I have, for the first time in my life, actually written my congressperson. I received a "Washington Report" recently (see http://www.house.gov/duncan/August2007WashingtonReport.htm, page 2), and came across a paragraph made up of quotes about Global Warming now being a bad problem.
Now, to be sure, the quotes talk about "alarmism" leading to the cutting off of funding for dissenting views (those that disagree with the position that the Earth ground level temperature is rising and/or that it is our fault), and I am a supporter of the notion that science must have a clear and open forum for research and presentation of data.
However, I know from several of my government research friends that the opposite is actually happening. I have met and heard of more than a few researchers, very a-political people, almost to a fault, finding their research dollars have been slashed, or their published papers being edited, with important findings removed, because they show and present evidence supporting the global warming trends.
Please, please please, write your congressperson and let them know YOUR views. Ideally, their job is to not speak from their own uninformed positions, but from their constituents. Whatever your position on the debate in question, LET THEM KNOW WHAT YOUTHINK! Though I usually hate forwarding these things to friends unless I know for certain they might also be interested, if you are of a mind to, forward it on to your friends, and they to theirs....
If you're interested, here's what I sent. I used http://www.house.gov/writerep/, though I am sure there is one for the senate as well (email me if you come across it before I do).
In your recent "Washington Update" mailing, you write about two quotes criticizing the global warming debate. The general tone of this section seems to suggest that you also agree with these people and that global warming is not an issue that needs to be addressed.
I know scientists researching these problems, good people in good standing, who have little political bias and a great respect for withholding their opinions on matters until they have sufficient evidence and due diligence in study. I have yet to meet one out of the several I know that has expressed any doubt whatsoever that a) there is a problem that is leading to overall rising in global temperatures, b) that these issues will lead to catastrophic problems near-term and long term such as the melting of the world's ice, flooding of coastal areas, changes in climate across the globe, famine and disease due to the effect of animal population sizes and migrations, as well as those of the human populations, and c) that some large part, if not the greater part, of the causes are human in origin.
However, even if you refuse to believe this and prefer to find a minority of experts who tell you it is all a fantasy, as an elected representative of this region in our government, I plead with you to understand that your views DO NOT REPRESENT the views of this constituent, nor of several others that I know.
The price of being wrong in assuming global warming is real is not that large. It will lead to new technologies, new jobs and will place Tennessee, a fine source of natural resources, in the forefront as a progressive state, concerned about business and the environment at the same time. Fear of losing business money and jobs are not as great as has been suggested.
On the other hand, the price of being wrong in assuming there is no global warming problem is very large. War in the Middle East, already hot and already tense, is certain to become worse, leading to tighter resources of oil. Across the world, people will find their resources, access to water, to land, will change. Coastal areas will become flooded. People inland will find themselves without water as their local temperatures rise, people will leave drought stricken areas to other areas already dense in population. World-wide, economies would be made unstable, and we know now that the US economy is not safe from these problems.
Please do not entrench yourself in thinking that global warming as an issue will not be serious enough for you to address.
The problems are serious and must be addressed now.