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Global warming skeptic

Mark Easley | Monday, December 7, 2009

There is a lot of research taking place these days that points to global warming as an imminent threat. The great leader, Barack Obama and his Congressional cronies are moving ahead with legislation and international meetings to begin limiting greenhouse gas emissions on a grand scale. Europe, in its infinite wisdom, is also pushing climate change legislation internationally. When the global economy is hurting so much already, they want to handicap our economic capacity with these kinds of regulations that likely won’t yield any positive results.

Allow me to explain: In most environmental issues there is a direct effect on human and ecological well being. When air pollution is too high, air quality becomes intolerable and has a direct human effect. When an oil spill turns the ocean and beaches black, there is a direct ecological impact and humans cannot use the water until it is cleaned up. These are problems with a direct cause traced back to us that we should resolve. Climate change is a little fuzzier. Right now, there is no direct cause. Sure, we are releasing a lot of different gasses into the atmosphere while manufacturing goods, but need I remind you that every year wild fires release immeasurable cubic tons of greenhouse gases? A single volcanic eruption can spew out huge amounts of carbon dioxide. How are you going to regulate those kinds of phenomena? With all these other variables added to the mix, plus the daunting task of measuring the temperature of the earth given its sheer size (do they average the North Pole temperature with the temperature in Ecuador?), it is impossible to conclusively say that humans are the sole cause of climate change. In fact, going by current scientific findings, the climate of the earth shifted several times before humans were even around. North America was once pure ice and the Middle East was once a dense jungle. That was all before we had cars and factories.

At the recent Commonwealth summit, climate change was at the forefront in preparation for the Copenhagen talks. The poor countries requested that at least $10 billion per year be offered up by the richer countries in order for the topic to even be on the table. The facts are that even if you believe in man-made climate change, you can’t make any gains unless emerging nations cooperate with climate change regulation. The other fact is that cheap energy is a big creator of greenhouse gases. Are you going to deny the prosperity of poor countries for the sake of maybe keeping the earth cooler? Are you going to make people who live on less than a dollar a day foot the bill for your regulations? We had our chance to grow without regulation and now you are going to tell others they can’t do the same?

The argument can definitely be made that the climate is changing considering its cyclical pattern. However, there is still no way to prove we are the ones who are causing the climate to change. So before we go spending a lot of time and resources, we should make sure what we’re doing is actually solving a problem in the first place. All that money would be really nice to fund any number of things that are way more important at this point in history.

 

Mark Easley

sophomore

Keenan Hall

Nov. 30