When New York Freezes Over
There's a scene in the Steven Spielberg film, "AI: Artificial Intelligence" where the world's coastlines are inundated as a result of global warming. New York City has long since been abandoned except for a few eccentric inhabitants; its once famous avenues are now submerged under several hundred feet of water, which in time freezes over in a new ice age.
Former vice president Al Gore's appearance in New York City on January 15, 2004 took place on one of the coldest days on record for The Big Apple. He was there to talk about global warming, which reminded me of the somber ending to the film. The winner of the 2000 U.S. presidential popular vote -- and in all likelihood the Electoral College, as well, had the all votes in Florida been recounted -- was speaking to an audience organized by Moveon.Org and televised by C-SPAN.
Most of the media found it humorously ironic that Gore should talk about global warming while the East Coast experienced arctic-like temperatures. They appear profoundly oblivious to the fact that there is no contraction between a planet that is inexorably warming due largely to man's voracious burning of fossil fuels -- and not cosmic rays -- and extreme regional temperature swings. If you find that illogical, do a little research on what is likely to happen when the salinity of the waters off Greenland is diluted because of fresh water glacial runoff. [See also "Earth Entering Uncharted Waters"]
Mr. Gore is at his professorial best as he reinforces his talk with dozens of photos, charts, video and illustrations that persausively demonstrate that global warming is a very real phenomenon and that man is responsible for its acceleration. Regardless of what you think of Gore personally, you will find it difficult to refute his arguments, though I am sure there will be those who will try.
In case you're still not conviced, I urge you to view the animations that accompany an article on NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center web site entitled, "Scientists Reconstruct Earth's Climate Over the Past Millennia." The animations show what has happened to Earth's climate over the last five hundred years and the conclusions are inescapable.
So, fire up your favorite media player and take the next hour and twenty minutes to educate yourself.
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