The issue of global warming has taken center stage in recent weeks because it is alarmingly real; the earth is dangerously warming up and there needs to be a global solution to stop this potential catastrophe.
The source for this information is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fourth global warming report released last month, which was analyzed by over 620 experts across the world. It confirmed that there has been increase in global temperature unparallel to any time period in recorded history, and it is very likely due to excess greenhouse gases.
In simpler terms, this report concludes what many already knew, that the earth is experiencing extreme changes in temperature, sea level, and weather patterns. The fact of the matter is global warming is the reason for the increase in hurricane intensity such as we saw in Hurricane Katrina, the deterioration of ice glaciers across the polar region, and the increasingly high temperatures across the world.
Among the possible repercussions if no actions are taken against this phenomenon: massive flooding, depletion of environmental entities, and unbearable climate conditions. There would be more devastating events similar to Katrina, as well blazing temperatures in nearly all areas of the planet and decaying of environmental resources uncharacteristic of any point in our history. And, in the midst of all of this, we would encounter a worldwide depression in which economic, social, and human interests would be compromised.
So what is our government doing about it? As of now, President Bush and the White House have acknowledged the problem but have yet to act. A neutral stance could best describe their position on the matter since the international report was issued.
The White House has claimed that Bush has always been a front-runner in the fight against global warming and they continue to believe that “America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs” and that “these technologies will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.”
But the bottom line is Bush could have taken a rather large step in preventing further global warming damage when he stepped into office in 2000.
In 1997, a number of countries responded to the threat of global warming by signing the Kyoto Protocol in, which President Clinton had then signed but never had the bill submitted to the Senate.
Bush shunned the Kyoto agreement calling it “fatally flawed in fundamental ways” and still has not designed an alternate course of action.
While Washington considers its next move, we at the Campus Times urge readers to act locally starting today.
So what can ordinary people do? There are several ways to help out in decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
As a community, we can cut back on driving when possible and start carpooling, walking or even biking to to campus. We can also begin utilizing more fuel efficient vehicles and making sure we maintain our cars.
Other practical combatants: begin conserving energy around the house – turn off lights, and of course, recycle.
By buying more locally grown and produced fruits and vegetables, you can reduce the need for fuel and save money in the community.
Some others methods of cutting down on gases are using less hot water, regulating your thermostat between the winter and summer seasons, and even eating less meat since cows are major methane emitter – and substantial contributes to greenhouse gasses.
To a great degree, it is up to us. These are a few simple actions you can take.
Today, the Campus Times begins its semester-long series exploring global warming and what we can do to help curb it.
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Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Campus Times Editorial Board.