While dealing with controversial matters, such as gun control last time, here is another subject worth considering: what should we think, and do, about global warming?
The other night I listened again to the Mark Levin Show on my way home from Kansas City. Among other things, Levin (b. 1957) made fun of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for having to close early and open late recently after a heavy snowfall in Washington, D.C.
The EPA, as you know, is the government agency that deals with various environmental matters, including climate change. But Levin was positive that the recent D.C. snowstorm was a clear indication that there’s no such thing as global warming. He charged that the endeavor to reduce greenhouse gases and other environment-friendly activities are just part of “the leftist agenda,” which is pursued regardless of what we are experiencing.
Levin even went so far as to say he was forming a group called Americans for Carbon Dioxide. Why? "If we can warm up the world some," he said, “it’ll reduce our use of fossil fuels” and also it will help those who are “suffering through the snowiest January in history” (which seems to have been the case for New York).
More recently, there has been a huge snow storm/blizzard move across the nation. So many people, no doubt, think this is a strange time to talk about global warming. But that is not necessarily so.
According to the National Climatic Data Center, “the 2010 Northern Hemisphere combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest year on record.” And according to the National Geographic website, “Scientists now believe that most of the planet’s warming in the last few decades has been due to our emissions of greenhouse gases [mainly carbon dioxide].”
(The National Geographic Society is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. It was founded in 1888 and now has about 8.5 million members. Its motto is “Inspiring people to care about the planet.” I have long liked the National Geographic magazine, and now I am particularly interested in the work done at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., as my oldest granddaughter is a fulltime employee there.)
I don’t know about you, but I am more inclined to believe what I hear from the EPA, National Geographic Society, and the World Health Organization (WHO) than from a ranting talk-radio host such as Mr. Levin.
But why bring up this topic of global warming? Why is it so important? Here is just one very important reason: the WHO says, “The global warming that has occurred since the 1970s was causing over 140,000 excess deaths annually by the year 2004.” At this point, most of those deaths are in the poorer countries of the world, but should be not be concerned about them?
People like Mark Levin may make fun of the problem and say it is just part of the “liberal agenda” and so is of no concern. But global warming is not only a political issue. It is a human issue, a matter of life and death. And it will, unfortunately, likely become more and more of a life and death issue in the years ahead.