www.mybaycity.com March 6, 2007
Rotary Article 1516

Debate on Global Warming Said Over; Measures Underway for Change

Pete Sinclair Brings Message to Rotary About Getting Off Oil

March 6, 2007
By: Dave Rogers


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    Global Warming - Truth and Consequences


    Pete Sinclair is an artist, a nurse and a paramedic. He's also one of 12 experts in Michigan and 1,000 in the United States trained to give presentations on the perils of global warming.

    Mr. Sinclair, son of noted nuclear activist Mary Sinclair, of Midland, rocked last Tuesday's meeting of the Rotary Club of Bay City with shattering facts and images about the effect of human activity on the environment.

    The snows of Kilimanjaro from 35 years ago now look more like slush, according to photos of the famed peak.

    The evidence appears overwhelming, according to his presentation, and facts like 10 of the past 14 years have been the hottest on record. January, 2007, was the hottest January on record globally, he said.

    The warming effect is caused by carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere in the last 200 years since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, according to Mr. Sinclair.

    "There has been a linear increase in catastrophic occurrences since global temperatures started rising in the early 1970s," he said.


    Also, the soil is drying out as more moisture is taken up into the atmosphere. There is a fear that, unless unchecked, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could double in the next 30 years.

    Is it reality, or hysteria? Eleven major countries agree that climate change is underway; 928 scientific journals agree, with none disagreeing. Scientific American magazine says "the debate on global warming is over."

    What is the solution? Some corporations like General Electric and Walmart already have committed to going "carbon free," he said. Ford, Boeing and Archer Daniels Midland are on board with programs. Portland, Oregon, has reduced carbon dioxide emissions to below 1990 levels through increased mass transit, building efficiency and micro power mandates that have been "wildly successful," he added.

    "All over the country pieces of the puzzle are being put into place," he said.

    The largest factor is emissions from coal-burning power plants, he said; Texas recently canceled plans for eight new coal-burning electrical generating plants and will make up the difference from wind generation and energy conservation. China, Finland and France are increasing nuclear generating capacity.

    "We are at war where there is a large amount of oil," he said. "People wonder whether that's an environmental policy we want to pursue."

    Amory Lovins, of the Rocky Mountain Institute, posited an answer to the problem in a Fortune Magazine article: "The solution is to save half the oil America uses and substitute cheaper alternatives for the other half." That will lower the price of oil. Ending dependeny can save $133 billion every year by 2025, assuming $26 oil.

    "In the process, more than a million high-wage automotive and related jobs can be saved, and a million net new jobs added. U.S. car, truck and airplane makers can again lead the world.A more efficient and effectivemilitary can refocus on protecting American citizens, not foreign oil supplies. Carbon dioxide emissions will shrink by one-fourth."

    Among websites Mr. Sinclair recommends for more information are the National Academy of Sciences site http://dels.nas.edu/globalchange/ and the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) summary for policy makers http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf. ###

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