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Color commentator's green cause
Spending nearly two weeks in deep freeze, SmackDown's John Bradshaw Layfield rounded out his travel résumé of 55 different countries by visiting his seventh and final continent: Antarctica. Instead of unwrapping gifts under an energy-sucking, heavily lit Christmas tree, the SmackDown commentator spent his holiday vacation on a personal crusade against global warming.
"[Antarctica] was the only continent that I had never been to," JBL explained. "I wanted to see the continent and get firsthand knowledge of global warming because there is such a divergence of opinion about what is really going on in our environment." He added, "I also wanted to learn something about this because I'm going to be president one day."
The former WWE Champion said his intent was to quell his desire to determine the cause behind global warming. He sought to learn whether man is causing the changing atmospheric conditions or if the globe is in a warming cycle, or a combination of both.
"My take is that man is causing it," JBL asserted. "The fact that [the earth is] warming is a huge problem, and it's being exacerbated by CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, most likely caused by man."
Today, there is an unprecedented amount of carbon dioxide -- a harmful greenhouse gas --in the atmosphere that contributes heavily to the worldwide climate change. Studies reveal that this increase in global temperatures causes glaciers to melt and sea levels to rise.
"This isn't just polar bears going extinct; it's a serious problem," he claimed. "The loss of alpine glaciers in Europe is going to cause huge economic hardships. We're going to have wars over water if this is the case, which scientific data has proven to be certain."
Glaciers, however, are not the Wall Street media maven's primary concern. As JBL told WWE.com, environmental issues directly affect something that is very near and dear to his money-minded heart: investments.
"To invest in this world -- in any type of energy -- you've got to know about global warming," he explained. "I'm not against oil. I'm not against the internal combustible engine car. I'm just saying we've got to be smarter with what we're burning."
Once close to investing in a wind farm in Texas, Layfield believes that government policy supporting alternative energy sources could positively impact the state of an already damaged atmosphere.
"There are so many things that our country can do when you talk about the consumption side," JBL said. "[The U.S. government] has to start being responsible stewards for our environment."
Comparing this issue to other environmental causes, JBL detailed the need for officials to take action.
"We stopped the ozone hole from growing by stopping CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) from getting into atmosphere just by cutting out Freon and other major offenders. It's a different thing than global warming, but it's a sign that we can do something to positively affect the environment."
Criticizing the "flag bearers for this cause," the SmackDown star said his journey may not necessarily end with his trip to the globe's southernmost continent. He stated that he would like to join forces with Bill Schlesinger, international authority on climate science and Dean of Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University.
Schlesinger is hosting a think tank outside of New York in the near future and the former WWE Champion has hopes of participating in this advocacy for climate control.
"Global warming's real," JBL declared. "If [America wants] to be the economic powerhouse of the future, we have to make sure that this environment stays in tact. I don't mean to sound like a leftist tree-hugger, but this is simply the fact."
Check out photos from JBL's Antarctic trip