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GUEST COMMENTARY: Global Warming: A Warning

Posted by kinchendavid on August 7, 2006

  

By  Tom Proebsting

If you step outside your front door, you will know we are in the grip of a torturous heat blast. This year’s heat wave has killed more than 100 people in California alone, but is also taking lives in the Midwest.

 

Bob Herbert, in a recent New York Times column, pointed out that the first six months of this year were the warmest on record in America. In the same article, he claimed more than 50 cities have set records this year for high temperatures across the continental United States.

 

Anybody with their head out of the sand will agree that global warming is alive and well on planet earth. This man-made phenomenon is caused by an increase in concentrations of greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide makes up most of these gases, along with methane, nitrous oxide and various trace gases.

 

Carbon dioxide is put in the air by deforestation and by burning coal and petroleum. Carbon dioxide has increased 40% since the start of the industrial revolution, the bulk of the gain since 1945. Man requires and builds more vehicles and burns coal to power his home. Besides causing global warming, the resulting excess carbon dioxide is dangerous to breath, it poisons our water, and it creates smog.

 

Deforestation is a foreign malady, occurring rapidly in South America, Africa, and Asia. As much as 20% of the Amazon Forest is gone forever. Rain forests, which take millions of years to form, once covered up to 15% of the earth; they cover only 6% today. We lose 78 million acres of precious forest land a year. Also, deforestation exterminates many species of plant and animal life, all which are needed for the ecological cycle and many which could be used for medicine and research.

 

Global temperatures rose 0.2 degrees Celsius between the middle 1960’s and the mid 1980’s. They warmed 0.4 degrees Celsius over the past century. The facts of global warming are difficult to ignore; they are folly to disbelieve.

 

Al Gore, who made the environmentally-conscious film “An Inconvenient Truth,” said of the 21 hottest years ever measured, 20 have occurred within the last 25 years. Do you recall the scorcher of 1995 when 700 people in the Midwest died from the heat? Do you remember the more recent killer heat wave in 2003 when 35,000 people in Europe perished?

 

Hurricane Katrina and the other storms that blew through the South last year were believed to be connected to global warming.  Lake Chad in Africa used to be the size of Lake Erie before global warming dried it up. Most scientists and science academicians preach the truth of greenhouse gases and their resultant afflictions.

 

What consequences can we expect if nothing is done about our excess burning of fossil fuels and about deforestation? First, with melting snow and ice from both polar icecaps, sea levels could rise a few meters or more. This could displace millions who live along coastal areas.

 

Second, with less snow covering there will be more absorption of solar radiation, producing more killing heat and the drying up of bodies of water. Finally, droughts, which occur 5% of the time today, could happen 50% of the time by the year 2050.

 

The spread of freaky storms, more heat, and increased droughts could snuff out the lives of thousands, even millions of people in the years and decades to come. The loss of lives could well exceed the numbers lost in both world wars last century.

 

We ignore an environmental prophet like Al Gore to our great peril.

 

                                       * * *

Tom Proebsting is a writer and blogger in Missouri. Tom Proebsting, 823 N. Ault St. Moberly, MO 65270

                     e-mail: truthprobe777@yahoo.com

Proebsting invites comments. Reply to: http://truthprobe.blogspot.com

 

                            

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