By EAST AURORA EDITOR (12/27/2008 11:45:20 AM)
First let me say that I am typically anti-editorial. Whenever I see an editorial from the East Aurora Advertiser or someone from the Buffalo News, especially those that are unsigned or seem to come from the entire organization and use words like we think or we believe, I wonder who they are really speaking for. To me it is pompous. When I read my early editorials, I can see this as well. This is why I will for the most part stick to writing about things that make government more transparent and protect those wronged by political corruption. So I will not use the term "we". This is my opinion based on facts provided within.
I am for all efforts for a global initiative to reduce greenhouse gasses. I still hold out hope that the US auto industry will re-double its efforts to produce non emission autos now that their backs are against the wall and they need to reinvent themselves to survive.
However it is extremely important to both understand the scope of the problem of global warming and the effects that government intervention can have on the economies of countries that would actually be willing to participate and be committed to such legislation.
No doubt you are aware that the earth has gone through a very predictable cycle of global warming and cooling.
Since the end of the ice age 18,000 years ago, the earth's temperature has increased approximately 16 degrees Fahrenheit and sea levels have increased 300 feet creating forests where there was once ice covering of over a mile deep.
We are currently in an inter-glacial period. These last between 15,000 and 20,000 years, so we are about 2,000 years away from the next ice age. Just 10,000 years ago land in East Aurora was covered by ice 2 miles deep and it will happen again very shortly.
There are however "little ice ages" that stop by periodically near the end of the inter-glacial periods, the last of which ended about 1860. Unfortunately this was around the start of the industrial revolution. Because of that coincidence it has given scientists the linking point they need to decree that man's additions to the greenhouse effect is causing the warming trend.
In reality, man contributes between .2% - .3% of the warming via greenhouse effect. However the vast majority of climate change is controlled by cyclical eccentricities in Earth's rotation and orbit, as well as variations in the sun's energy output.
So I believe this. And I believe that all of our work to control manmade greenhouse will in effect have very, very little to do with the overall climate change. However the politicization (is that a word?) of this may destroy economies by strict regulations in which many companies will find it hard to fund and hence survive, and no doubt many countries will choose to ignore.
A similar issue occurred recently with the whole lead paint issue with toys that were manufactured in China. The truth is that out of the millions of recalled toys, only a very small percentage was related to traces of lead paint. The majority was related to magnets that if ingested could kill a child. In fact one child did die from this.
In contrast, nobody was harmed, injured, or died as a result of lead paint from toys. In fact one would have had to scrape all the paint off of 40 toys to even begin to show signs of lead poisoning. However it became a political issue, and now the government has passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act which will cost toymakers hundreds of millions of dollars in testing for something that has never harmed anyone. This has and will continue to put small toymakers out of business, including those of the Mom and Pop variety who simply can't afford the cost or time required by these new laws.
The lead based toy scare and greenhouse effects I believe are cut from the same cloth. They are easy to sell and enact regulations upon, however they are week on solving anything tangible. The billions of dollars spent on these initiatives would be better spent on things like figuring out what we can do to adapt to the upcoming ice age, or figuring out what toys improve a young child’s ability to be creative.
One thing to remember. Scientists, like presidents, politicians, doctors or lawyers, like to think in the short term. Spending on global warming initiatives by the Obama administration will certainly offer vast amounts of opportunities and grant monies to those same scientists who talk about greenhouse gasses.
Receive breaking news from East Aurora in your inbox.
Sign up now