Wilderness MindJune 2010
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Global Climate Change

by John Bullaro, Lead Evaluator
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Search & Rescue Unit

Global climate change—in our current situation can be read as "a gradual increase in planet-wide temperatures." This is a well documented phenomenon and accepted by most legitimate scientists as fact. This gradual change in global temperatures is slowly changing the world we live in. That acceptance is a problem for many people, even though the effects can be seen worldwide.

Oceans are warming, which will contribute to more frequent tropical storms and hurricanes. global climate change will affect wildlife species that cannot survive in warmer environments. Global climate change could result in the spreading of diseases, such as malaria, and cause the flooding of major coastal cities and towns (i.e. Cambria, Morro Bay). The increased heat will present a greater risk of heat stroke for individuals, along with poor air quality.

Global climate change is, in large part, caused by greenhouse gases which are a result of human activity. This story may be old news, false news, or no news for the many readers and followers of the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and other false prophets of science. These news pundits are entertainers who make millions of dollars by appealing to their loyal followers who seek absolution from the problem. Absolution converts to "it’s not my problem." Individuals who claim global climate change is false, and, in particular, corporate America who watches their bottom line and not the air temperature, are playing with a loaded gun.

If a person buys into the strong scientific evidence of global warming, it means they assume some responsibility and may have to act responsibly.

But because the effects of this warming are so gradual, it’s impact on some people is very much like a frog in a pan of cold water who doesn’t jump out even as the water slowly reaches the boiling point.

What are the scientific facts and who does the science? Here’s a short list to entertain and educate you. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis on climate change; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; the American Geophysical Union (AGU) its report Human Impact on Climate; the American Meteorological Society’s statement on global changes; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and the National Research Council’s report: Climate Change and Science. If this doesn’t keep you occupied for a while, check out The Exploratorium’s Global Climate Change website.

Years ago the tobacco company CEO’s sat before congress and lied, "We don’t make our product addicting." These people claimed that cigarette smoking caused no harm to the consumer, having "too many intervening variables." Now they claim "global climate change is junk science." That argument come up from the guttural notion of "don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up." They invented the term, "junk science" to defame facts. I guess "junk science" is any fact not put forth by Limbaugh, et al.

Trees are dying, deserts are growing, species are dying off at alarming rates, ice caps are about gone, and soon the ostrich will be our national icon.


John is an Emeritus Professor in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Studies from California State University, Northridge, and a retired Lecturer from Cal Poly. For thirty-four years he has taught classes in Commercial Recreation, Tourism Planning, Management and Leadership, and Wilderness Survival. He earned his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in Organizational Development and Curriculum Design in Higher Education. John is a current member of the Atascadero Writer's Club and can be contacted by calling 805-440-9529 or at JohnBullaro@slocoastjournal.com.

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