Watching the pot

Boiled-frog syndrome: That’s where the frog, when it’s put into cold water, seems quite nonchalant as the water heats up to an intolerable degree. When the temperature finally hits 212 F, the frog dies. It’s a metaphor, of course—for us. We have been heating up our world without acknowledging the symptoms, and through denial have planned our own obsolescence.

Over the top? I hope you’re right, but according to too many scientists, we have a very small time frame in which to keep the metaphorical water from boiling. What do we do about it? It’s obvious from President Bush’s latest speech that we will get no help there. But we are in an election year, and that’s a good thing. We can educate ourselves about climate change/global warming, realize that this is priority number one and make sure we vote for as many pro-environmental legislators as possible.

How to start? Mark Lynas has written a compelling book, Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet [Random House, 2008]. Scientists predict a rise of temperature between one and six degrees over the next century. Each chapter in the book represents an additional degree of warming, and shows us how, when and where life will change. It’s a sobering and chilling book. I now think very differently about each day: How can I lessen my carbon footprint?

Here are some good Web sites for continuing information:,, The League of Conservation voters ( has a great, easy-to-read National Environmental Scorecard. Take it with you to the voting booth; pick the candidates with the best environmental scores. And, oh yes (nag, nag, nag)—read Chapter 3 of Six Degrees and then think about whether you really need to take that car out again.

— Parrish Rhodes

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.