes, which is what proved to be the case for Moore while writing this passage. Maybe the mistake is a little harsh, a miscalculation would be more respectable for this scenario. He made general points without paying attention to the specific details. He only dug deep into the topics he wanted to. Money seemed to be very important, while other safety topics were left with depthless answers. Thomas Gale Moore had intriguing perceptions without a doubt, but his tunnel vision did not consider some of the deeper consequences of global warming. including the absence of cold weather, dangerous diseases, and increase in natural disasters.
In just the second paragraph of the article, Moore states the obvious, “More people die of the cold than of the heat.” (Moore) Well that should not be a surprise and I do not think anyone disagrees with the statistical evidence that backs up the claim. Scientists would agree as well, but when talking about global warming, the real, devastating, and eventual world ending effects will happen hundreds to thousands of years from now.
Losing cold weather will be detrimental to everyone around the world, and the state of Montana is a prime example. A report by Robert Chaney is a great eye opener for everyone across the country. Chaney explains that “predicted shifts toward warm-water fish species could reduce the value of cold-water fishing between $25 million and $66 million a year by the end of the century.” (cite) People refuse to understand the severity this takes on the economy until it happens. The amount of money stated is only a fraction of what it could be. This number may not only grow bigger but start multiplying in decline. He also states that, “Natural resource industries like agriculture and fisheries would be hurt by irrigation shortages, changing ocean conditions and increased wildfire” What that means is when the ice is gone it is not just sunshine and rainbows, there will be consequences to follow.
As far as the Ski Industry of Montana goes, “Snowfall in western Montana and western Wyoming could shrink winter-sports seasons for skiing and snowmobiling by 20 percent to 60 percent by 2090” (Soverow). Even if this prediction is on the lower end of the scale, say 30 percent, it could cause irreversible effects.
Early in the article, “Happiness is a Warm Planet,” Moore states “A warmer climate would actually reduce disease and cut mortality.” He goes on to give many examples, including car accidents being reduced and longer growing seasons. That would be amazing, and most likely will be the case for a certain time frame, but the problem is that the warming does not stop at the picture-perfect spot people want. So, what follows the longer growing seasons? Eventually extensive periods of drought. This information is neglected to be acknowledged and will be met with disaster if not thought about thoroughly. Moore speaks way too highly of a warmer world. Climate Change does not have feelings. It will continue to get warmer and warmer until the world is no more. “Infectious Disease in a Warming World,” by Jonathan E. Soverow, provides a very interesting context on what could happen with diseases as the world continues to warm.
There was found to be a direct correlation with people who tested positive for the West Nile Virus and those who lived in an area with a much higher weekly average temperature. To be specific, somewhere between “35-83%” more people with higher temperature location had the West Nile Infection (Soverow). The West Nile Virus is bound to escalate in hot weather. As the warming continues the West Nile mosquito “biting rates” multiplies, and the number of predators due to the dryness decreases (Soverow). The National Assessment of Climate Change and Health, foresaw that there will be a surge in cases of “heat stroke, malaria, yellow fever, respiratory disease, insect and rodent-borne diseases” (Soverow). The deaths from these diseases are sure to cause an uptick in mortality rate, though the numbers are impossible to predict. What can be said about the status of diseases in the heat is that they are not something that anyone should look forward to. They are unpredictable and, in many ways, wide spreading. There is a multitude of findings suggesting that humans have only scratched the surface of what could happen without change.
In his article, Moore makes a very controversial claim in the first sentence of his concluding paragraph. He states, “the optimal way to deal with potential climate change is not to strive to prevent it, a useless activity in any case, but to promote growth and prosperity so that people will have the resources to deal with the normal set of natural disasters.” What about climate change would make a person think that we could have a “normal set of natural disasters” (Moore). A record high in temperatures would lead to anything but normal events. There have been several different studies since then that have disproved this claim. A report from Bruce Geiselman shows that scientists of 13 different federal agencies, from The U.S. Climate Change Science Program, found there to be significant evidence that North America will see much more disasters of extreme weather (Geiselman).
These disasters include almost anything from larger hurricanes and higher floods, to severe droughts. The common denominator in all these events, is that the level in which they could happen at is deadly. At some point the frequency of these events will happen so often that there will be little time to recover before the next natural disaster strikes. Once this happens, humans could be looking at a chain of devastating incidents leading up to their own demise. According to an article by Ian McNulty, people along the gulf coast are already experiencing the overwhelming effects of global warming. Living in places such as Louisiana, citizens are extremely susceptible to hurricanes. Locals from Louisiana are worried of the flooding as well as hurricanes that could put a part of the state underwater (McNulty). Moore’s claim about having “normal” disasters is simply disrespectful to the numerous findings of well-educated scientists.
“Happiness is a Warm Planet” was in no ways preposterous, but the deeper consequences of global warming, including the absence of cold weather, dangerous diseases, and increase in natural disasters was failed to be accounted for. These three aspects illustrate just how threatening of a problem Americans are dealing with. Moore created the impression that he valued money over the safety of lives. Money needs to be left at the door when talking about global warming. Humans need to do everything they can to slow the process of global warming that has clearly been taking place for decades. The United States has some of the best scientists in the world. Do not bring personal feelings into global warming, trust the facts. At the surface, the truth may favor in the way of Moore’s argument, but with time and research one can see that warmer is worse, richer is unhealthy.