By Naveed Mansoori

Six years after President Bush decided against signing the Kyoto Protocol – an international agreement calling for action against global warming – a Democratic-run House is striving to bring the issue back on the policy agenda. This past Thursday, Jan. 18, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a bill to instate a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming that could be ratified by Independence Day of this year.

A striking fissure has been created between those who support and those who oppose the global warming theory. While some say that global warming is part of a natural weather cycle, others believe that it poses a grave threat to life on Earth.

Dr. Sherwood B. Idso, president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, opposes the belief that global warming is indeed a life-threatening issue.

"We see a lot of data saying that there are natural cycles of climate out there and a millennial scale of oscillation that gives a few years of warmth and cold," Idso said in an interview with City on a Hill Press (CHP).

Idso argues that on a global scale the average period of warmth we are presently experiencing has been seen multiple times before, and that "there is no compelling reason to think that the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere is the reason for the warmth."

Santa Cruz County has been doing what it can to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Gene Thomas, technical and administrative manager at Ecology Action, a local non-profit organization that maximizes the environmental quality of business and government, explained his personal reasoning for working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the region.

"Sure climate is cyclical, we’ve had ice ages, we’ve had warm ages," Thomas said. "You look at all of what we’re dumping in the atmosphere and it can’t not have any effect."

UC Santa Cruz has jumped on the global warming bandwagon by endeavoring to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2003, the UC Regents passed legislation mandating universities to outperform state energy efficiency requirements by at least 20 percent. UCSC buys 100 percent renewable resources.

The Global Chillers is a UCSC student organization commited to reducing the carbon footprint left by the university.

Thomas Ivy, the club’s president, agreed that the global warming cause is unique in that it is "such a grassroots problem."

"What you’ll find with global warming is that people are trying to solve the problem, but they’re not pointing fingers," he said.

Thomas stated his ultimate reasoning for taking the steps he has.
"Humanity isn’t the only problem, but it’s the only solution," Thomas said. "Global warming is a hand that we have been dealt, and we have to deal with it ourselves. We have to do something
about it."