I was rather surprised to read D. Pierce Nixon’s tirade on global warming (“For Campus To Go Green, DeGioia Must Lead,” THE HOYA, Nov. 6, 2007, A3). Although energy conservation and environmentalism are worthy goals in and of themselves, pursuing these policies in the name of stopping man-made global warming is a farce on the scale of the “Democratic People’s Republic,” more commonly known as North Korea, and Georgetown is certainly under no responsibility to help promulgate this fraud on the American people.

Tomes have been written exposing the global warming myth, and I don’t feel it my place to deny those authors their credit (and royalties) by regurgitating their expose. For the cash-strapped reader, Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) “Skeptics Guide to Debunking Global Warming” is a free and good start to unraveling the charade. Suffice to say, the climate has constantly been in a state of change, even during the short time humanity has roamed the planet (e.g., Little Ice Age and edieval Warming). An asteroid impact (long overdue and probably more controllable than the climate) would cause more immediate harm to the planet and to our species than any climate change. And yet, nary an Oscar or Nobel Prize has been awarded in support of stopping asteroid-made global annihilation.

For the average Hoya who is concerned about global warming, I feel that the absurdity of the hype is best illustrated by the carbon offset. Buying carbon offsets is the process by which rich celebrities (the ones that also adore Third-World dictators) are able to ease their consciences by planting trees to compensate for the massive carbon footprints caused by their McMansions and private planes (which the average American does not, in fact, own or use). It’s kind of like egging your neighbors’ house, paying for the damage, and doing it again. However, the average Hoya, like Nixon and I, who can’t afford to offset our smaller carbon footprints, are told that we need to change our lifestyles. Alas, let us eat cake! If the crisis is really so bad, why don’t Gore and his Live Earth friends change their lifestyles and plant trees? That way, they would reduce pollution overall.

Beyond recognizing the global warming hysteria as just that, perpetually cash-strapped Georgetown is wise to be critical of any “energy-saving” programs that raise costs for students or don’t ultimately contribute to its bottom line. As to jumping on the alternative energy bandwagon, Nixon overlooked the fact that these energy sources are more expensive and less efficient than fossil fuels and thus require subsidies and tax incentives (i.e., taxpayer money) to remain attractive to consumers and corporations. Our solar-powered ICC was not the product of Georgetown’s altruistic vision of the world, but rather generous funding from the federal government ( i.e., taxpayers). Likewise, the fuel-cell bus project is also funded by the federal government (i.e., taxpayers). As a tax-paying citizen, forgive me if I’d rather not have my tax-dollars going to subsidize Georgetown’s electric bill.

I was further surprised that Nixon seems to think that THE HOYA staff needs to have the university (that they are seeking independence from) implement a nanny-state to turn off their computers when not in use. You’d think that they would be able to turn off the computers themselves. If not, I am pleased to inform my friends in the Leavey tower that most computers built in the 21st Century come with several energy-saving features which are a few mouse clicks away! See what happens when you read the manual?

As to Nixon’s concerns that climate change might affect cuddly animals (and his own cuddling), this calamity should be weighed against the likelihood that warmer weather could see frozen wastelands like Greenland become rich farmland as it was during the global warming which coincided with the Viking era.

I do not dispute that we are called to be stewards of the environment or that there is an urgency to develop better sources of energy. Cleaner air is certainly a healthy goal and steps should be taken to avoid the air pollution suffocating cities like Beijing and Mexico City. Likewise, alternative energy sources and energy-saving measures will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, a vital step if we’re to end the threats posed by terrorism-supporting nations like Iran and communism-exporting nations like Venezuela. But we should be deeply suspicious of the leaders of the global warming hysteria. Like all the great fanatics of history, they have hijacked a worthwhile cause and seek to use it as a vehicle to impose their worldview onto the unsuspecting masses. Hopefully, the masses will see through the ballyhoo and realize they’re being taken for a ride (albeit, a federally-subsidized environmentally-friendly ride).

Alexander Sanjenis graduated from the College in 2003.

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