Originally Published: February 2, 2013 10 p.m.
Climate change or global warming or whatever you want to call it is a fact. It is real, it is happening. Is it caused by man? Research shows that man is partly responsible for it. With greenhouse emissions and man's total disregard for his surroundings man is definitely a contributing factor.
Climate change has been with us for millennium. What was once tropical is now arctic. What was once ocean is now desert. Mountain ranges rise and fall. This has always been and it always will be. But, man is now speeding up the process. Cars spewing carbon monoxide into the air, power plants emitting coal burning waste, man diverting river courses for dammed power and irrigation for his crops are all things that cause climate change or global warming. Could man do this better? Yes, if he has the will to do it.
A recent poll conducted by Anthony Lieserwitz of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication concluded that 70 percent of Americans believe that global warming caused by man is real. However, 21 percent do not think that man is contributing to it and 8 percent believe that it is a conspiracy theory. This 8 percent is the most vocal group.
With recent events such as hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, Chicago having springtime weather last winter, Europe suffering record cold and heat in the same year, a drought across the nation that is affecting 40 of the states, devastating drought and fires in Australia and the melting of the polar ice caps show that it is global-wide and real.
Things such as El Niño and La Niña have been proven to effect weather patterns. And it also has been proven that manmade pollutants going into the air are both speeding up and altering the effects of these natural phenomena. By being smart, man can change some of these effects. By converting power plants to such renewable resources such as solar, wind or even atomic we can stop much of the pollutants from going into the air. By converting cars to electric or other renewable energy sources, such as corn as they have done in Brazil, we can turn around some of the effects.
By being smart we can alter some of the effects of climate change, but it takes a will to do so. It will take America knowing how to bring about changes, but it is something that we must do.