Local teacher lectures about global warming

Heather Scarlett

Human impact on the Earth is immeasurable and actions need to be taken soon to help prevent global warming was Ken Riley’s message last night.

A group of 50 to 55 people gathered in the Business Administration building to hear Riley give the presentation that former Vice President Al Gore gives in his movie An Inconvenient Truth.

Riley, a teacher at Waterloo High School, got involved with teaching global climate issues after he and his wife saw the movie, he said.

“I saw the movie last July with my wife,” Riley said, “and we were just blown away by it.”

He looked up the movie online, applied to Gore’s Climate Project and was accepted, he said. So far, the project has trained a total of 850 people.

Riley began his presentation by showing a picture of the Earth taken by an Apollo astronaut. It was the first picture of the Earth that showed a clean and clear planet.

“Earth is the Goldie Locks planet,” Riley said, “It is perfect. Not too hot and not too cold.”

The leading problem of Earth’s global warming started with the Industrial Revolution and the pollution that was produced by it, he said.

“Because the increase of carbon dioxide, 95 percent of glacial ice amounts around the world are melting,” he said.

Riley used Hurricane Katrina, melting ice changing the landscape in Alaska and Greenland and the level of the River Thames in London as examples of how increasing carbon dioxide and global warming are affecting the planet.

Steve Ontko, sophomore economics major, said, it was an excellent show of the environmentalist view, but he felt the presentation manipulated the facts.

“I wasn’t persuaded by the fact that the economy wouldn’t be affected (by environmental regulations),” he said.

The course of action that the Earth is currently taking is the best path, he said.

Riley said for changes to happen, humans need to begin working together to reduce the usage of fossil fuels.

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit back and do nothing,” he said.

Contact religion reporter Heather Scarlett at [email protected].