Friday, January 12, 2007

Begin global warming fight at home

Express Staff Writer

If by his own admission President George W. Bush made costly mistakes in Iraq, he also has erred grievously in refus-ing to change his attitude on global warm-ing.

It's here. It's worse. It threatens Earth's livability.

Bush and others who have turned a blind eye to climate change do so for two reasons—asking industry to stop spewing toxic greenhouse gases into the atmos-phere would be too expensive to share-holders or global warming is a fairy tale spun by environmental loonies.

However, just as the horror and reality of losing strategies in Iraq have forced change there, so, too, will the avalanche of harsh realities change the global warming naysayers.

One of the most persistent, credible early warning voices is at it again—NASA scientist James Hansen, whom the Bush White House tried unsuccessfully to muz-zle last year and who's speaking out again with new data too alarming to ignore.

Speaking by satellite to the 14th annual Operation Sierra Storm, NASA's chief climatologist warned that unless dramatic worldwide efforts are launched within 10 years, half of today's species will vanish and the Earth will be less habitable by century's end.

He appended this:

 The Earth is within 1 degree Centigrade of its warmest period in 400,000 years. If greenhouse gases continue, global warm-ing will increase by another 3 degrees Centigrade.

 Ice in Greenland is melting twice as fast as five years ago.

 Ocean levels are increasing by 3.5 milli-meters per year and in time will inundate Florida, most of Louisiana and much of the U.S. East Coast.

However, waiting for the federal gov-ernment to reverse course on global warming wastes time.

More and more states are cracking down on emissions with their own stricter laws. California is leading the way with tougher standards on auto mileage and emissions. As one of the nation's fastest growing states, Idaho should be pressed by its citizens to join in the states' crusade to help clean up the atmosphere. One major step would be a permanent ban on plants using dirty coal.

The days when global warming was the stuff of academic studies are long past. Individual actions—insulating homes, using fluorescent light bulbs, replacing old energy-guzzling appliances—can produce big results that equate to removing mil-lions of polluting cars from the road.

People can't wait for the federal gov-ernment to move. Saving the planet from global warming has to begin at home.

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