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HOW INDIVIDUALS
CAN COMBAT
GLOBAL WARMING

For the past 10 years or so we've been hearing lots about something called Global Warming. For some, it's come to be a clarion call for all that needs to change in the way we do things here on earth, i.e., that we're responsible. Others, however, say it happened in the past, and it will happen again in the future. It's just the ebb and flow of the planet, and we as humans had nothing to do with it.

Of course, since there was nobody who recorded one of these climate changes in the distant past, expecially since it was happening at the speed of a glacier, it's hard to know what caused these changes. After all, contrary to what our children are being taught in the public schools across the country, some things can never be proven 100%, since one of the primary things needed to move from theory to fact is observation.

However, when one looks at the evidence--acid rain having destroyed much of Germany's Black Forest, a huge hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica, the rise in percentage of the world's carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, permafrost patches thawing for the first time ever, as far as anyone can remember, polar bears getting smaller in the Arctic Circle and nearby because ice there forms later, and melts earlier than it did earlier in our own lifetimes--it does seem something's going on. Also, not much more than 150 years ago, the Industrial Revolution started, and for the first time, we started burning fossil fuels, moving off the farms, then inventing the airplane and the car, both of which use these fossil fuels at a ravenous pace, and which have been flown or driven by countless millions over the past century, common sense tells us that we just might turn out to be the culprit. If not 100% responsible, we certainly seem to be a contributing factor.

If history and future technology prove that we weren't to blame for all of this, it still wouldn't be wrong to try to wean ourselves off the fossil fuels as our main source of energy for these modes of transportation, especially since we now know that the supply is finite. Otherwise, some day we'll head to the gas station or the airport, and find that even $100 won't buy a gallon of these fuels, since there's none left anywhere but museums.

Obviously, ecologically friendly products, such as those found here at the EcoMall, won't correct mistakes already made. But, just as healthy foods can fix mistakes we have made with our bodies over the years, eco-friendly products can be a way of putting our collective feet down, so as to say, "No more!" Things I'm thinking of would be seeking out, for instance, the safe antifreeze now available, which won't pollute the groundwater if spilled, or poison pets, since it's not manufactured from dangerous chemicals. Another idea would be to start using the recycle bins most trash collecting companies provide to their customers, since many products can either be re-used in the same form, or be transformed into a totally different product. Another easy change is to stop being a litterbug, right down to the smallest thing, like a fast food straw wrapper, not ending up in the street. Even something as mundane as deciding on a photo album can be researched to find an eco-friendly alt ernative.

None of these are huge steps as an individual, but if millions adopt this lifestyle, it will eventually turn the tide. In the bargain, we'll end up with a much tidier world as well.

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