The debate about global warming is over, said Jeffrey Kluger in Time. No longer can anyone reasonably argue that the greenhouse gases mankind is pumping into the atmosphere aren’t changing the climate—dramatically and rapidly. Worrisome evidence is now emerging all over the planet. Last year was the hottest on record; 19 of the 20 hottest years have occurred since 1980. As the Earth warms, glaciers and ice in Antarctica and Greenland are melting at unprecedented speed, and some scientists predict that there’ll be no North Pole ice cap by 2060. The result, the prestigious journal Science has just announced, is that ocean levels could rise 20 feet by century’s end, flooding vast areas of coastline. Some plant and animal species are already dying off in response to the heat. Major climactic changes, climatologists warn, could occur quickly, as the effects of warmer temperatures accumulate and accelerate, reaching a tipping point. "Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us."
Actually, there’s "nothing new" on the scientific front "to justify such alarmism," said Iain Murray in National Review Online. Credit for the present hysteria goes to the media and environmental advocacy groups, which make their living causing panics. Temperatures may be rising slightly, said Don Wilbur in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, but the fact is we still aren’t sure it’s because of human activities. The real cause may be a natural warming cycle; our planet’s temperatures have seesawed throughout its long history, with no help from man. We would be foolish to hurt our economy by reducing the consumption of oil and other fossil fuels, when we’re not even sure what’s going on.
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