One of the last things Shakyamuni encouraged us to do was to seek out our salvation with diligence. He encouraged us to question what we perceived of the world. We should test even what he taught. Our understanding should not simply depend on what we hear. We should test and validate our understanding.
In our Through the Looking Glass world when up is down and down is up it is all the more important to examine what we hear and see. For most of us the information we receive is through the media. We gather information through news outlets, journals and friends. If we trust the source we trust the information. Unless we have direct experience with the origins of the information our understanding is based on our trust of the source.
There are intelligent, sophisticated individuals who believe the world is flat. Not as an abstract idea but literally the planet we live on is flat that is if indeed we are on a planet at all. I am fairly certain that you and I have not directly observed that the world is not flat. We have not been in a place from which we would be able to look and verify with own eyes that indeed the world was spherical. Yet we would probably not argue that the world was flat. We trust the sources that have determined the Earth is indeed spherical, not a perfect sphere but maybe sort of pear shaped.
Most climatologists believe the earth is warming. The causes and effects of climate change are many. Our contributions to climate change result from behavior that result in the release of carbon into the atmosphere. The use of fossil fuels and agricultural practices add to greenhouse gasses.
Most of us are aware of the need to reduce our carbon footprint. If we can we drive more fuel efficient cars. We try to use less energy to heat and cool where we live and work. Keeping warm may mean getting an extra blanket rather than turning on the furnace. Doing our part may mean consolidating driving errands or using a broom instead of a blower.
The impact of demand driven agriculture on climate is surprisingly large. I enjoy meat. The meat I enjoy eating uses a tremendous amount of land and water. Meat production requires land to produce feed and land to pen animals. Meat production contributes to greenhouse gasses produced by animals and the disposal of their waste. Waste storage contribute to ground water contamination. Algae bloom resulting from agricultural runoffs that may be the cause of ocean dead zones where not enough oxygen is present for animal life to survive.
Sometimes the news can feel overwhelming. There are things we can do. Eat less meat. Eat more vegetables. Save the planet.