EDITORIAL | Global warming debate picks up steam

By Amanda Finnegan
April 12, 2007

Global warming is generating some serious heat these days. Although it’s no new issue, global warming is creating quite a stir on a local and national level. It managed to make the front cover of Newsweek and Time this week and has made many appearances in our own college newspaper. Several politicians have gotten on board with finding a cure for the problem and even President Bush warned Congress of the “serious challenge of climate change.” With so many people starting to recognize the dangers of global warming, why are others so reluctant to hop on board?

In the International Panel on Climate Change 2007 assessment, the report stated that it was 90 percent “likely” that global warming is caused by human activity. Still, some worry that global warming is just America’s newest passing fad and others know too little about the topic to even form an opinion. But as Americans are wasting their time debating whether global warming is fact or fiction, major steps could have already been taken. When former Vice President Al Gore made his return to Capitol Hill on March 21 to testify on global climate change, he warned “We do not have time to play around with this.” Gore has spearheaded the campaign with his Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and credits himself for making the Clinton administration “green.”

Presidential candidates have made environmental issues a big part of their 2008 campaign. According to Newsweek, the Clintons are making their home more energy efficient, Senator Obama drives a hybrid SUV on the campaign trail and Senator McCain, well, his camp says he recycles. Giuliani’s camp declined to comment.

Loquitur has received a flood of letters to the editor from several members of the community in response to the front page article “The reality of global warming” on Feb. 22. A heated debate between skeptic John Lindros, a local lawyer and occasional Cabrini professor, and advocate Dr. David Dunbar, assistant professor of biology, has graced the pages of our opinion section for weeks. Even a few passionate students have chimed in.

“In 5 years, this current hysteria du jour will have gone where ever the panic over Y2K went. You do remember we were all going to die at the turn of the millennium, don’t you? Like most things, this panic, too, shall pass as soon as the American public gets bored,” Lindros said.

So what if global warming is all a fad? Would it hurt Americans to drive less and walk more, to become more energy efficient and to research alternate forms of bio-fuels to become less dependent on oil? What is the worst that could happen? We would live in a cleaner and healthier world, one we could pass on to future generations. Doesn’t sound so bad to us.

To go along with Cabrini’s theme of the environment this year, Kathleen McGinty, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was given the 2007 Ivy Young Willis Award for outstanding achievements in public service. McGinty is working closely with Governor Rendell to make Pennsylvania the most energy efficient state.

Although Cabrini is recognizing the environment, only baby steps are being taken to contribute to the greater issue of global warming. The Marketplace recently switched to earth-friendly cleaners. But incentives are not given to commuter students for using public transportation and not all washers and dryers are high efficiency on campus. Cabrini spent more than $1.2 million dollars for energy last fiscal year.

It’s nice to see that global warming is getting the press it deserves, even if it isn’t all good. The debate is welcomed as long as the action is soon to follow.

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Amanda Finnegan

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