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Yesterday, a United Nations scientific panel announced that global warming is "severe and so sweeping that only urgent, global action" can prevent it and its repercussions. The war over global warming has been raging for many years; in fact, I feel like it has been for my entire life. Yet, leading Republican officials and presidential candidates, like the illustrious Fred Thompson, continue to deny the existence of global warming and claim that liberals and progressives are overstating the dangers and the facts. Whether Friday’s U.N. report will help to convince some of the doubters remains to be seen, but it is another event which underscores the importance of global warming for not only American politics and American society, but the entire planet.

My question, then, is why aren’t we talking about this more? Why is this not a crucial aspect of the presidential race, and a crucial talking point in society? Why doesn’t everybody know the candidates’ views? Why are we allowing this, even after Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize, to be a secondary issue? I cannot answer these questions definitively. It may be that we are afraid to admit that the lifestyle we enjoy so much could be destroying our planet. Maybe admitting that our past and our present need to be drastically critiqued, and our behavior needs to be changed harms a view of American superiority. Perhaps people, like Mr. Thompson, really are this stupid. All I know is that I don’t know. However, regardless of our ignorance and avoidance, this reality is inexcusable.

Politicians often say that they are working to build a better, safer, stronger, more prosperous America for today. But surely, we must admit that working to ensure America’s survival, to ensure that our children, grandchildren, and everyone else down the line can attain these things is also an important goal. Thus, we cannot allow for more evidence to come in until we take action. We must start right now, right away, and work to ensure the preservation of our planet. I am, by no means, a crazed environmentalist. But even I can realize that the time has come, the writing is on the wall, and we need to do something about this. We need to make this an issue that America cares about first. And only then will the politicians truly begin to take notice.