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Global Warming: Does It Matter?

If you want good dinner conversation, place at least one liberal and one conservative together at a dinner table and insert a bottle of Pinot Grigio, a nice appetizer, and perhaps the suggestion of global warming for conversation.

The parking industry is often referred to in discussions of the effects of environmental change, so it seems that we have the right to have an opinion on the subject.  When our company is asked what environmental effect our lights have on carbon emissions, we often equate it to X numbers of cars being taken off the road. It actually seems a little stupid to tell Parking Company A that if they use our lights, it will be like taking 50 cars (paying customers) off the road.  I know it really doesn’t effect the number of cars in actuality, but it does seem like a silly analysis given the facts.  Perhaps we should talk about the effect as X number of new trees planted.

We’re not the only ones to have opinions on the environment, of course. Why is it that every celebrity believes himself to be an authority? Could you imagine George Clooney saying, “In ‘Gravity,’ I played an astronaut, which means that I would have probably gone to Purdue University, which means that I should probably be pretty smart, so I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that global warming is for real…I think.”

Silly, right? Here’s what he really said: “If you have 99 percent of doctors who tell you ‘you are sick’ and 1 percent that says ‘you’re fine,’ you probably want to hang out with, check it up, with the 99. You know what I mean? The idea that we ignore that we are in some way involved in climate change is ridiculous. What’s the worst thing that happens? We clean up the earth a little bit? What’s the worst thing that happens? We clean up the earth a little bit?”

I agree with him: cleaning up the earth is a good thing no matter what you believe about climate change. The bottom line is, we should leave the world in at least the same shape as we got it, no worse, and preferably better.

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The Parking Matters® Blog is a new platform for parking and transportation professionals to share ideas, voice opinions, inspire, enlighten, educate, and inform. In addition to a growing list of regular contributing bloggers, we’ll feature guest bloggers from related fields. We hope reading – and commenting on -- the Parking Matters® Blog becomes a productive part of your weekly routine, and one you enjoy.


  1. Casey Jones, CAPP says:

    Jeff, I’ve come to believe that the conversation can be far more constructive between the skeptic and advocate when the discussion revolves around the economic benefits of sustainability rather than whether climate change is caused by humans. The trouble is that for many of us climate change is still so abstract and when we place the discussion in the context of the history of the earth (and still have places with snow) it is too hard for people to fully grasp the causality of our actions. If we can make the case for pursuing sustainability in economic terms then we have the chance of encouraging behavior that will not only clean up the earth a little bit but also respond to the motivations of those who fuel our economy.

  2. Gary Caton says:

    I agree with Casey. I am not totally sold on fossil fuels causing global warming as this phenomenon has been happening for what millions of years. However cleaning up the mess we have made, sustainability, is just the right approach regardless of all the arguments.

  3. Wanda Brown says:

    Gee, this is a very interesting blog as I have taken it personally since as a child I have seen and endured a number of hurricanes in Louisiana. I can tell you the despite the critics, despite the data, it is quite obvious to those of us who have seen the weather patterns shift from hurricane season having been predictable to occur in September is now coming as early as May and June. I remember a time when you would know that your storms would hit one state at a time as it ran its course along the Gulf. However, now I have seen 4 and 5 states covered by one storm at a time. Having 80 tornadoes hovering over Oklahoma at one time or the rare twin tornado we recently experienced are all testament to something catastrophic occurring and it is hitting the world, the one earth we all share. Having said all of that, how we deal with the change in the earth is everybody’s business, call it what you want, believe what you want, our contributions to ease the pain of it is REAL! There is a very eye opening article in May or June’s Harvard Business Review on sustainability. Great article.

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