2006

It’s for real by Jerry Fabyanic

Price of adapting too steep for Big Oil, Big Money

When discussing controversial issues, reason can go quickly out the window if emotion gains leverage. That is particularly true about global warming due to its implication for the need of major change in behavior on everyone’s part. So, let’s stick to scientific evidence—Seven Deadly Facts of Global Warming.

One, the earth is growing warmer. Two, the rate of increase is going off the chart, not seen in 400,000 years. Three, there is a correlation between increasing temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Four, human activity is the primary cause of the CO2 buildup. Five, the United States emits 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Six, 10 of the hottest years of the last century have occurred in the past 14 years. Seven, the US and Australia are the only major nations not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Human ostriches, with their heads in the sand, argue global warming is nothing more than nature doing her thing with the natural warming and cooling process and that those who are sounding warning bells are simply modern-day Chicken Littles or little boys yelling wolf. They argue that within a few years the atmosphere will begin cooling, so, therefore, we have no need to fear—comforting, for some, but contrary to scientific evidence.

It is evidential, however, this is an extraordinary exception to that natural process, and unless we begin interventions in terms of our human behavior, as soon as 10 years we will reach a tipping point. Events already in play such as rapidly melting ice shelves and polar caps will become irreversible with heavily populated land masses submerged with major economic disruptions for all.

Biologists have been observing species patterns in the natural world that provide evidence something is dreadfully amiss and will result in further species extinction: icebergs for polar bears to rest while searching for food are disappearing; our little pica’s territory is decreasing as the tundra shrinks, and nesting birds are hatching too late to find the natural foods that appear earlier as the climate warms.

Weather patterns are becoming more erratic. Increasingly stronger storms are the result of the warming of ocean waters. Hurricane Katrina was a whimper of a storm, a category one, as she skated over Florida, but then, passing over the tepid waters over the Gulf of Mexico, she swelled into the category-five behemoth that has been emblazoned into our consciousness. Closer to home, the wildfire season in the West has become longer and the fires more intense according to scientists from the University of Arizona and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.

The truth of global warming is, as the title of Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” suggests, inconvenient for those whose primary motivation is profit. With hundreds of trillions of profits yet to be made by what still lies buried, Big Oil pays Big Money for studies that ostensibly refute the accuracy of the global warming. But the evidence presented by objective, independent scholars say unequivocally that global warming is not a scare, but is real and driven primarily by human behavior mostly by burning fossil fuels. What is clear it that without action on our part—the entire world’s population—events will move past the tipping point with consequences irreversible and deadly.

Do your own homework. Begin by watching “An Inconvenient Truth.” Go the website, http://www.climatecrisiscoalition.org/.

One knock against Americans is our shortsightedness. With stakes as high as they can be, we can no longer afford to concentrate on the quarter’s profit margin. In context of outright survival, Scarlett O’Hara’s philosophy that money is all that counts becomes irrelevant.

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