Published on ZNet, by Tom Turnipseed, October 26, 2007.
Climate Warming Causes Drought Fueled Mega-Fires
(Columbia, S.C.) Five years ago my wife and I discontinued using our lawn irrigation sprinkler system, now we only water our small vegetable garden. Facing evidence of climate change, we are trying to do our part to save water.
With water supplies rapidly shrinking, Governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia declared a state of emergency for 85 counties and asked President Bush to declare it a major disaster area on October 20, 2007. A drought of historic proportions is affecting Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, as well as parts of North and South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. Meanwhile, drought is feeding a fiery fiasco in California …
… On October 24, 2007, Ellie Venom with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina wrote a guest column titled “Lacking Vision on Energy” in The State paper in Columbia, South Carolina She is highly critical of Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s publicly owned utility, for their proposed construction of a 1,320 megawatt pulverized coal plant in a rural area along the great Pee Dee River. Rather than their pumping tens of thousands of tons of toxic pollutants into the air and water every year, Ms. Veno contends they can invest in efficiency and conservation to meet the demand for electricity. She says, “Our state’s lack of vision on energy, whether at the federal, state or local level, is a grim reminder that South Carolina is still wandering lost in the energy dark ages.”
When the US Senate tried unsuccessfully to amend the most recent energy bill to require utilities to produce 15 % of their energy from renewable resources like wind, solar and biomass, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint voted against it. Ms. Veno says South Carolina politicians have become dependent on campaign contributions from utilities and the coal industry.
Such compromised politicians across our country are ignoring the facts: that CO2 producing fossil fuels such as coal are the primary cause of climate warming; that global warming is occurring at a much faster rate than scientists predicted; that one consequence of global warming is drought; that the US is the primary contributor to the crisis. To save this planet we must each do our part and we must demand that our leaders lead. As we watch the fires in the west, can’t we see that we are destroying our beautiful country by our own hand and creating a fiery hell on earth? (full text).
(Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and peace activist in Columbia, South Carolina. See his website in english and espanol).