Global Warming – What’s the Big Deal?

Everywhere you turn these days, somebody has a new statistic about global warming. Just today the top five Reuters headlines and four of the top five National Geographic News headlines were crying about global warming. Is it really that big of a deal?

YOU BET IT IS! And I apologize for using that headline to get you to read this post, but hey – I’m allowed a little literary license now and then.

Seriously, though, I hope there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that global warming is serious business. I also hope everyone realizes how much we humans are unnaturally affecting whatever natural warming and cooling cycles the earth experiences. A Reuters article by Gerard Wynn and Alister Doyle sites a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that projects sea level rises of 7 to 23 inches by the end of this century. Most experts agree that a rise of 23 inches will have a devastating effect on the low-lying areas of the world. In the United States, the hardest hit areas will be along the gulf coast region, from the Texas-Mexico border east to the central Florida panhandle. The next time you’re at the coast, have a friend stand in the surf and hold his or her hand 23 inches above the water. Now mentally extend this line inland until it touches the shore and you’ll get an appreciation for how much of your favorite beach will be under water in less than 100 years!

Now imagine your friend’s hand is 420 feet above the surface and extend that line back to the shore. This will give you an idea of how much of the world’s ancient beach-front property has been submerged in the 18,000 years since the peak of the last ice age. Is it any wonder that underwater archaeology is becoming a hot topic these days? Isn’t it possible – maybe even obvious – that hundreds of historically significant sites exist near the coastlines of the world, just waiting to be discovered? What’s hard to believe is that traditional archaeology has “invented” a history of the world based on a study of less than 30% of the planet. Maybe those who reject the possibility of ancient civilizations just don’t know where to look – or can’t swim!

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