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Global Warming: The controversy and the apathy

By Pooja Kumbhar, Columnist

  The weather has been putting students and faculty in great moods. Everyone is sitting out on the quad and having class outside, but are people forgetting about the global crisis underlying all this sunshine? Remember how hot it used to be during the end of the school year, sitting in those boiling classrooms, waiting for the bell to ring as sweat trickled down your forehead?

   But has anyone realized that over the past few years, our summers have been getting shorter and shorter, and being pushed further into the year? Our Novembers have been getting breezy, like a nice spring, and our Decembers lack the raw briskness they used to have and it barely snows. A wish for a white Christmas doesn't seem likely anymore. In 2010, New York faced a heavy snowstorm near the end of February. Last year in 2011, New York experienced 3-4 inches of snow in March. Maybe this year we'll get snow in April, and eventually have our summers replaced by winters altogether.

   There is an evident shift in our climates, but the bigger concern is how we choose to look at this occurrence. Is it actually as a big of a deal as we were taught?    

   Many students throughout have been obligated to watch Al Gore's "The Inconvenient Truth," a documentary to educate citizens about global warming at one point or another in their education. If not, there is the common idea that our planet is succumbing to its destruction.

   However, the public fails to recognize the power of social media and its ability to maneuver human ideology. For instance, what is "going green?" Advocates display themselves on the Internet to save printed materials, but last time I checked, it takes away energy from electricity to get those words up on the screen.

   Many times, large corporations use the term "going green" in self-interest to woo the public in their direction. Politicians have the bigger hand in global warming issues. The aim of practical politics is to keep the populace in fear and panic. This alarm and blinded trust of society makes way for political control. The British television producer Martin Durkin suggests in his documentary that scientific opinion on climate change is directly influenced by funding and political factors. It is reasonable to say that after Al Gore fell out of the campaign, he found "The Inconvenient Truth," to be a way to reestablish his popularity among the people. In an opposing video by Glenn Beck, which went unrecognized due to his sarcastic nature, the concern of global cooling comes up. Glenn Beck points out a few weak spots and unsupported documents in Al Gore's video.

   He also claims that the process of global warming is a natural occurrence for our planet and that the media and government are manipulating the idea to create a scare. The earth experiences patterns of global cooling and global warming back and forth. Beck believes that we are progressing into another global cooling since it fits in with the cycle. And at the way our temperatures are fluctuating up and down at the wrong times, which we can physically decipher for ourselves over the media hype, it is obvious that there is an issue. Whether it is global cooling or warming, we must rise above media before placing unsubstantiated devotion to one side. For those who remain indifferent with the cause, we can't afford to let our guard down of the possible scam. A global dilemma in existence calls for human effort and attention, a global dilemma not in existence calls into question the fundamentals of the government we live under.


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