I have been turning a story over in my mind all day. I believe that climate change
is real. I believe that there are solutions that we can embrace and put into practice that will lessen the impact of climate change, and I join in those solutions where I can. Most days, I’m actively working toward that without dwelling on the possibility that my efforts along with the efforts of millions of other people might not be enough.
It’s who I am. I’m an optimist. I’m a creative type who sees possibilities and believes in a bright future and has faith.
There are those, however, who believe in climate change and are willing to embrace the possibility that our efforts might not be enough. The problems associated with climate change are likely to increase, and some people are looking for solutions now to those future problems.
The story I’ve been thinking about all day has me thinking about these people. There are scientists who are looking for chickens and other animals that can survive the possible rising temperatures and be viable options for food for a growing population. The Los Angeles Times
has a story about University of Delaware researchers who traveled to Africa, backed by the federal government, who are “racing to develop new breeds of farm animals that can stand up to the hazards of global warming.”
Those involved with the project believe “new, heat-resistant breeds of farm animals will be essential to feeding the world as climate change takes hold.”
The optimistic, creative, tree-hugging person that I am sees a statement like that and at first thinks “No. We’re going to beat this thing. This is a defeatist attitude.”
The thinker in me, though, and the mom and hopefully future grandmother in me, understands that there needs to be both optimists who are implementing real solutions toward lessening the impact of climate change as well as those who are looking for solutions to the real possibility of it increasing. If someone isn’t making the effort in the present to come up with ways to adapt, it might be too late once more problems arise.
Scientists predict that if summer temperatures continue to rise as the have been while world population is simultaneously increasing, there could be real problems. If chickens and turkeys can be bred to withstand the increasing temperatures so their meat is a consistent quality, that could be one possible solution to a problem.
There will be people who argue for a meat-free diet, but while many people are eating less meat, the global demand for meat is still increasing. There are those, like Bill Gates, that are championing animal-free proteins that replicate meat. That could be a real solution.
We don't know for certain what the future looks like climate-wise or food-supply wise. We won't know until we get there. Scientists can make predictions based only on what is happening now and the information they have. If environmentalists and optimists can work at implementing solutions that can lessen the effects of climate change, perhaps the scientist’s predictions will be wrong. But, I understand the need for those out there who are preparing for the predictions to be right.
Is this a case of hoping for the best but preparing for the worst? I don’t think so. I don’t just hope for the best. I take steps to help the best happen. It may seem like a contradiction for someone who spends most of her time believing that we can beat this thing. But look around. Life is full of contradictions. I’m going to believe in the best and work toward the best because that is who I am and that is where my passion is. I’m also going to be glad there are those whose passions are to find solutions in case the best doesn’t happen.
After spending the day turning the heat-resistent chicken story over in my mind several dozen times, this is where I’ve landed. What are you thoughts on the story?
Also on MNN