It’s the Polar Ice Caps, Stupid

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Polar Ice Caps
Polar Ice Caps

It’s getting hot in here.  That’s what the lyrics say from hip-hop artist Nelly’s 2002 hit single “Hot in Herre.”  It’s also what the World Meteorological Organization is saying, reporting this week that 2000 to 2009 appears to be the warmest decade on modern record and that climate extremes were recorded in many parts of the world.

Not so, says former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.  The 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate penned an Op-Ed Wednesday in the Washington Post citing “Climate-gate” and that the “agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won’t change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse.”

Palin’s reference to “Climate-gate” was in response to a series of e-mails taken from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom), where researchers there apparently manipulated data and destroyed records that pointed to a less drastic outlook in global temperatures.  

Whether the university’s research is flawed is irrelevant.  The fact is that there is more than enough worldwide evidence that global temperatures are rising.  The polar ice cap as a whole is shrinking and average temperatures in the U.S. Arctic region are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere in the world. 

Palin is plain wrong and to say that global warming is part of a “radical environmental movement” only further politicizes the issue.  She obviously is engaging in party politics saying President Obama’s trip to Copenhagen later this month is a partisan move to help sell the Democrats “cap and trade” legislation.

Politics may be at play here, but they are of a different kind.  The president needs to push for a cut in greenhouse gases, especially after the U.S. declined to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, due to strong opposition from the Bush administration.  This has left the U.S. in a precarious situation on the global stage regarding environmental issues.  

Will a cut in greenhouse gases affect America’s economy?  Sure it will.  As America looks to repair its economy from the ground up, we must engage in a new world order that supports greener, environmentally friendly technologies. This will create many new jobs for the 21st century and also cut down emissions and greenhouse gases.  This is the inevitable truth.

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