Myth: The science of global warming is too uncertain to act on.

Fact: There is no debate among scientists about the basic facts of global warming.

Myth: As the ozone hole shrinks, global warming will no longer be a problem.

Fact: Global warming and the ozone hole are different problems.

Myth: We can adapt to climate change-civilization has survived droughts and ice ages before.

Fact: Individual civilizations have collapsed from dramatic climatic shifts.

Myth: Global warming is just part of one of the earth’s natural cycles.

Fact: The global warming we are experiencing is not natural.

Global warming? There’s no such thing as global warming. Some would have you believe the increase in gases in our atmosphere, specifically carbon dioxide, which causes the retention of heat, results in a so called “Greenhouse Effect” that is causing the documented increase of temperature worldwide. They also agree that it is being caused largely by human activities that release greenhouse gases, such as burning fossil fuels in power plants and cars and deforesting the land.

Some would have you believe the buildup of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is bad for our planet.

Actually, according to Sherwood Idso, President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, “(Global) Warming has been shown to positively impact human health, while atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment has been shown to enhance the health-promoting properties of the food we eat, as well as stimulate the production of more of it. We have nothing to fear from increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming.”

Some would have you believe that the estimated six billion tons of carbon dioxide produced annually by human activity is the main contributor to its escalation, and slowing the rate at which this gas is produced worldwide would somehow help the environment.

Actually, the plant life on the earth and in its seas statistically produces many more tons of carbon dioxide than man. Those who tell you man must reduce his contributing emissions are merely trying to play on your fears.

Some would have you believe that there is concrete evidence confirming beyond question that global warming exists and is a major issue that, if it is to be solved, all the nations of the world will need to resolve together.

Actually, this is all a false message of the need for global cooperation by more advanced countries in order to impede the growth of developing countries worldwide that depend on older technology that contributes to the pollution problem.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty created to stop global warming by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, principally carbon dioxide. In March 2001, President Bush announced that the United States would never ratify the treaty.

The G8 is an annual political summit meeting of the heads of the governments of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. All of these nations except the United States have ratified the Kyoto Protocol and have committed to reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by 2010. The United States contributes more than 30 percent of the total amount of greenhouse gases released in the world. That is more than South America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Japan and Asia put together!

Whether you want to believe it or not, global warming is real. It has preyed on our world for too long and will continue to do so unless something is done. I know it sounds harsh, but we are all responsible and at fault for the current state of our planet.

The notion that human beings cannot possibly cause any damage to a massive object like the Earth is a mistake. However, there is still time to correct the problem and make the world a safer place for future generations.

So what can we do? To name a few easy things: turn off all lights and televisions when you leave a room, use compact fluorescent bulbs, recycled paper, public transportation and buy products from a local store. The most important thing you can do, however, to help stop the processes of global warming is to educate others. Every person can make a difference.

Meiseles is a member of the class of 2009.

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