One of my biggest pet peeves is all the focus on global warming (or, if you prefer the term “they” are trying to popularize: global climate change). At Logan’s Tax Day Tea Party, a guy holding a sign that read, “Global warming is a damned lie” only reinforced my irritation with our social, political and cultural obsession with this “inconvenient truth”. See, I hate the focus on climate change because it’s debatable. Even if we all agree that the climate is changing (and there are plenty of “folks” who don’t), debate rages over whether humans caused and whether we can do anything about it. This whole argument is a waste of time. Instead, we should be focusing on pollution.
Air pollution is a public health issue
When we think of global climate change, we think of it as an environmental issue. We also think of it as debatable “politics” rather than “science”. Which, honestly, makes quite a lot of policymakers and corporations happy. The real issue should be pollution. There is little doubt that much of our air is dirty. And there is little doubt that air pollution poses very real health risks. A host of health problems can be linked to air pollution. So aren’t we focusing more on this problem? Because then something would have to be done. As long as we the people are distracted by a “debate” about global warming, we won’t demand that our biggest polluters stop dirtying the air we breathe.
Focusing on, and attacking, air pollution as a public health issue would be a great thing for us to do for the planet. Everyone would benefit: Earth, us, plants and animals. Even corporations would benefit if they used pollution reduction as a chance to embrace innovation and find new solutions. So let’s quit the global warming talk, and start talking about our air and our health.