Global Warming:
What We Can Look Forward To

And now for the juicy details on what a warmer planet means to you and me: decimation of species, disease, fires and, uh, disease. Sounds like a fun-filled future!

Maybe the rising sea levels will expand the habitats of porcelain crabs? Uh, no, I guess that isn't likely. Then again, porcelain crabs won't be the only things we lose if the world climate warms by 4 to 6 degrees - think of all the world's cities that are located on coasts.

West Nile virus isn't the only disease that will spread on a warmer planet. Thank god we'll have universal health care to take care of us! Oh, right, never mind.

Extreme weather will be fun. When it rains, it will flood. When it's dry, there will be drought. And forests will burn, bringing respiratory disease. If the Bush administration just accepted the reality of global warming, then maybe they could use it as justification for their Healthy Forests Initiative! Too bad scientists like Dr. Paul Epstein from Harvard Medical School would rain on that parade:

"Global warming or climate change is associated with more extreme weather.

The rise of U.S. wildfires is turning global warming into a real and direct health threat for American adults and children. The chief concern has to be that global warming, if left unchecked, will mean more intense weather extremes, including drought. The resulting -- and worsening -- wildfire problems in the United States could well mean a steadily increasing toll in the related health problems."

William Schlesinger of Duke University has similarly blunt words about global warming's effect on the environment:

"We are altering the climate of the earth to a point that we've never experienced before in human society. And this has consequences for sea level rise, for the frequency of fire and for drought that could very well impact the occurrence of fire.

The most important thing for the public to understand about this is that our nation needs to curb its emissions of carbon dioxide. We are altering the climate of the planet to a point never before seen ... Limiting the amount of carbon dioxide we produce and release into the world's atmosphere through fossil-fuel burning cars, along with coal and oil energy, would greatly assist in slowing down our unstable and abruptly changing ecosystem ... There will be no relief from the drought that fuels the wildfires until our nation's leaders get serious about curbs on CO2 emissions."

Fortunately, global warming isn't a partisan issue. Democrats and Republicans, except the Bushies who just can't resist oil dollars, have an obvious interest in a sustainable environment. Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP) is leading the charge from the right to hold Bush accountable for his reckless pursuit of policies which benefit no one but energy producers.

REP America President Martha Marks said, "First, the administration watered down language about global warming in EPA's recent state of the environment report. Then, the administration dismissed federal scientists' concerns in declaring that Yellowstone National Park is in no danger. Now, we see that senators were not given vital information about cleaning up unhealthy power plant emissions."

"The administration should treat the American people and their Congressional representatives like adults and give them the unvarnished truth about the environment," she said.