December 28, 2009
Call me a heretic, but just because global warming is being oversold for blatant political purposes does not mean that the problem does not exist. Tainted research at the University of East Anglia notwithstanding (see Dec. 7), it doesn't take a degree in physics to see with your own eyes the photographic evidence of receding glaciers all around the world. Some glaciers may disappear within a few decades, with unknown effects on the regional ecology. In Peru and other mountainous countries, glaciers constitute one of the primary sources of fresh water. According to CNN.com, "Peru has been cited by Oxfam as the third most vulnerable to the effects of climate change after Bangladesh and Honduras, with over 35 percent of the population living in poverty." That article has a set of photographs that purport to demonstrate the effects of climate change.
I don't necessarily accept the alleged link between the plight of Peruvian farmers who face water shortages and excessive carbon emissions by "greedy" industrial nations, however. More scientific research -- and less political proselytizing -- will be needed before the extent and nature of the problem(s) is properly ascertained. World poverty and (apparent) climate change are both serious problems, but they are not necessarily related. Furthermore, the respective causes of those two problems are complicated and not well enough understood to warrant the kind of global concerted effort that some activists are demanding. Indeed, there are ample grounds to suspect that global warming is a mere red herring to serve as an excuse for promoting statist or globalist restrictions, taking choice away from individual consumers and handing power over to a select elite. Skeptics need to be convinced otherwise.