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 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinAugust 22, 2003 Issue 

Science or something else

Global warming threat proves puzzling

By Tony Staley
Compass Editor

We could learn a lesson from primitive societies on how to deal with the threat of global warming by the way they responded to the threat of volcanoes, which could destroy their homes and villages. To protect themselves, they made peace offerings, that could include human sacrifice, to the gods.

Today, we know there are scientific, geophysical reasons for volcanoes, which no amount of bargaining with the gods can alter.

Enter global warming. While it seems genuine - a record-setting heat wave in Europe and warmer than usual winters in Wisconsin are but two proofs - it's impossible to say if it is a long-term reality and if it's caused or affected by human behavior.

Either way, the costs could be high: Do nothing and risk ruination of parts of the planet and our way of life. Take aggressive action and it may be both costly and ineffective.

As it stands, no one can say absolutely which side is advocating the equivalent of human sacrifice to appease the gods. We can only pray for guidance and that whoever triumphs is right.

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