2011-01-27 / Editorial

Whether or not it’s a hoax, global warming is inevitable

• EDITORIAL •

On a few occasions this winter – once while shoveling my driveway, another time while brushing snow off of my car – I’ve been asked, not exactly in the same words each time, but certainly in the same context: “So much for global warming, huh?”

This is akin to lying on the beach in 90-degree weather, looking at your sunbathing neighbor, and saying, “Guess that global warming rumor is true, eh?”

Climate change isn’t a new phenomenon, and like anything controversial – abortion, illegal immigration, war in the Middle East – there isn’t much one can say to sway another to the other side. But regardless of which side of the spectrum you fall on with climate change – believer or non-believer – there is no denying that it will affect your life.

I’m sure I’ve always been aware that this was true, but I’ve never really thought about it. While covering a pair of Coastal Resources Management Council meetings recently, I have come to the realization that global warming, whether I have a stringent opinion about it or not, will significantly affect me.

The CRMC meetings that I attended were both part of the same public hearing. It pitted a property owner on Hull Cove who wants to build a large home on his lot against a group of abutting neighbors on Clarke’s Village Lane who don’t want construction. The point isn’t which side of the argument I believe is right; it’s that climate change is going to be used, to a significant extent, to prove arguments for and against.

Engineers, physical oceanographers, coastal geologists and biologists have all been called to testify. All the experts mention climate change. They talk about storms becoming more severe and the rise of the oceans’ water levels. But they aren’t answering questions if, they’re answering when and by how much.

It is ironic that global warming could be a deciding factor in this case no matter the outcome. – Tim Riel

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