HOT TOPIC: Global Warming
Volume 3, Issue 19 - January 28, 2007
"Since I was in elementary school forty years ago scientists have been warning that the burning of fossil fuels into our atmosphere would cause climate changes that would very our very existence on this planet. The rebuttal at the time was that there was not enough evidence to substantiate this supposition. Four decades later the lines remain drawn, even in the face of building evidence: rising global temperatures and melting ice caps, increased carbon dioxide levels and decreased ozone.
In the last one-hundred years the average global atmospheric temperature has risen 1.1°F. The majority of scientists believe that this climate change is due to the ways mankind has altered our environment. The increased levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide has led to the warming of the earth and its atmosphere by increasing what is termed a “greenhouse effect” created by the burning of fossil fuels (aka greenhouse gases).
In the twentieth century, rich, powerful special interests could influence media outlets and control the information that eventually reached the public. But in the Information Age this is no longer true; the facts about global warming are commonplace. Even though companies with a vested interest in continuing a petroleum-based economy deny climate change and claim a conspiracy against capitalism, anyone with Internet access can now read and think for themselves.
There is no better illustration of the democratization of information in the twenty-first century than AL Gore’s work, An Inconvenient Truth. After his failed bid for the Presidency in 2000, the mainstream media was content to write off Gore as a marginalized voice in the wilderness. But six years later Gore’s message of environmental urgency resonates with people world-wide, spawning a new wave of awareness and concern that flows free of the control of traditional media.
This week’s edition of the D12 newsletter offers the best resources online for studying the global warming phenomenon. By educating today’s students, we can continue the work of reversing this climate change for our children and their children, as well."