Global Warming

Global Warming

I’ve posted about global warming before (Nov 5, 2006), but the subject continues to be an important one. The Natural Resources Defense Council website says that carbon dioxide and other pollution collects in the atmosphere like a blanket and traps the sun’s heat. This causes the planet to warm up. Coal burning power plants are identified as the largest source of carbon dioxide in the U.S. and automobiles the second. The United States has just 4% of the world’s population but produces 25% of the carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuel burning. We produce more carbon dioxide then China, India and Japan combined. About 40% of carbon dioxide emissions are from burning fossil fuels for electricity generation. Coal counts for 93% of these emissions. Automobiles are the other major contributor to the problem The U.S. is the largest consumer of oil in world.

Global_warming_3 Scientists report that global temperatures are increasing at the fastest rate in recorded history and experts believe the trend is actually increasing. Global warming contributes to more frequent wildfire problems, drought, dust storms, weather patterns and unusual temperatures. We are told that unless we do something about it temperatures will continue to increase and the problems worsen. The problems are not limited to the United States. Europe and the rest of the world are experiencing the same kinds of problems. Even the ice cap is melting at a alarming rate. With early snowmelt and disappearing glaciers water shortages as well as rising sea levels are predicted.

The problem is well known and the cause identified. However, supporters of the administration and other special interest groups continue to deny that there is any man made contribution. As an example, Adele Ferguson, a conservative Washington state newspaper columnist recently wrote that global warming is a "natural process" that results from "decaying vegetation, volcanoes, grass fires, swamps, rice paddies, cow flatulence..". But the United States Environmental Protection agency says that the changes are "…mostly due to human activities.." The agency also says that "there is general agreement that the observed warming is real and has been particularly strong within the past 20 years." But, as pointed out, there are also people who believe the moon landing never happened and was staged in a studio in Arizona as well as people who maintain the earth is flat.

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is a treaty assigning mandatory targets for the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions to nations that ratify the plan. However, the United States and Australia are the only two major industrial nations to refuse to ratify the treaty. President Bush claims the treaty would "wreck our economy" and instead has advanced voluntary reductions for industry even though voluntary programs have proven to be ineffective. Even when the Enviormental Protection Agency published a surprising acknowledgement that human activities were a significant contributor to global warming, Mr. Bush dismissed it as a "report put out by the bureaucracy" and said he would continue to oppose the Kyoto treaty. This administration has been an environmental disaster.

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