April 21, 2008
Earth Day Remembered
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. It was created by founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. senator from Wisconsin. This year Earth Day will officially be celebrated on Tuesday, April 22, although many events are planned beyond that one day. It is estimated that 1 billion people will come together across the globe to focus on steps to better the environment.
Many schools are making use of an on-line ecological footprint quiz to help students understand how much productive land and water they need to support what they use and what they discard. This is all well and good. All Americans should be good stewards of the environment.
Most troubling, however, is the acceptance that CO2 is a pollutant and greenhouse gas that causes global warming. CO2 gained its celebrity status as a pollutant after a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court. Since then much has been made of the carbon dioxide being pumped out of car tailpipes. This is the same carbon dioxide that is essential in our life support system. Without carbon dioxide there would be no plant or human life.
Even President Bush has surrendered by setting a goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 2025. John McCain has long stood shoulder to shoulder with the carbon foot prints gang. In so doing both have given propaganda points to Democrats and the doom-mongering wing of the environmental movement, i.e. Al Gore, which repeatedly warns of a global crisis that threatens our survival.
The concern over CO2 emissions has given rise to the production of biofuels. Turning food into fuel has proved disastrous. Growing corn instead of rice to make biofuel has created food shortages all over the world and higher food prices here at home. Furthermore, ethanol is so costly to produce that the government must provide subsidies amounting to billions of dollar to corn farmers and ethanol producers.
There seems to be a hurry to put regulations in place to combat global warming, regulations that would undermine our economy. Are the American people ready to pay higher taxes, lower their standard of living, and give government control over their lives? There are hundreds of scientists and climatologists who view climate change with skepticism. The founder of the Weather Channel, John Coleman, last November called global warming the "greatest scam in history."
Zealotry over global warming could damage our earth far more than any possible climate change. Climate change is far from settled science, for in science there can be no consensus. Americans must speak up and resist changes that would undermine this nation's economy and alter our way of life, all under the guise of saving a planet that has repeatedly experienced cooling and warming period over the ages.
It is a good thing to celebrate Earth Day, but reason must overrule hysteria. Future generations of Americans are counting on us to do the right thing.
Nancy J. ThornerLake Bluff, IL