Global warming: A hoax that is happening
Here is a rather interesting description of global warming: It is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.That sounds as if it might have been originated by some crackhead playing around on the Internet, either that or the ranting of some talk-show host on right-wing radio. But neither of those was the source. It was a statement made by Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, during a debate regarding a piece of rather modest legislation proposed to look into the threats of global warming.The bill Inhofe so vehemently opposed was introduced by Senators John McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat. The bill went down in defeat 55-43 but, as one writer put it, At least, 15 years after the issue surfaced in the public consciousness, thered been a vote. And McCain vowed that the bill would be introduced again and again. Campaign finance reform took us seven years, McCain said. This may take longer, but well stay at it.The global warming controversy is indeed a very strange one. Mountains of credible evidence from highly respected scientists have been accumulated indicating that something rather serious is occurring to the worlds climate. For instance, all 10 of the warmest years on record have occurred in the past two decades; we have all read about glaciers that are in rapid retreat and that Arctic ice is thinning at an alarming rate. Yet a U.S. senator has the nerve to tell us that global warming is nothing more than a gigantic hoax.I certainly lack the expertise to speak on this subject on a global level, but I can look out my cabin window and see changes that are both unusual and unsettling. Two years ago I watched as Woody Creek came very close to running dry. If it had not been for some late-summer rains, Woody Creeks brook trout population might have disappeared for good. And in 17 years in Lenado, I have never seen my front yard free of snow until early May. This year the dirt and grass began to appear in March!Is this part of a global phenomenon or just some curious local cycle? I dont know, but I would feel much more comfortable knowing that my government was at least curious enough to give global warming and its endless potential for harm even a modicum of study. But George W., our compassionate-warrior president, and his collection of anti-environmental administrators seem to share Inhofes view that all this environmental concern is nothing more than a hoax.The anomalies occurring in the worlds climate are well-documented, yet all that documentation is essentially being ignored by the current administration. Maybe George W. and individuals such as Inhofe believe that evil liberals have somehow tampered with all of the thermometerson the planet? What in the hell ever happened to the brilliant and wise legacy of Theodore Roosevelt? Unabashed greed is what happened!The one aspect of global warming that seems to strike the darkest fear in the hearts of George W. and his friends is the possibility that human beings may be contributing to changes in global climate by spewing out endless tons of pollution via our factories, our coal-burning power plants and even our humongous, gas-sucking SUVs. The facts arent in on that, although most European nations seem convinced that man-made emissions are at least contributing to global warming, and they intend to reduce those emissions.Maybe the Europeans are a tad more concerned than we are because last summers heat wave in France and Belgium killed more than 10,000 individuals. It may also be that European leaders are not as deeply embedded with their industrialists (polluters, if you like) as George W. is at home. Theodore Roosevelt must be turning in his grave as he watches our warrior leader attempt to undercut just about every piece of environmental and conservation legislation passed with great difficulty during the past 30 years or so. To date, the current administration has done everything it can to reward oil, mining and logging companies while it allows significant degradation of our environment. It is one thing to argue that human-produced emissions are not a significant factor in global warming, but quite something else to refuse to even acknowledge that as a possibility.This past October, Tom Paine of Common Sense ran an ad in The New York Times with the headline, If it aint broke, break it. The ad concentrated on George W.s relentless attempts to dismember all regulations set in place to protect our environment. It was a reminder that Richard Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act into law in 1970, which was the same year that Earth Day was established. Millions of Americans turned out for that first Earth Day to voice their support for our environment. What happened to us? We will celebrate Earth Day again on April 22. Maybe it is time to send a message to George W. and his new band of robber barons that we still cherish our planet and what remains of its natural beauty.And this year you can celebrate Earth Day twice. It will be acknowledged in Carbondale in conjunction with Dandelion Day on May 8 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. A nice second chance to let George W. know we are appalled by his greed and his disregard for our planets future.This is the 303rd article in a two-part series devoted to the community of Woody Creek, a place where many residents still believe that green is good and they are not necessarily talking about money.
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