|Asked if he was going to see the new movie about Global Warming, former President Bush said "Doubt it." |
Up until about five years ago, if you brought up the subject of global warming with some folks, their response was that the science was somewhat fuzzy. Not that you'd ever hear that from a scientist truly involved in studying climate change, but those who didn't want us to focus on this crisis tried to fool us into believing that there were major doubts that human behavior was causing a rapid warming of the earth. Today, if you asked some of those same people, they'll say "yes, global warming does exist and it may have been caused by human behavior." But....... now they've been programmed to add that "there's probably not much we can do about it, and we certainly shouldn't ruin the economy by legislating anything too hastily."
With the huge popularity of "An Inconvenient Truth," the Oscar-winning film about global warming narrated by Al Gore, and a new film by Leonardo DiCaprio (the 11th Hour) we felt it was a good time to let folks know about lots of resources, which can help you study global warming and take action to make a difference.
NOTE: Move your mouse over the names of web sites mentioned in this article. They are links and you can click them to visit those sites. (A full list of links is also included at the end of the article for your convenience.)
Global Warming: Fact or Myth?
Global Warming (AKA Climate Change) is a FACT. Just ask some of the penguins getting ready to leave the planet (OK - that's just according to a wonderful children's book but.....)
The earth is getting warmer and the impact of the changes in temperature is already dramatic. An overwhelming majority of scientists agree that greenhouse gasses, emissions of cabon dioxide resulting from our use of fossile fuels, destruction of wetlands and clear-cutting of forests, are clearly part of the problem. These same experts also agree that hundreds of millions of people will suffer from the effects of global warming. The real questions to be answered right now are what we can do about it, how we can change our behavior, what should be legislated, and what can we do to help the people and areas of the earth most impacted by how far we've already gone.
If you'd like to start off with a good introduction to what global warming is, what scientists believe causes it, the impact it is having today, a vision of the future, and ideas you can use to make a difference starting now, click here to check out this presentation by Steve Van Velsor (of the Sierra Club). He spoke at 1st. Presbyterian Church Palo Alto and was gracious enough to allow his presentation to be posted to the web. You can see his presentation, hear him speak, and read the notes.
Searching the Web for Global Warming Resources
Search the web for the term "Global Warming" and one of the first web sites you come to is the Environmental Protection Agency's web site on global warming. Given the reluctance with which the Bush Administration has approached this issue, the EPA web site does a fairly good job of explaining global warming. The kid's page at EPA is also a really nice place to visit for parents and teachers and kids.
The second site you'll find when you search (using Google) is globalwarming.org. Now that certainly sounds like the name of an organization truly concerned with global warming, but, their concern is actually more for the plight of poor unfortunate and overburdened consumers. Pesky laws and regulations based on flimsy science and doom-and-glooming liberals make things so tough for consumers who just want to fill up their Hummers that someone's got to watch out for them. Viewing a couple of TV spots they are promoting around the country, you find out how lucky we are to have carbon dioxide, because without it.... well.... life would really be terrible. And, according to these folks, there are real doubts about whether the glaciers are melting. And though it would be funny if it weren't so sad... their tag-line on commercials they are running on TV is "Carbon Dioxide..... They call it pollution, we call it life."
The web site is the work of "The Cooler Heads Coalition" formed May 6, 1997 and claims to dispel the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis. One of the most vocal scientists to spend many years trying to debunk the idea of global warming was Dr. Frederick Seitz, a former president of the National Academy of Sciences. According to a story in April's Vogue Magazine, Dr. Seitz resolutely disputed suggestions that climate change was a real and present danger. It seems that Dr. Seitz has a history of disputing so-called flawed science. He was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the tobacco industry to debunk the theory that smoking caused lung cancer. Guess whose payroll he's been on since the 1990's? Would you believe oil companies? Check out the the resources put together on this by the National Environmental Trust.