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Is our government doing enough about global warming?

Asked at Lawrence High School on March 13, 2007

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Photo of Sarah Bodle

“No. I don’t really think they’re doing anything. But it’s not something the U.S. can fix by itself. Even if we did everything we could, it wouldn’t fix the problem.”

Photo of Tom Ashe

“I think they are trying to downplay the importance of it and focusing too much on the economy, which doesn’t really matter without the earth.”

Photo of Sharra Myers

“I think they need to do more. We need to set an example for the rest of the world by lowering our emissions and exploring alternative sources of energy.”

Photo of Andrea Gilliam

“No, not really. I don’t think the Bush administration is taking it seriously.”

Photo of Logan Marienau

“They could do more. We could cut back more on our emissions.”

Photo of David Anderson

“I don’t think they are doing enough. They need to regulate the use of vehicles and equipment that produce high levels of CO2.”

Photo of Chris Paradies

“I really don’t think that we are the primary cause of global warming. I think it’s a natural process of climate change that the earth is going through.”

Photo of Tim Dingus

“It’s a big problem, and they aren’t doing enough about it. But I think they need to do more research before they can come up with a better solution.”

Comments

beatrice 7 years, 9 months ago

prospector, why would the majority of the world's scientists lie? We can't afford to see if you are right and that human actions aren't having an affect on the planet's stability. Good for the kids for seeing through the corporate greed of immediate gratification and that profits are more important than future well-being. They are the future and I hope they can take care of the mess they are being handed by those too lazy to do anything about it themselves.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 9 months ago

Prospector, I hate to continue on pointing out that you are wrong, but you are wrong. Climate shift is INDEED natural. However, the levels of climate shift we are experiencing are more drastic in the past two hundred or so years (since around the time of the Industrial Revolution) than they were in the previous 30 million years. Ice core drilling is an interesting science. They drill down and each "era" of ice has certain markers and carbons that let scientists know how old the sample is. According to the 99% of scientists who agree that this is fact, the drillings show that our levels of atmospheric carbon are at their highest ppm level than they have been any time before or since humans began to inhabit the earth.

Whether or not these kids walked or rode their bikes to school today has nothing to do with whether or not global warming is being taken seriously by the government. That's simply a way to try and draw attention away from the issue at hand.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 9 months ago

There have been some debates as to whether geologocal testing is as accurate as ice core drilling.

I am going to echo Beatrice's sentiment and say "Why would 99% of scientists agree this is fact?"

Regarding the Center for Science and Public Policy, despite Non-partisan, non-corporate funding claims, this came directly from their website:

"Non-Profit Organizations Receiving Corporate Funding
Index of Non-Profit Organizations Receiving Corporate Funding

CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY / CENTER FOR SOUND SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY The Center for Sound Science and Public Policy, also appearing under the name of the Center for Science and Public Policy, is run by the Frontiers of Freedom Foundation, an organization founded and chaired by former Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming. Frontiers of Freedom receives money from tobacco and oil companies, including Philip Morris, ExxonMobil and RJ Reynolds Tobacco. Frontiers of Freedom Institute and Foundation has received $467,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. (http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=35; accessed 4/20/05) According to the New York Times, Frontiers for Freedom received $230,000 out of its $700,000 annual budget from Exxon in 2002, up from $40,000 in 2001. (Lee, John. "Exxon backs groups that question global warming," The New York Times, 5/28/03) Malcolm Wallop has been a board of directors member of the El Paso Natural Gas Company since 1995. (PR Newswire, "El Paso Natural Gas Company names new director," 1/13/95)

ExxonMobil direct donations to the Center for Sound Science and Public Policy/Center for Science and Public Policy:

2002: $100,000 Source: ExxonMobil 2002 Annual Report (http://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/Newsroom/Publications/Corp_P_AnnualReport2002.asp; accessed 4/21/05)

2003: $50,000 Source: ExxonMobil 2003 Corporate Giving Report (http://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/Newsroom/Publications/Corp_P_AnnualReport2003.asp; accessed 4/21/05)

As you can see donations from Exxon Mobil went up more than 1400% to the agency that funded this research between 2001 and 2002.

I don't know about you all, but I tend to doubt any environmental research funded in large part by those who peddle petroleum and tobacco.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 9 months ago

OH, wait, excuse me, the donations from Exxon went up moe that 500% between 2001 and 2002 to this "non-partisan, non biased" group.

ASBESTOS 7 years, 9 months ago

"According to the 99% of scientists who agree that this is fact, the drillings show that our levels of atmospheric carbon are at their highest ppm level than they have been any time before or since humans began to inhabit the earth."

No, that is not true, that is in the last 1500 years. In the world history and during the rise of humans, there have been higher levels of CO2.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 9 months ago

Prospector, Geez to you too. Did you not read the part where I posted that the policy agency you are quoting as fact is an agency that gets a lot of it's funds through a former senator and through Exxon Mobil.

Actually, I did not make up the issue about ice core drilling. It was actually something that was discussed in the most hated of all climate change manifestos "An Inconvenient Truth". Of course I did not state that because I will instantaneously be bashed for reading it. However, the majority of the figures in the book are from the National Climate Control Center research, National Geography Survey, etc.

beatrice 7 years, 9 months ago

prospector -- simple question: what if you are wrong?

If the scientists are correct, why not try to do something? If they are incorrect, the worse that can happen is we spend time and money on a non-existant problem, and in the process probably do something about making our finite natural resources last longer. However, if they are correct and humans do nothing, the globe environment can radically change and kill billions in the process.

So weigh the consequences of doing something against doing nothing, and you can see that there can only be one reasonable response to the scientists' warnings.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 9 months ago

Good call, Agnostick.

One other thing I have read and heard is that every single thing you buy that is produced uses energy and expells waste. Try and buy items that don't have excess packaging, refillable items, bulk items, etc. Buy big bottles (gallons) of water and then use your own washable container to hold them versus using individual bottles that create a lot of waste.

beatrice 7 years, 9 months ago

prospector, "Billions spent and nothing gained ..." I think you just described the Iraq war. But that is an argument for another day.

You may not care for the solutions offered, but you didn't answer the question -- what if you are wrong? Or better yet, what are the consequences if you are wrong?

It seems to me that the ones making the loudest argument against global warming caused by people's actions are the businesses being pointed out as the responsible parties. It is kind of like the tobacco companies when they argued that cigarettes weren't bad for your health nor addictive. Too bad so many chose to listen to the businesses then and now.

beatrice 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry prospector, I could only see that last line -- "You are correct ..." : )

Crispian Paul 7 years, 9 months ago

Posted by prospector (anonymous) on March 13, 2007 at 4:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Crispian, so the National CLIMATE CONTROL Center does not have an agenda? It is stated in it's name. What does geography have to do with it?

Geology is the study of the earth's processes and mechanisms that control it. That control is not ours.

You may be right that perhaps there is an agenda. However, it still does not negate two things: 1) They (National Climate Control) are not funded by Exxon Mobil and big tobacco companies like the National Center on Public Policy you seem to put so much stock into as the experts on environmental matters. 2) That at least let's us know that there are other, perhaps less biased, groups that disagree with this ONE study.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 9 months ago

Posted by prospector (anonymous) on March 14, 2007 at 10:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Reality_Check

Bachelor of Science-Geology, KU What is your BS in? Jumping to conclusions?

The 99% number you claim? Are you guessing or do you have proof?

I know most of the Geologist at the Kansas State Geological Survey and a majority are in my camp. The guy I quoted, Lee Gerhard, was the State Geologist for Kansas(retired) and does know his stuff. Read his book "Introduction to Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change". It makes more sense than Al Gore's.

Climatologist are weather experts and this is a Geological process. It is so big and full of inertia, all the legislation in the world will not make a tinkers damn. We will have to evolve with it and adapt.

A little more for you to chew on. http://dpa.aapg.org/correlator/2006/glob...

Oh, so that's why you are so defensive of this oil and tobacco funded climate research....That makes sense. Now I know to take what you are writing with a half a grain of salt.

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