Climate change should be considered with downtown development plans

Back in the early ’70s, a TV commercial ran for chiffon margarine. Mother Earth, a delightful woman wearing a long white dress and a fresh white floral tiara in her hair, was fooled by company into thinking it was butter. This angered him, so he turned the lush green forest into an arid desert while growling, “It’s not good to fool Mother Earth”. Turns out the Chiffon people were up to something. Mother Earth is truly capable of changing the climate. Ads about hydrogenated cottonseed oil though, nature reacts to many inputs, one of which is us.

In the 4th century BC Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle noticed that when a swamp in a certain area was drained, it became more susceptible to freezing. This is perhaps the first to mention the effects of human activity on climate. He also speculates that forest clearing could lead to temperature increases as well. In the mid-1800s Sir Henry Bessemer received a patent for a process, named after him, that revolutionized steel production. This process reduced the cost of producing high-grade steel and was the key to moving the planet from the Iron Age to the Steel Age. It brought the world into the Second Industrial Revolution. However, at the end of the century, it gave pause.

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