The Sky is Falling

I like to watch television while I eat. Always have. I remember eating dinner and watching Three's Company many an afternoon during my teens. My brother and I would claim our favorite spots on the floor (feet next to the base of the television, bodies sprawled out toward the center of the living room, with our weight balanced on the elbow of choice). We'd spoon goulash or chili into our mouths and watch Jack, Chrissy, and Janet stumble through another funny episode.

Strange how we remember the oddest, most insignificant things sometimes, isn't it?

Even though I now prefer to sit on the couch or in a recliner while I spoon my dinner into my mouth these days, I still enjoy watching television while I eat. If it weren't for my hubby, we'd probably never have a family dinner at the dining room table.

Yes, this all has a point!

Last night the hubby had to help a friend fix his truck, so the boys and I were home alone. Yep, you guessed it, dinner in front of the television. I won't bore you with details of gourmet frozen dinners. Hey, I'm no Martha Stewart! Or Rachel Ray, for that matter.

After pulling our respective dinners from the oven and microwave, the boys and I sat down in the living room. I scrolled my way to the National Geographic channel where Naked Earth: Glacier Meltdown was already in progress. I was suprised at just how engrossed my boys were by this scientific programming. Of course, it could have something to do with the whole "the sky is falling" presentation.

I mean, really. Watching virtual coastal cities being buried by rising sea water tends to snag one's interest. I know I certainly wasn't immune to the graphics or remedial science lessons. In fact, the presentation of the material was so well done that my attitude toward the whole issue of global warming underwent a minor alteratiion.

First, I should I say I do believe in global warming. However, that being said, I also believe everything has a cycle and our current weather reflects a natural cycle. Global warming has happened repeatedly in our planet's past. Carbon dioxide has a history of fluctuating and influencing ice ages and warmer periods alike.

Okay, but here's where my whole attitude on global warming shifted last night. For the first time, I feel like I can buy into the paranoia. First, there's the fact that we've managed to cut down a significant portion of the earth's natural filters by culling the rainforests and other heavily wooded areas. Then there's the pesky reality that the industrial age spawned a carbon-dioxide breathing beast.

Also, I was reminded last night that the Earth changes its orbit around the sun. When we're on an elliptical orbit, we tend to get cooler temps as the earth moves further away from the sun than when it's on a circular orbit. Guess which orbit the Earth is currently following? Yep, you guessed it, circular. Even if we weren't pumping excess carbon into the air, the earth would be heating up due to simple, prolonged proximity to the sun.

But add in the human contribution of excess carbon. You get natural warming magnified by industrial waste.

So, yes, the glaciers are melting. The seas are going to rise. The question is...can we really do anything about it or is it too late? I have no idea. Do you?