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Can't soften the rhetoric about climate change

Several years ago various agencies within the U.S. government came to an agreement that human dependence on fossil fuels is a root cause of global climate change and warming.

That news wasn't created by the liberal press, the Union of Concerned Scientists or zealous environmental activists let loose by Greenpeace.

Even the president now agrees that climate change is occurring, though footdragging about a solution is still the primary action plan at this point.

I have said this before.

Folks, the Lake County landscape will change.

I was thinking about how to address this issue without the usual amount of criticism from those who may not believe such things. How do you soften the rhetoric and still get your point across?

Folks, Lake County will change.

That's probably not rebellious enough to stir emotions but simply stating facts is the best place to start.

A report released back in 2005 by the EPA confirms something that scientists have been insisting for years: human activities are largely to blame for the problem of global warming.

Oil refining, power plants and auto emissions are singled out as major contributors to the problem.

"Greenhouse gases are accumulating in the Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing global mean surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise," the EPA states in the report.

The inter-agency report was sent back then to the United Nations. It includes the forecast that total greenhouse emissions by the United States will increase 43 percent between 2000 and 2020. The United States and China are now battling it out to see who is the largest contributor to global warming.

Folks, Lake County will change.

Leaders of both the British Meteorological Office and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have teamed up to say:

"Our new data and understanding now point to the critical situation we face: to slow future change we must start taking action soon. At the same time, because of our past and ongoing activities we must start to live with the likely consequences--more extreme weather, rising sea levels, changing precipitation patterns, ecological and agricultural dislocations, and the spread of human disease.

"Articles in the U.S. press imply that the global warming threat is being oversold, by citing particular examples of short-term natural changes. But the overall pattern of recent short-term changes is consistent with scientists' projections of the impact of global climate change.

"Our agencies are doing their best to provide the best possible data, understanding and forecasts for policy makers as they deal with these issues. Ignoring climate change will surely be the most costly of all possibly choices, for us and our children.

"You see a temperature change of about 1 degree Fahrenheit in 100 years. This is not a big change. But over the past 20 years, the change has been four times that."

Those are words now 2-3 years old. More people in our society may today acknowledge that something is going on but we've yet to seriosly take action. We've done a lot of talking about conservation and changing to low-impact light bulbs. We're talking wind and solar power, bio-fuels. But a plan to actually wean us from fossil fuels, to begin the shift? Not happening yet. We just haven't made the commitment to sacrifice and solve the problem.

Folks, Lake County will change.

Radical changes will need to be defined in order to slow that change for the innocent descendants we will leave behind. The great solutions of industrialization over the past several hundred years have come at a cost unimagined by past captains of industry and the great middle classes of the world. The environmental costs that have come from changing survival into comfort and convenience will fall on the shoulders of present generations.

Folks, Lake County will change.