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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Barack Obama and Global Warming


Is anybody sure about the cause of global warming? One thing is certain. The answer to THAT question is NO.

A lot of people would say it is air pollution, and the newest president of the USA seems to think so. Can a new government save future generations from global catastrophe? A market for cleaner-burning fuels might help stop climate change and President Obama's administration could make this possible. So a number of environmental groups and lobbyist groups hope.


One such special interest group is known as Ceros. This coalition of environmental organizations and investors wishes for Obama to curtail global warming. They figure he could pass legislation to reduce green house gas emissions by 25% below 1990 levels before 2020, and they might be right.


One step in achieving this end is "honest accounting of financial risks that companies and investors face from climate change," according to Ceros. Another might be dispensing with a system of emissions credits to force this honest accounting instead of providing an avenue for deep-pocketed corporations from easily buying their way out of responsibility.


Who wouldn't want Barack Obama's government to take charge in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and rates of deforestation? Is this even the right person for the job? No one person can do it all, of course.


According to Obama, "The issue of climate change is one that we ignore at our own peril. There may still be disputes about exactly how much is naturally occurring, but what we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to a point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to global catastrophe."


This tells us that he has some regard for scientific research, and that he believes we CAN do something about global warming. Applying science correctly provides a good start to arriving at a solution. And scientists will play a big role in finding a solution, even if that solution is simply a "wait and see what happens".


A scientific approach includes taking off the blinders and thinking creatively to arrive at one or several solutions. Focussing on carbon in initiatives such as the National Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which is trying to find "clean" fuels instead of the ones we currently consume, takes the sights off other climate drivers and other greenhouse gases. Water vapour being chief amongst those.


Another example, please...


It has been said that the sun is the only source of global warming. A new energy economy proposed by Obama would rely on renewable energy such as solar and wind, both of which depend on sunlight. Other documents have said that extra sunspot activity can reduce cloud cover, resulting in a more heated planet/atmosphere system.


Furthermore, An Inconvenient Truth shows Al Gore putting carbon dioxide as the culprit as far as global warming is concerned. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide. But a credible theory of climate variations points to Milankovitch Cycles, where changes in earth-heating patterns occur in a recurring pattern.


Maybe Obama got in at the right time with his campaign promises and we will see improvements take place that would have happened without anybody's effort at all. Barack will certainly get the credit, though.

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