Eating the Apple

Eve did it. Adam did it. Now it's my turn to take a bite. Why not? Hey! It's delicious.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Global Warming

In "the Boxer", Paul Simon writes, "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." This aphorism seems toi chatacrterize the Bush administration. President Bush listens to those who deny the reality of global warming and disregards the mountain of evidence supporting global warming.

It is true that scientists have not proved that the current warming trend will continue for decades into the future. And it is true that scientists have not decided how much of this global warming is caused by man vs. nature. But this is irrelevant. A prudent and rational government must take the threat seriously and begin to take precautions.

We do not buy fire insurance on our homes because we know our house will burn down. Rather we take out insurance because we don't know. And if a forest fire is threatening our house, we shoulod not stop to argue whether the fire is natural or man-made. That would be stupid. Yet our government insists upon arguing whether global warming is natural caused by man -- an utterly stupid waste of time.

In rejecting the Kyoto treaty, President Bush argued our industries could not afford the cost of compliance. But can we afford the cost of losing New Orleans? Hurricane Katrina was just a shot across the bow. It proved what can happen when there is a five degree rise in the water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico. And both the number of hurricanes and their intensity have hit records in recent years.

The greatest future danger comes from the melting of glaciers. If all the ice in glaciers melted the sea level could rise about 200 feet. That is not likely to happen. But if only a small percentage thag ice should melt, sea levels could rise a few feet, which would be catastrophic for cities like Portland ME, Boston, Providence, New York, Baltimore, Newport News, Charleston, Miami, Mobile, Galveston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland OR. Can our economy afford the loss of these cities?

But in retrospect, the denial of global warming may prove to be President Bush's most enduring legacy, outlasting his Supreme Court appointments. Let the rising waters wash away the blue states. What surer way is there for ensuring Republican domination of our government for the rest of the century?

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