Did President Bush Cause Hurricane Ivan?
Uncle Bill Warner
MPH winds! Wow! The hurricanes striking Florida are getting meaner
and meaner. There is much speculation in the scientific community
about the reasons, but it is generally agreed that warming of the
oceans as part of a pattern of global warming is a contributing
There seems to be a lot of denial out there about
global warming. Rush Limbaugh makes fun of scientific findings that
global warming is taking place and that it is a problem. Wonder
if his Florida mansion is well-insured? President Bush, who evidently
stays tuned in to Limbaugh's rants, pulled out of the he Kyoto accords
on global warming, citing the costs to the U.S., and pooh-poohing
the existence of the problem. "Denial" is not just a river
It is interesting to get involved in a little "what
if" exercise to try to connect the dots and get a clearer picture
of what is going on. The Union of Concerned Scientists, who is not,
incidentally, sponsored by big corporate polluters, has some real
expertise in science and is worried as hell. Limbaugh and Bush appear
to get their information from selected sources....somewhat like
the doctors in the pay of the tobacco companies who are always coming
up with studies to show that cigarettes do not really cause lung
Let's just suppose for a minute, that many big corporate
polluters might have an interest in not installing expensive anti-pollution
equipment to save money. Money spent in making their operations
cleaner is money not going to pay those stock dividends or big CEO
salaries, or even paying lobbyists to weaken environmental standards,.
Limbaugh says that emission controls are a "commie anti-capitalist
plot." Oh really? If you buy that, I have a bridge I can sell
Even Rush Limbaugh's buddies would have to admit
that a few degrees of temperature change over a certain period of
time could have a number of not-so-very-pleasant effects. Not only
would cities like New Orleans, London and Venice, which are already
having problems of flooding from the rising oceans be affected by
melting polar ice, but a few degrees temperature change can also
threaten certain crops here in the Valley and around the world.
Certain species of wildlife and fish would disappear. It is not
a question of "WILL it be a disaster", but" when
and how bad."
Am I saying that President Bush and his handlers
are responsible for hurricanes? You'll have to decide which dots
need to be connected to give us a truer picture of reality.
The U.S. is responsible for about 1/5 of the atmospheric
gasses that cause the greenhouse effect, but China and India want
to get in on the fun as they industrialize. Imagine what 500 million
Chinese automobiles alone could put into the stratosphere! Is the
U.S. taking the lead in pollution control? No way! President Bush
pulled us out of the Kyoto conference and refused to sign on to
anything that would reduce pollution (and inhibit corporate profits).
Is this a step in the right direction? Better to have a global struggle
for control of the dwindling oil reserves rather than changing the
way we do business.
Now just suppose, for the sake of argument, that
a rise in the global temperature of just 1%, (which is what it has
risen since the industrial revolution got in high gear), can make
a difference in things like changes in the ocean temperature which
produces water temps that destroy fishing off the coast of Peru
to the growth of deserts in North Africa to the force of hurricanes
coming out of the Caribbean. What are we doing about it? Ask President
We tend to think in the short term. Hey, so the
earth is warming up...we still "need" that SUV, that RV,
that electricity produced from oil and coal burning power plants
to run our air conditioners! Taking away our "freedoms"
to do whatever makes us happy today is un-American, right? Some
of us are still mad about "big government" taking away
our right to use R-12 CFC refrigerant. And who is the government
to tell us that we have to drive more fuel- efficient vehicles offer
subsidies with our tax money to help people install photovoltaic
arrays on their roofs to reduce their demand on the power grid?
? Could the U.S. President take the lead to help reduce the man-made
contribution to global warming? If not him, who?
No, I don't blame the President for Hurricane Ivan,
but if I lived in Florida, I'd be asking what the government has
done to slow the global warming that affects their weather. I'd
ask why we are spending our blood and resources to get more oil
which contributes to the fossil-fuel-emissions problem. I'd be asking
why we couldn't be the most responsible country in the world when
it comes to saving the environment, instead of pretending that there
is no problem? I might even be asking why we have a system of campaign
financing that encourages politicians to support bad science sponsored
by the polluters, and which hinders rather than helps clean things
It is hard to escape the conclusion that having
Bush, Cheney, Rice and Co. all tied to the oil industry are more
interested in securing more oil by any means, be it war or despoiling
the Alaskan wilderness, that in standing tall against the causes
of the world problem. It is also hard to avoid coming to the conclusion
that we, too, are at fault for not changing our contributions to
the situation because of our life style, and by not electing leadership
that is more interested in short term profits than in the future
of the planet.
Maybe connecting the dots: global warming... corporate
profits... campaign contributions... climate changes... hurricanes...
public apathy... lack of government leadership... lack of media
responsibility... and a few others might give a different picture
than we presently have. We can start by asking ourselves whether
we are passengers or crew members on Spaceship earth. We also need
to pay some attention to who is at the helm of this fragile spaceship/planet.
Hurricane Ivan. It's as hard to pin the blame for
a specific hurricane as it is to say which cigarette in a life-long
smoking habit gave you lung cancer. Nature was producing hurricanes
before man lit his first camp fire. However, our activities are
starting to add fuel to nature's weapons of mass destruction. We
need to make fundamental changes in the way we conduct our lives
and our business to avert catestrophic global warming. Is it too
much to ask that the President and his compadres start looking at
real data, real issues, and stop being part of the problem?
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