Provincetown News and Information
By Steve Desroches | Town Online
Publisher note: Original title is “Global warming a hot topic” Sorry but I couldn’t help renaming this ridiculous story. See my comments below.
It looked like a Hollywood disaster movie. Slide after slide showed what would happen if the world’s ocean rose by 20 feet as a result of melting polar ice caps in Antarctica, something that a majority of the globe’s scientists say is a very real possibility. Lower Manhattan would be underwater, as would much of the Netherlands. But the point was driven home by what Provincetown would look like. Much of it would be underwater.
“Global warming is very real, but it’s not too late,” said Provincetown Town Manager Keith Bergman.
The presentation before about 20 people at the Marine Lab at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies was the first of many for Bergman. While on vacation with his family in Tennessee, Bergman heard former Vice President Al Gore speak about global climate change.
“It was a transcendental experience,” said Bergman about the lecture Gore gave at Middle Tennessee State University.
The speech inspired Bergman to complete training to give slide show presentations designed by Gore. In addition to making his global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gore also created the Climate Project, a grassroots movement addressing a global problem locally.
Taking that to heart, Bergman returned from hearing the lecture and worked with Democratic U.S. Rep. William Delahunt’s office to create the Cape and Islands Renewable Fuels Partnership, a push to get the region interested in renewable energy. The presentation last Tuesday night was a further part of this regional effort to address the world’s pressing environmental issues.
Over the course of the hour-long presentation, Bergman outlined the topic of global warming, including a large amount of scientific data showing that the world is getting warmer, that weather patterns are subsequently changing and that human consumption and behaviors are contributing to the world getting warmer.
Photos and videos show disappearing ice caps and glaciers. Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa is no longer snow-capped as are mountains in the Alps, the Himalayas and the Andes. Ice shelves in Antarctica are disappearing, as are species around the world. Hurricanes are increasing in intensity and frequency as are other natural disasters related to the warming of the ocean. All of these trends directly correlate to an increase in carbon dioxide since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
Bergman, and Gore, are direct in addressing those who say there is no such thing as global warming and that it is an unproven theory.
“Doubt is the best way of establishing a controversy,” said Bergman, quoting cigarette companies in the 1960s explaining how they were going to distract the public from reports that smoking caused cancer and other serious health problems.
Corporate greed is what is trying to create a shadow of doubt around climate change and human causes. Bergman showed that 928 articles supporting global warming appeared in science journals, whereas no one published reports to the contrary.
“This kind of consensus in science is rare,” said a representative from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration on one of the slides.
But he then showed that in the mass media, more than 50 percent of articles cast doubt on whether global warming is actually a problem requiring the limiting carbon dioxide emissions. The disagreement over global warming is something that was created by those who oppose changes to things such as emission standards and increased regulations on industry, said Bergman.
But the presentation was not all gloom and doom. Bergman finished with ways that society as a whole can makes changes that would reduce the effects of global warming and how to do that on a local level. One of the biggest things we can all do is change our way of thinking, said Bergman. Getting involved and changing everyday habits is the first step. On a somewhat larger level, Bergman and Delahunt’s office are working to have Cape Cod and the Islands shift to using renewable energy, like biodiesel and ethanol. Towns all across the Cape are examining using land-based wind turbines. At its Town Meeting on Nov. 13, Provincetown will be the first on the Cape to vote on whether to endorse the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, which asks municipalities to endorse the tenets in the Kyoto Protocols. The Kyoto Treaty, which seeks to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, was ratified by almost all nations in the world, except the United States and Australia. States, like California, and municipalities are going ahead and adopting the tenet in the treaty anyway.
Lessen your environmental footprint
*Use compact fluorescent bulbs
*Buy energy efficient products
*Do monthly car maintenance checks
*Take shorter showers and install low-flow showerheads
*Use recycled paper
*Make adjustments to heating and cooling in your home
*Buy locally produced products
*Write to your local and national representatives to let them know your opinions about the environment
Sorry but just not a believer in Global Warming. Not Al Gore’s stupid interpretation anyway.
Looks like Keith drank a couple gallons of the kool aid down at the ranch. Yikes!
Give me a break. How come the article doesn’t mention just how long it will take for the sea level to rise that much, 1000 years? 10,000 years?
All because the evil United States won’t sign the Kyoto treaty? Please.
Some recommendations they left off:
Move to Maine and live in a hut
Sell your car and all your power equipment
Believe everything Al Gore talks about, after all he invented the Internet and was a brilliant Vice President and Presidential candidate.
Don’t drink the kool aid people. We’ll all be out of work sitting by the fire wondering what happened to the electricity.
All the Massachusett’s plated SUVs should be stolen, brought to a designated high erosion beach before a bad storm, at low tide, parked, and filled with sand bags, for Mother Earth’s sake.
Spoken like a good communist.