October 25, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Michael Kimmel speaks to UMass students about ‘Guyland’ -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass football looks for third straight win against Toledo on Saturday -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

‘Love is Strange’ is beautiful, painful and groundbreaking -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

White supremacy and settler colonialism at UMass -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass hockey hopes first win will propel them past Hockey East rivals -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass’ second line playing and succeeding with young talent early in the season. -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

‘The Good Wife’ returns as strong as ever -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Professor receives grant to cover massive election survey panel -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unions rally over recent concession proposals -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NFL Pick’em games return to the Massachusetts Daily Collegian -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass celebrates Campus Sustainability Day -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

“Fury” falls just short of greatness -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Minutewomen look to continue their season in weekend game against Saint Bonaventure. -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New meal plans receive mixed reviews from students -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ISIS’s magazine is good for the West -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UMass women’s soccer controls its own destiny as conference tournament approaches -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass soccer deploys new formation with Keys, Jess -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass calling on young swimmers to continue strong start to the year -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WMU, Ohio, NIU pick up wins in busy MAC weekend -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A comprehensive guide to the Ebola virus -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mitt Romney and the rising seas

If you follow politics at all, you’ve probably noticed the in-depth discussion about the urgency of climate change and its impacts on earth and those who inhabit it – at least from President Barack Obama and the Democrats.

Climate change is a serious issue. It’s been a topic on the agendas of presidential hopefuls since Richard Nixon introduced the topic in 1969. If you’ve ever seen a picture of a lone polar bear floating on a tiny ice cap in the middle of a sea, then you already know the dangers of global warming. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it has become increasingly clear that climate change is taking place, evidenced by warmer global air and ocean temperatures, melting snow and ice caps, and rising sea levels. It’s also extremely important to note that most of earths recent climate change has been caused by human activity. This rate of climate change is dangerous to earth’s ecosystems, and the heat waves experienced by the northeastern United States (hey, that’s us!) could have an impact on our health in the form of increased air pollution and more frequent precipitation that would cause sewage overflows, resulting in waterborne illnesses.

So if sewage overflows and waterborne illnesses are enough to gross you out, you’re probably concerned about climate change. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, is concerned, too. In fact, he’s so concerned, he decided to discuss it in his Republican National Convention speech. And by discuss it, I mean make a joke out of it resulting in thunderous laughter and applause from the crowd.

“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans (pause for laughter) and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.” (Thunderous applause).

In just two sentences, Romney managed to insult Obama and dismiss the idea of rising sea levels as a mere joke. If Bill Nye was watching, I’m sure he shed a tear or two.

To be clear, Romney has recently expressed a moderate view on the subject of climate change. In a recent online debate between Obama and Romney conducted by ScienceDebate.org, Obama took a strong approach saying that “climate change is the one of the biggest issues of this generation.” Romney, on the other hand, stated that while he’s “not a scientist”, he does believe that the earth is getting warmer, and that human activity contributes to that warming. This comes off as odd, being that just last year he denied climate change, saying “we don’t know what’s causing it.”

He then continues to insult Obama’s efforts in getting Americans to decrease their carbon dioxide emissions by saying that it’s detrimental to the U.S. economy. “The reality is that the problem is called global warming, not America warming,” Romney quipped. As far as I can tell, it seems like Romney’s favorite thing to do is joke about climate change.

But the sad thing is, it’s not a joke. It’s important, it’s real and it’s happening as we speak. What would this country be like if we were led by a president with no real passion for fighting a dangerous issue that’s been scientifically proven over and over?

If we assume Romney is not proactive in reversing climate change, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere would continue to increase, causing rising sea levels, rising global temperatures and increased ocean acidity. If climate change is left unattended, we are leaving future generations with potentially irreversible damage to our planet.

In the ScienceDebate.org interview, Romney also said that there is a “lack of scientific consensus” on the subject of climate change. While this might be true, it is only slightly true, because over 95 percent of publishing climate scientists agree that the earth is warming and human activity is the cause. But hey, Romney’s no scientist! And I’m sure Neil deGrasse Tyson would gladly attest to this assertion.

I take Romney’s decision to ease off the climate change subject as a figurative punch in the face to climate scientists everywhere, who are trying to provide us with information on a subject that they believe should not be taken lightly. How can you argue with science? I can’t, but Romney’s figured out a way.

I find it upsetting that Romney doesn’t take the fate of our planet seriously, doesn’t take science seriously and is probably not the type of guy who would “share” a picture on Facebook of a lonely polar bear standing on a tiny floating ice cap in the middle of the sea. If the decision was solely up to me, I would choose a man with faith in science to lead our country.

Jillian Correira is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at jcorreir@student.umass.edu.

 

Comments
7 Responses to “Mitt Romney and the rising seas”
  1. Lemon says:

    This article shoots itself in the foot and loses its credibility in the first para with the polar bear picture story:
    1. It was used by Al Gore without respect to attribution and the copyright.
    2. The bear was only a couple of hundred yards off shore, not at risk. They commonly swim a hundred miles between ice flows and are known to have swum several hundreds.
    3. The polar bears are not at risk – the population is the highest its ever been in almost all areas of population.
    If the failure of research on this item is indicative of that done overall, then the story should be reviewed, corrected or withdrawn.

  2. Caitlin says:

    The author used the polar bear commercial imagery to emphasize the fact that global warming is a highly publicized and well known issue. Whether or not the polar bear was in real danger, if the image was used without copy right, or if the polar bear population isn’t at risk (which is false by the way. The polar bear population is classified as threatended under the endangered species act) that isn’t the point. It was merely used as imagery to convey a point. The point being that almost everybody who has seen that image knows about climate change and about it’s potentially devastating effects. If you throw an entire editorial piece out over onetime stylistic point, you have failed to comprehend the article that you are reading.

  3. Dr. Ed Cutting says:

    Rocks are actually elastic when your timespan considers centuries to be mere minutes, and with the weight of the glaciers now removed from where they were last (upstate NY), that bedrock is starting to come back up a little bit which is causing the coastline to go down a bit. So how exactly do you measure sea level? From what benchmark?

    And you know what causes earthquakes, right? You do know that almost all of Africa is over 1000 feet above sea level and why, right? All the land masses are moving and shifting and that includes going up & down — so again, what benchmark do you measure sea level from?

    Or do you really care? I am old enough to remember when it was “global cooling” that we were terrified of, and how all human life on this planet would cease to exist by 1990 (and that was 22 years ago and were still here…). Admit it — this is all about trying to control other people’s lives, nothing more or less, you just want to tell me what I can and can’t do….

  4. Dr. Ed Cutting says:

    0h, and as Lemon points out, Polar Bears can swim.

    They also like to eat, and if you are looking for a tasty seal or fish swimming IN THE WATER, would you or would you not want to be looking where you might find one, i.e. IN THE WATER and hence NEAR THE WATER and hence wouldn’t this be the ideal place to go fishing if you were looking to catch something swimming in the water?

  5. Fred says:

    Romney is 100% right on not giving it the attention that the author apparently craves. This planet is not in any danger, is in better shape than at any time during the past 500 years and will survive mankind by many billions of years.
    All that alarmism is based on shaky “budy-budy” science, fraudulent graphs, exaggerated emphasis on life giving trace gas CO2 and fables and nonsense spread by rent seekers.
    Humans are part of the environment as well. They need education, a roof over their head, jobs and what not, and so: Do your job and research the issue seriously, rather than lazily parroting the party line.

  6. Caitlin says:

    Dr. Cutting,
    While your comments about the reliability of ocean level measurements were certainly enlightening, your polar bear comments do confuse me. Yes, polar bears swim. Very astute, sir. However, they are not capable of swimming constantly, like fish or marine mammals. When the polar ice caps shrink, which they are and we do not measure this by looking at ocean levels but rather at the rapidly shrinking area of the ice caps themselves, polar bears lose vital chunks of their habitat. This habitat must include both land and water. If polar bears were to survive this situation with the diminishing ice caps, they would have to evolve rapidly, which is impossible.

  7. Jodustine says:

    @Fred this Earth will not be around for billions of years. It will be destroyed within the next century or so. Pick up a Bible!

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