Americans need to heed climate change

If ever you’re curious and want to immerse yourself in a series of enlightening and entertaining investigative reads, type "climate change" into your favorite search engine and get ready to embark on an alarming, fantasy roller coaster ride unrivaled in terror at even the most frightening amusement park. Google actually spits out over 1.3 billion matches to the controversial and argumentative term “climate change.” Most searches will result in apocalyptic scenarios ending with mass extinction. 

Not long ago, the alarmist term of choice was “global warming"; decades earlier media and science were focused on “global cooling.” Those old enough to remember the early '70s might recall predictions of a big freeze doomsday complete with population annihilation. Various scenarios involved acid rain, devastating droughts, ozone depletion and rising sea levels and had the planet on notice since Hendrix wowed us with the "Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock. 

Failed prophecies included New York's West Side Highway being under water; all the Arctic ice being gone by 2015; and even the notion that urban citizens would require gas masks by 1985. All have strengthened the position of climate deniers. Deniers are people who reject the proposition that climate change is caused by human activity and contend the Earth's climate is in continuous flux. 

The popular film "The Inconvenient Truth" is now considered by many to be somewhat hypocritical since its creator/narrator, former Vice President Al Gore, not only cashed in financially on terrifying the public, but his Tennessee home was reported in 2007 to guzzle more electricity in a year than the average American family uses in 20 years. Significant errors have seemingly eroded the original overwhelming support of the film. 

So you can't blame climate skeptics for being overly cynical. Chicken Little can only shriek about the sky falling for so long before the screams ring hollow. What’s real news and what’s hyperbole? 

The Earth is billions of years old and climates have changed throughout. In the last 650,000 years there have been multiple cycles of glacial advance and retreat. Most are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives. However, things seem to be accelerating. 

The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, ocean temperatures are on the rise, ice sheets are shrinking, and satellites reveal that snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased and the snow is melting earlier. Global sea level rose about eight inches in the last century, coinciding with a number of record high temperature events in the United States.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to argue with the changes in weather and the environmental results being recorded around the planet. It rains more, snows less and there are shorter transition seasons and more insect-related illness. It's definitely getting hotter! 

Are humans to blame? 

According to an overwhelming majority of media outlets, 97 percent of climate scientists agree climate change or global warming is happening as a result of man-made issues. That’s an intimidating number — and one that needs the attention of all Americans. 

If it's true. 

All of us have been lied to and manipulated by the media for so long we’ve become jaded and cynical. The trust is gone. Search engines like Google or Yahoo display, organizationally, what those companies want you to absorb. 

Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter are the most powerful companies on the planet because they control information. I’ll bet you can't name five search engines not named Google. That’s true power.

While researching this column, it took me 10 times longer to find information on climate deniers than on climate change supporters. The left has capitalized on all the hysteria, and just about every Democratic presidential candidate has embraced the gargantuan "Green New Deal" or some facsimile. The Green New Deal is a congressional resolution calling for the federal government to unburden itself from fossil fuels to help control planetary climate change. It's unrealistic and would cost taxpayers trillions — crippling the economy. Most registered voters (73 percent) think global warming is happening, including 95 percent of liberal Democrats, 88 percent of moderate/conservative Democrats, and 68 percent of liberal/moderate Republicans — but only 40 percent of conservative Republicans. 

It won't happen in 2020, but the next wave of Republican leadership needs to pay attention to this issue, even if the "Day of Reckoning” won't be in the predicted 12-year time frame. There is an opportunity for a truly gifted statesman to finally bring us all together, as the idea of clean air, clean water and a healthy ecosystem shouldn't be owned by Democrats. 

Lee Elci is the morning host for 94.9 News Now radio, a station that provides "Stimulating Talk" with a conservative bent.

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