Ignore global warming at your own risk. And keep in mind that some in Washington and elsewhere could care less about the risk.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints a dire picture of our future if something isn't done.
More severe weather ranging from hurricanes to heat waves in the United States. Water shortages in Africa. Disappearing glaciers worldwide. Shrinking ice sheets.
Scientists expect these changes by century's end, if not much sooner.
I'll admit I haven't paid a lot of attention to global warming over the past few years -- until something struck me recently.
Those warning us are scientists who have devoted much of their lives to their fields of study. Those deriding global warming are politicians who have devoted their lives to manipulation -- which, after all, is the basis of politics. Convince or, if that fails, try to force others to do what you want. That's how politics works.
Scientists should be nonpartisan, at least on the job. I seriously doubt their expectations are based on political doctrine.
Politicians have an agenda. Those of a conservative bent are so ready to use the word "elite" as a weapon against opponents, including and often those who are highly educated -- and frequently back big business at all cost.
"As the president has said, and this report makes clear, human activity is attributing to changes in our earth's climate and that issue is no longer up for debate," according to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.
Meanwhile, the Big Oil -- whoops, Bush -- administration, which could care less what happens as long as the dollars keep rolling in, dilutes everything including the scientists' report. Reports indicate they demanded changes and rewrites of the IPCC's report over the scientists' objections.
It's too bad that such a serious issue has been politicized.
Example: The Supreme Court ruled last week that the Environmental Protection Agency must consider greenhouse gas emissions -- read "carbon dioxide," considered by many to be a major ingredient in global warming -- from vehicle engines as "pollution."
Bush said he takes the ruling "seriously" but added to the ruling another rule: Any new regulation must not affect economic growth.
All Bush has to do is use that as an excuse to ignore the court.
What on earth is the matter with simply taking steps to protect the environment and our future?
The closed-minded Bushies, of course, will ridicule and ignore those who disagree with their opinions. Many of their opinions don't seem to be based on facts but rather on what they want to believe.
Lots of us would like a "greener" world, meaning "green" in the environmental sense as opposed to just money.
It's obvious to a thinking person where much of the "hot air" is coming from. Maybe environmentalists could build a huge dome over Washington.
And maybe that dome would protect us just a little from career politicians who only think of the here and now instead of considering what life can be like for our world -- and their own descendants -- 100 years and beyond into the future.
David Melson is a Times-Gazette copy editor/staff writer. Comments welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org .