George Bush would have us believe that global warming is a party issue concocted by the Democrats. After reading Ned Scarlet's letter to the editor on March 20, it is clear Mr. Bush has had some success. First, I'd like to thank Mr. Scarlet for addressing this matter, forcing people to think about the issue.
The global climate is warming; this is unequivocal fact. The question is whether human activity is responsible. According to a report from the IPCC (a report six years in the making, authored by 1,200 scientists and reviewed by 2,500 scientific experts) the increasing amounts of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere are man-made.
I don't blame global warming on the Republicans or Mr. Bush. I do hold Mr. Bush and his administration responsible for obfuscating the evidence. For example, Phil Coomey, former White House Counsel on Environmental Policy doctored a report from the EPA to coincide with the current administration's policy on global warming. The original report stated the '1990s were likely the warmest decade in the past 1,000 years'. Coomey changed that sentence to read 'the earth's climate has changed dramatically throughout history and will continue to change due to natural variability'. He later admitted he was trying to align the report with the Bush administration's policy. Additionally, at least 150 scientists have reported more than 400 occurrences of political interference with their work. The interference has come from the current administration and includes pressure to eliminate the words "climate changing" or "global warming" from the scientists' communications.
No matter what your opinion on global warming, engines will not run on gasoline forever. The first country that switches to the next generation of fuel sources will be the country that dictates the standards and receives the largest economic gain from the transition. Because the United States has adapted, historically embracing scientific evidence and smarter technology, we have led the way and received the largest benefit from previous economic transitions (industrial revolution, the first automobiles, computers, etc). If the Bush administration would stop being a laggard on smarter energy sources, the United States could create an economic boon surrounding a new alternative fuel industry, in turn ridding us of economic dependency on unstable oil producing countries. Mr. Scarlet is right about one thing. We will adapt. It's about time we do.
Mr. Scarlet also states it is the ultimate sign of man's vanity to believe that we can control or are responsible for climate. The truly ultimate vanity is belief that our dominion over the earth means we have no responsibility to take care of it.