Global Warming Comes to Colgate

Deena Mueller

As skiers, snowboarders and winter sports enthusiasts sit seething on the sidelines awaiting winter’s arrival, Al Gore is doing the “I told you so” dance. And he is making millions off of it.

Almost seven years ago, Gore was the awkward, boring Democratic presidential candidate who couldn’t even win his home state of Tennessee. Now he has an Oscar nomination for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which has not only made him more famous and credible, but has also already grossed close to 500 million dollars. On top of all that, his increased popularity has led to much talk of him running for president in 2008, though, he’ll have to beat out (or join) two strong competitors for the Democratic nomination in Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Perhaps Al Gore wouldn’t have reached this near celebrity status if it had just snowed a little this winter. But with New York City reporting 70-degree weather during December and major ski resorts in the Alps closing due to insufficient snow, everyone has been talking about global warming.

Though there are top scientists across the world that can use data and statistics to prove that this phenomenon is happening, this winter, or rather lack thereof, has converted more believers than anything else. Gore’s movie, released last May, has turned him into the main spokesperson for action against global warming. Since its release came prior to the current mild winter, Gore came across as a genius enabling him to make a startlingly powerful political comeback. After the 2000 election his career seemed over, like he were destined to write books about being a Presidential VP and speak at lame motivational conferences. Now he’s an internationally respected authority on the environment, award-winning movie producer and possible candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

Granted, many meteorologists are also attributing this crazy weather to the naturally occurring warm air system of El Ni?no. Still, the extreme disturbance of our typically chilly climate seems to prove that more than just El Ni?no caused the heat wave that had us wearing shorts and T-shirts during semester break.

In fact, unless you’re from Colorado, what you probably experienced was what the world would be like without winter. In my opinion, it sucks. The snow and ice allow for some of the most enjoyable sporting activities and exercise. Plus, they make the outdoors look so beautiful: winter wonderland, anyone? I love the variety of having winter. If every day were 70 degrees, it wouldn’t feel so special.

Global Warming is real. Over the next years it will be causing irregular weather patterns, changes to the environment, and financial damage to winter dependent businesses. Though much damage has already been done, there are some things we can do to decrease the rate of global warming and prevent further damage. Since gasoline emissions are a major cause of climate change, we need to start carpooling, stop driving SUV’s that get three miles per gallon. We also need to utilize alternative energy sources. If that’s not enough for you, ask Mr. Gore yourself when he comes to speak at Hamilton College on the evening of April 26, 2007.

Until then, it seems like winter has finally arrived in Central New York, and I for one am thrilled. The snow is accumulating so grab a sled or a Frank Dining Hall lunch tray and hit the slopes.