OpEd: No Time To Stall on Global Warming
In 2005 the nation has witnessed an unprecedented phenomenon as weather disasters made and stayed in the headlines. Personal tragedies of many Americans flowed straight into our living rooms. Hurricane Katrina, one hurricane out of a record-setting season, made it clear that, in spite of much discussion about emergency preparedness, we as a nation are not ready for a future of increasingly chaotic and severe weather patterns.
This year, Americans also experienced severe droughts in the West, catastrophic floods in the Northeast and the second warmest year on record. Furthermore, extreme weather was not confined to us. Flooding in Central America created mudslides that destroyed entire communities. The Amazon basin experienced its worst drought in 40 years, resulting in dried-up riverbeds, millions of dead fish and boats stranded on high ground. Some towns were unable to get food, medicine and fuel because supply boats were unable to navigate shallow waters. But as the world reeled from all this chaos what became very clear was that this extreme weather was no rare phenomenon- it was global warming.
Sadly, it is more than likely that the conditions of the past year only serve as an example of what to expect in the future. In 2004, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization of more than 200 scientists from 100 countries, concluded that the lives of millions of people living along the world’s coastlines could be at risk due to global warming.
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