Global Warming and the Presidency

It looks like global warming is going to be a key issue this election season, and for good reason. I, for one, do believe that global warming is happening and is a serious threat.

And it seems that more and more experts feel the same way. This article describes a (leaked) report commissioned by the Pentagon that predicts that:

  • Britain will have winters similar to those in current-day Siberia as European temperatures drop off radically by 2020.
  • Europe and the United States become “virtual fortresses” trying to keep out millions of migrants whose homelands have been wiped out by rising sea levels or made unfarmable by drought.
  • “Catastrophic” shortages of potable water and energy will lead to widespread war by 2020.
  • By 2007, violent storms will make large parts of the Netherlands uninhabitable and lead to a breach in the acqueduct system in California that supplies all water to densely populated southern California.

Pretty sobering stuff. And I find that every week I read similar stories; this article predicts the end of the Great Barrier Reef as we know it by 2050.

Global warming is like a very big freight train that cannot be quickly stopped. But it can be slowed with enough effort. It is up to the US to stop wishing this problem away, or, worse, arguing that it doesn’t exist in the first place.

I believe we can avoid mass-hysteria and mass-destruction, but only if we get started now. We need to make renewable energy a priority for this country and the world. I wonder why the government does not elevate the pursuit of clean fuel and renewable energy to “space race” importance; imagine if the US were to become a world leader in this technology and the jobs that would be created as a result. Imagine how the US would benefit if it could supply the world with low-cost, environmentallly efficient energy — and the millions of people who will improve their lives and become potential consumers of other American products. How can an American corporation argue against these benefits?

Global warming is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue, it is a global issue. I hope our candidates (or at least one of them) takes it to heart and I hope this country begins solving this problem now so that our children don’t have to suffer the consequences.

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