Monday, October 12, 2009

Blog Action Day For A Less Toasty Tomorrow

Hey, you in the server room. Is it hot enough for you? No? Well, just wait until tomorrow.

Global warming is upon us. All the dire warnings from Al Gore, the reports you hear on TV and read in magazines and newspapers, and everything on the blogosphere isn’t really about heading off some future climate change. It’s a hope and a plea that we can keep it from becoming catastrophic.

Make no mistake about it, things are heating up. Not just the discussion, mind you. It’s actually getting warmer outside. As a resident of that rustbelt tundra known as the Midwest, I know that’s a hard concept to buy when your toes get frostbit just running for the mail in mid-January. This last winter in Northern Illinois was a cruel and bitter joke after a couple decades of frequent El Nino moderation. The summer has also been more temperate than any in recent memory. But look at what’s happening in the Arctic Ocean. Shipping companies are downright giddy about that pesky sea ice disappearing to reveal a shortcut for hauling containers of “stuff” between trading nations. The Russians made a big production out of planting their flag from a submarine below the North Pole. Nobody wanted that forsaken wasteland before the lucky confluence of massive oil reserve discoveries and rising sea temperatures. They are now anxiously awaiting the day when Santa’s workshop sinks like the Titanic, clearing the area so that drilling projects can proceed unimpeded.

Like flying in a cloud bank, your senses are inferior to instruments in knowing which way is up, or whether global warming is real when your eyeglasses are frosting over. Perhaps this is why the term climate change is easier to swallow. One’s intuition tells you that something strange is going on when California is burning to the ground and polar bears are taking over the sport of synchronized swimming. What’s it going to feel like when Bedouins relocate to Iowa because that’s where the sand is?

If we really are going to hell in a CO2 handbasket, though, where is the panic? You don’t see middle-age men stapling thermometers to fishing hats and screaming their lungs out at town hall meetings. There are no organized “ice baggers” with their Isn’t Cool Enough movement demanding that the government lower temperatures. How come there’s no Hot News Channel with multimillionaire cheerleaders riling up public emotions?

That day is coming. Right now climate-everything is on the back burner as we’re preoccupied with punching each other in the face over government versus insurance company death panels and which failed bankers deserve the biggest of the billion dollar bonuses. Eventually, all this will pass and someone will pipe up, “Hey, how ‘bout that climate change?”

But why wait for the deck to clear before we start dealing with the inevitable? Not everyone is prepared to hold indefinitely for the Gosselins to reconcile and clear some column inches and television news segments so that there’s room for a serious discussion on how we can ameliorate a thermal meltdown. Blog Action Day 2009 on October 15 is perhaps the kickoff event that nudges the focus of public discussion toward the universal challenge that is climate change.

What is Blog Action Day? It’s a coordinated effort to engage the power of new media to “change the global conversation.” The idea is that bloggers worldwide join forces on one day of the year to all write on a particular topic of global importance. Blog Action Day 2009 is dedicated to the subject of climate change. Thousands of blogs, including at least 11 of the world’s top 100 blogs, will all be presenting thoughtful posts related to emerging technology, health issues, poverty and conflict, eco-friendly consumerism, financing, government policy and sustainable design, among other topics. The focus of each participating blog will related to the subject of climate change on that particular day, which happens to be this coming Thursday, the 15th.

As you might have guessed by now, T1 Rex’s Business Telecom Explainer is participating in Blog Action Day and will be presenting a special article on banishing power vampires as the October 15 post. But I’ve decided that this initiative really deserves more than a single day’s effort. So every post this week will be in some way related to climate change and our focus of technology. I hope that you enjoy these articles and will participate in the discussion with your considered comments.

If you also write a blog, will you join us in this special project? Your voice is both welcome and needed. You can participate by registering your blog for free at the web site for Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change. While you are there, pick up a badge for your blog, like the one shown on this post. Leave a comment here with a link to your Thursday post, as I’d love to read what fellow bloggers have to say on this important and timely issue.

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