Moultrie Observer

Opinion

January 3, 2013

Global warming: Intelligent discourse must predominate

MOULTRIE — Many people crack jokes about global warming. You can hear it routinely. The comments are most prolific when we have a brief cold spell. “So where’s that global warming they’ve been talking about?”

Yet, there is more and more evidence that we are experiencing global warming. Some people point out that this is a cyclic event based on the earth’s tilt or orbit. Others point out that they agree but that man is indeed impacting the process with his carbon emissions. Both positions have merit. To assume that humankind is not severely adding to the mix is likely dangerous logic, given the scar tissue already on our environment in the pursuit of progress.

Many of us have witnessed environmental changes through the years. Even though we enjoy a bountiful nature with abundant pastoral settings, our streams are not as pure as they once were and many of them don’t flow as well as they once did — conditions addressing quality and quantity.

There’s even talk now of siphoning off some of the Mississippi River to help drought-stricken western states. At this moment South Georgia is in a 15-inch rain deficit and the term “water wars” is now familiar to all of us. Most environmental issues bring about much debate ... some of it very heated.

Environmental issues are “big picture” issues. We must think in the long term, and we must be aware that some changes may be difficult or even impossible to reverse.

We would be naive to think that any point of view is totally without vested financial interests but we must also uplift those who are truly wholesome in their concerns. One way or another, we can all be affected.

Certainly political opportunists will weigh in with their agendas which may be good or bad.

But in all of this, let us hope that intelligent conversation and unbiased information will predominate the issues so we and those who follow us can enjoy quality as well as quantity in this venue. We must embrace the fact that we humans do impact our environment, it all boils down to plus or minus.

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