TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
Global warming is bringing death to 140,000 people annually according to the estimates of the World Health Organization. As the temperature of our planet increases so do floods, storms and droughts. The World Bank reports a $200 billion loss in property in the past decade, along with 2.5 million people who have lost their lives in the last decade, all due to the climbing climate temperature.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has presented “clear evidence” that typhoon Haiyan (the most powerful ever to make landfall, leaving 6,219 dead, 4 million displaced, 1,800 missing and 6 million workers now jobless), that devastated the central Philippines on Nov. 8 was linked to higher air temperatures. This finding is respected by 97 percent of world scientists.
Something is happening that is so unfair: industrial nations produce most all of the CO2 in the atmosphere (from burning fossil fuel, the major culprit for global warming); however, it is the poor people of the world, such as the Filipinos, who suffer the consequences.
Another very real culprit of global warming is the mining, oil and forestry industries. They insist that global warming is a lie. World governments are verbally united in reducing reliance on coal, oil and other fossil fuels, yet are often persuaded for economic reasons to postpone required legislation to regulate CO2 emissions.
Where is our conscience? Where is our united responsibility? As we all have the same right to use the atmosphere, so we all have the responsibility to protect it. Carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions might fairly be proportionate to population size with something of a per capita quota. Such emission regulation would be aimed especially at reduction of coal and oil as energy sources.
Global warming is a moral issue of grave proportions; killing hundreds of thousands every year! In conscience before God, it is our duty to love this world and its people. Therefore reducing/terminating global warming is an obligation to be felt by us all. In the last 150 years the clean and clear atmosphere of this planet has been thoroughly contaminated by our ongoing industrial revolution and incessant transportation craze — all propelled by fossil fuel.
May the slow and tenacious task of adopting other fuel sources be ever persistent… accelerated and assisted by you and me.
I live in a state (Kentucky) where coal is a major economic and employment factor. This article views the long-term and necessary transition to maintain life on this planet. Evidence is convincing that fossil fuels are eventually to be abandoned; much as horses with the advent of autos. This transition from a coal-based economy is painful and lengthy, but an inevitable necessity. Perpetuating a coal economy that generates typhoons of mass destruction and death is not an option.
The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of psychology
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