An Inconvenient Truth
by Charlie Leck
The 2000 presidential election in the United States was an unmitigated disaster. "We wuz robbed," as my old man used to often say. Had there not been cheating in Florida, Al Gore would have been our national leader and one wonders how completely dissimilar things would be today. I can list a few things that would surely be different: (1) We would not be losing young Americans in Iraq and spending billions upon billions of dollars there; (2) we would not be deeply in debt as a nation; and (3) we would have taken serious giant steps to cooperate with the other nations in the world to solve the problem of global warming.
Have you read any of the accounts of Gore's speech in Bali at the conclusion of the global warming summit? If you haven't, you may want to take in the New York Times account of Gore's remarks. For now, everyone stand and give the former U.S. Senator and former Vice President a thunderous round of applause. He been the only leader with enough guts to tell it like it is!
Fresh from receiving his Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to alert the world to the massive problems caused by a warming planet, Gore spoke to the delegates at the United Nations conference on global warming in Indonesian: "My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali." He told his audience that things would be different in the near future – when George W. Bush is out of the White House. He promised that there would be a policy change.
There was plenty of real anger and frustration in Gore's voice as he spoke. He's not running for office. He doesn't have to follow the rules of politics. He simply told it as it is.
The European Union and the United States are currently so far apart on an agreement to establish target goals on the problem, that the EU is threatening to boycott an upcoming U.S. conference on the issue. Naturally, China and India, now running big and booming economies, are also far from agreeing on such lofty objectives.
This is a time when U.S. leadership and inspiration is definitely needed. It will be a crucial task for the next President of the United States. Anything would be an improvement on the current level of leadership.
Here's what Kevin Knobloch, the president of the Union of Scientists, said of the recent conference in Indonesia: "The best we hoped for was that the U.S. would not hobble the rest of the world from moving forward. Our delegation here from the States has not been able to meet that low level of expectation."
The NY Times points out that there were two faces of the United States at the conference. One is represented by the idiots George Bush sent over and it expresses caution and an unwillingness to take the big steps until all the nations are on board and unified on the issues. Michael Bloomberg, the New York City mayor, expresses the viewpoint of the other America: "There's a belief that the United States should not do anything until all the other governments are willing to go along and do it at the same time. We should be doing this regardless of whether the world is following or not." Now, that's an inconvenient truth!
The more I read about Michael Bloomberg (Democrat turned Republican turned Independent) the more I like him.
You want to read the chilling facts, figures and statistics on global warming, go the Environmental Defense web site on the subject. This week the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released figures showing that the globe's surface temperature had risen by 0.74 degrees Celsius since the beginning of 20th century. Scientists say that is an alarming increase based on past history. WMO says we are only 5 or 6 degrees Celsius warmer today than during an ice age. That makes the temperature movement cited here very frightening. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also has a web site with alarming, disheartening information.
All of you should be telling your Senators and Congressmen to get off their butts and do something. Vote carefully next year and make sure we have leadership that will rally all nations (including China and India) to get on board to solve this problem.