What’s So Hard to Understand about Climate Change?
I didn’t really need a scientific study to tell me it was hot. The sweat dripping down my face had already confirmed these findings. According to the Weather Channel, it “felt like” 103 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday while I was trying to play golf in Central Florida. The Weather Channel’s information was redundant. Trust me; I knew what it felt like.
But, however ho-hum climate studies might seem at this stage, they are still necessary. Some people still dispute the fact that the world’s climate is changing, that – overall – it’s getting “warmer,” and – this is the really controversial part – air pollution is a major cause.
One of the scoffers is a Republican senator named Jim Inhofe.
In an article about the latest climate change study – distributed today by the Truthout service – writer Elizabeth McGowan recalls that:
When “Snowmageddon” buried the nation’s capital in February, Sen. Jim Inhofe’s grandchildren delved into the record-shattering drifts to construct an igloo near the U.S. Capitol (photo above).
They jokingly labeled it Al Gore’s new home.
I don’t hear anyone scoffing now. Record hot temperatures are being recorded just about everywhere – from Moscow to Minneapolis.
According to writer Paul Yeager:
All-time record high temperatures have been tied or broken in more than a dozen nations…
Globally, at least 14 different countries have reported all-time record high temperatures this year (not all have been during the Northern Hemisphere summer)…
I would bet that Inhofe and his grandchildren still aren’t convinced that the current heat wave has anything to do with air pollution. Disputing climate change findings is a staple of “conservatives.” They don’t mind ignoring and twisting facts to create an argument against legislation that would reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions.
I am prepared to accept their argument that climate is cyclical and some years are hotter than others because of the natural action of sunshine on the ocean, or whatever. But, even so, I am convinced that Mother Nature isn’t the only cause of this summer’s heat waves.
I blame mankind – greedy, reckless, self-destructive mankind.
McGowan reports that:
Oppressive temperatures gripping Southern and Eastern U.S. states this summer will only worsen if little is done to curb greenhouse gases, according to an August report update from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), a conservation group.
“2010 is a sample of what’s to come,” said Amanda Staudt, lead climate scientist for the report titled “Extreme Heat in Summer 2010: A Window on the Future.”
“Global warming is bringing more frequent and severe heat waves, which will seriously impact vulnerable populations”…
The report explains how summers such as this one could become the norm by mid-century if carbon dioxide emissions aren’t brought under control…
Using maps from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the report shows how end-of-the century climate predictions are even more dramatic if heat-trapping gases are unchecked. Days with temperatures above 90 degrees could double between now and 2099. That would leave much of the South almost unbearable for three or four months when temperatures rarely — or ever — dip below 90 degrees.
I know, it’s just another study. But it’s time to pay attention.
The scientific evidence is piling up, and a global weather crisis is imminent.
I don’t care if climate change legislation increases the cost of electricity. I don’t care if the big corporations that fund political campaigns face higher costs (which they are sure to pass on – to us). I don’t care what the implications are.
The stakes are too high to worry about those possibilities.
The U.S. Congress must take a stand. It’s time to revive the legislation languishing in Washington and impose sensible curbs on carbon emissions.