Family Circus - 3.26.07
Mallard Fillmore - 3.23.07
Prickly City - 3.23.07
Non Sequitur - 3.24.07
Global Warming seems to be the Topic of the Week, as several comics have mentioned it in just the past few days. Billy from Family Circus is even cheering on it’s arrival. Hooray for Global Warming!
It seems everyone has an opinion on Global Warming, and unfortunately, that opinion is often stoked by politicians and other blowhards in the public eye. Research shows pretty definitively that average global temperatures have risen over the past several decades. Many scientists postulate that the reason for this increase invoves man’s presence on earth, and several things we’ve created, gasses we’ve emitted, etc.
Others stand by the hypothesis that the fluctuations in temperature are simply a normal variant in temperature, and are nothing to worry about. They think that in the millions of years since earth was created, a sample size of less than a few hundred years of any data and only a century of hard data is hardly sufficient to make an accurate assessment.
The fact that just 35 years ago, scientists and the media were predicting a new Ice Age says alot about the kind of assessment that can be made with such a small sample of data. Being the shameless sensaltionalists that they are, the media will take every opportunity to blow anything out of proportion, just so they can improve their ratings.
Looking at the problem objectively, either hypothesis could be correct. It’s absolutely true that the sample size we have to work with is far too small to make any definiteve judgements. Still, we are watching the average temperature increase before our eyes, and it’s not a terrible idea to be on the alert and perhaps alter some of our human practices just in case.
The real problem in the Global Warming debate, as well as most other political hot buttons comes down to the politicians. The best way for a politician to gain support for himself or his party is to get the public riled up about a specifc issue. Scaring the America public is even more effective, and both Republicans and Democrats are using these tactics quite often to gain support.
The Republicans have scared everyone about terrorists ending the world as we know it to promote their agendas. Now, the Democrats are scaring everyone about global warming ending the world as we know it. Both of these issues are potential problems, and both are issues that Americans should be concerned about, but instead of making a concerted effort to solve the problems, politicians are doing nothing more than scaring the public, and proposing a ’solution’ that will do very little to correct the actual problem. Now, the politician looks like the good guy, when he or she has actually impeded progress towards actually solving the problem at hand.
Does this sound familiar? The Republicans did it with the war on terror, the Democrats did it with global warming. Both parties have used the same tactic on countless other issues, and the result is always the same. The public is polarized into two camps, politicans get face time on television, and the issue is never actually solved. This happens time and time again.
So what do you think? Is Global Warming a real problem? Should we be devoting all of our recources to solving it, or just try to change our act a bit to stem any potential future problems? Or should we just not worry about it at all? Do you think politicians are to blame for making it a bigger deal than it really is, or are they the only ones really working to solve the problem?
Let me know what you think.