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Global Warming May Have Ended But I Still Believe in Sustainability

It has been a week of news stories about the climate, from the People’s Climate March to President Obama’s speech at the United Nations Climate Summit, both events taking place in Manhattan.

Here at EnergyCAP, we sponsored a webinar on sustainability on Tuesday to learn about setting a vision for sustainability by moving to a whole new level of organizational engagement. 179116194

All the hoopla got me thinking about the whole concept of sustainability, and why people do what they do to achieve it.

But first, back to the headline of this blog, and the demise of global warming. 

Current Data

According to the most recent Global Temperature Update, released earlier this month by the Lord Monckton Foundation, a statistical analysis of a monthly global mean lower-troposphere temperature dataset suggests that no global warming whatsoever has occurred since October of 1996. This is certainly good news, right?

But wait a minute—aren’t carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere rising? Yes, they are. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAH), atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased during the same period from 361.81 ppm to 395.31 ppm—about a 9 percent increase.

This lack of correlation between global carbon dioxide levels and temperature in what is being called the “Great Pause” raises a soul-searching question about sustainability: If rising carbon emissions don’t affect global temperature, then why should I monitor, report on, regulate, or seek to reduce them?

If my own commitment to sustainability rested on measuring the size of my carbon footprint, I’d be standing on pretty shaky ground these days. But it doesn’t. Because for me, sustainability is more about environmental stewardship than it is about measuring cow—umm—emissions.

Stewardship on Steriods

My personal faith background is one that recognizes mankind as responsible for caring for a created universe entrusted by a loving God. In the Bible, the stewardship mandate of Genesis 2:15 is coupled with the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:28, giving us the responsibility and the authority to exercise our talents, time, and treasure caring for the world we have received in trust.

For me, sustainability is simply stewardship on steroids. It’s a more comprehensive way of viewing my very brief contributions to the welfare of the planet. It’s a yardstick to measure the little things, like how long I let the hot water run while shaving in the morning, knowing that my water heater is using energy resources. And it’s a big enough yardstick to encompass an incredibly diverse set of metrics:

  • tons of refuse repurposed through recycling
  • barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico
  • acres of old growth timberland purchased for a conservancy
  • cubic feet of natural gas saved by turning down the thermostat a couple of degrees
  • bushels of wheat shipped to a resource-poor nation

Way of Life

Sustainability is a way of life, and a commitment we can make to be good stewards. It is compassion and responsibility blended to produce joy. And it is one reason I feel great working for a company that specializes in energy management.

So why do YOU do sustainability?



Posted by
Barry Kroeker

Barry is Advertising Manager for EnergyCAP, Inc., where he works on content development for marketing campaigns, online directories, social media, client case studies, and print advertising. He tinkers with PPC and SEO, and (when not at work) plays oboe, chess, and tennis.