Time for all to be united in global warming attack

Dec. 01, 2012 @ 12:39 AM


The campaigns have concluded and the analysis of what the obscene amount of money spent did, or did not, accomplish is subsiding. Reflections of memorable words, speeches and ideas will continue as winners move on and losers fade from the spotlight.

With all that will be remembered, perhaps that one line that defines indifference toward a subject that impacts every living thing more than any other is likely already forgotten. On the closing night of the Republican National Convention Mitt Romney said in his acceptance speech, “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet” while the audience roared with cheers and laughter. Romney continued, “My promise is to help you and your family.”

If we are not willing to take care of this planet we live on, why bother with anything else? The percentage of Americans saying there is solid evidence of global warming has steadily increased over the past few years, according to an Oct. 15 Pew Research Center poll. Currently 67% say there is solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades.

An increasing proportion says that the rise in the earth’s temperature has mostly been caused by human activity such as burning fossil fuels. There continues to be a substantial partisan divide on the issue — 85% of Democrats agree, 48% of Republicans agree and a majority of Independents, 65%, agree.

Progress has been made — fuel standards for cars are scheduled to be increased in 2015 and again in 2025. The air quality in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has shown modest improvement. However, vast sums of money by coal, oil and gas lobbies are encouraging the voices of denial.

The above mentioned opinion poll shows the group least likely to believe in manmade global warming are evangelical Protestants (only 34% agree). Humans were given a brain with which to think, reason, make decisions and solve problems. With this, amazing, remarkable and unbelievable things have been achieved.

No one can say definitively what man’s impact on the environment will be, but the earth is warming. Taking all precautions, heeding the warming signs and trusting the facts are surely steps most can agree with. We must all be on board, committed and understand that no amount of money and technology will reverse the damage to the environment once it reaches a certain point.

To borrow a sentence from Patricia J. Williams’ article, “Ship of State” (The Nation), “After all, even Noah finally got down to the business of building an arc.”

Bill Dayton