The impact of global warming

Now that there is snow on the ground, it really feels like winter, but what was with that funk we were in for the past month and a half? There was no snow, it was hardly even cold and it seemed like they were getting more snow in the desert than we were here.

According to a Texas news station Web site, there were nine inches in parts of western Texas in one day. Glen Larum was quoted on 13 Eyewitness News in Dallas saying, “We don’t get those kinds of snow storms in far West Texas very often. That’s a lot of snow in this country.” So what seems to be the cause of all this snow in Texas and the nice weather in the mid west? Well one possible cause is El Nino.

According to the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration Web site, El Nino is a calming of trade winds over the South Pacific that causes the cooler water to descend deeper into the ocean and which then prevents the cooling of the surface water. And the sister of El Nino, La Nina, is the exact opposite effect.

The lack of cooling water and cooler air in that region makes the jet stream do odd things and gives us warm weather and the southwest colder weather.

One other thing that is contributing to this weird weather is global warming. In his latest State of the Union address, President Bush finally owned up the problem proposing caps on gas emissions to be implemented in the next 10 to 15 years. But spokesman Tony Snow ruled out any economy wide caps on emissions. Just goes to show you that the politicians mean one thing, but will do something entirely different.

I used to think global warming would not be a problem for my generation, that it would start here and it would be a problem for someone else to worry about down the road. Well, that’s the attitude that got us into this mess with global warming.

Car companies started making cars less fuel efficient, more emissions producing and more harmful to the environment. At that time, nobody really cared about what they were doing to the atmosphere.

Now car companies like GM and Ford are coming out and saying that they have always been focused on keeping the environment clean and producing more fuel efficient, environment friendly vehicles.

That’s not what I have been seeing in the past few years of automobile production. It seemed like there are more and more vehicles out there that are getting less than 20 miles per gallon. Car companies need to reassess their position on the environment. Oh wait, they need to take a position of helping the environment. Period.

Only in the past few years has ford and GM started looking into ways to cut emissions and make cars more fuel-efficient.

They realize this is not the problem of the next generation. People are living longer, healthier lives. We need to stop looking at this problem like it is someone else’s problem and realize it is our problem and a lot of it is our fault! My roommate drives a hybrid Honda Civic, it gets about 48 miles per gallon all year. My little four door four cylinder Ford Contour gets upwards of 25 miles per gallon.

Freshman Aaron Mentkowski says he likes driving his hybrid because of the better mileage, but another benefit of his car is helping the environment.

Reducing vehicle emissions, producing more fuel efficient cars and passing regulations to reduce factory and production plant emissions is the way we are going to help slow this process and possibly reverse it.

The president finally realized there is a problem, now we just need the rest of Washington to wake up and start passing legislation that will help solve the problem. Not just nationally, but locally as well. States need to take the same stance that California has taken, requiring emissions reductions by 2020.

Face the facts: The polar ice caps are melting because the world is getting too warm, glaciers are disappearing, polar bears’ mating areas are shifting and the temperature has gone up about four degrees globally in the past 15 years alone.

Let’s wake up to the problem and do something about it!

Send comments to Andrew Herman at [email protected]