12.17.2005 | Wake up! Global warming is real


The atmosphere now holds more than one-third more carbon dioxide than it did before the Industrial Revolution. In fact, European scientists reported last month that analysis of ice cores from Antarctica shows that today's level is 27 percent higher than any previous peak looking back 650,000 years.

As temperatures rise and global warming talks stall, it seems global warming is increasingly becoming an inescapble fact. Inescapable that is, for all but the U.S., who staunchly refuses to participate in any forced reduction of carbon emissions. China and India, rising giants whose economies still hover somewhere between developing and industrialized, sit on the sidelines as well.

The problem with modern environmental regulation is that countries that have already polluted to build up their economies (or in our case, still want to pollute) have to contend with developing economies that want to be able to waste their environment just as much as the industrialized nations have. Between these two factions we could find a balance if we had a leader willing to work out the compromises. But the U.S. under the Bush administration, as it does on other matters, continues to hold its head in the sand.

Bush once escaped the problem by saying "we need more study." But the facts are in, even in a report released by his own administration last year. Global warming is real, and between tons of emissions on a daily basis and rampant deforestation (trees, if you recall, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen), we are at least partially to blame.

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