George Graham

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.



About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

1 Comment

  • I was doing a Google search for something else and your blog showed up. First when I read the last name of Graham I got more interested for many different reasons. Not run away from the story I’m glad to see and hear more people here in the Untied States are or started to pa attention to what is going on the Middle East. The part of the world is representing the most dangerous and most volcanic risk and danger to our national security. The rogue regime as you described in your blog is the lead regime in the world that is driving our country to be in the shamble. I can’t understand why the world is or continues to be dealing with double standards when it comes to human rights. The American Foreign Policy is nothing but a front supporter and a loud voice to defend Israel’s mishaps and satanic mistakes.

    Blockades on Gaza did not produce any results. The Israeli soldier still in captivity and the entire Western World is going crazy trying to speed Shalit’s freedom but over 11000 Palestinian prisoners from age as young as 9 years old to some over 70 years old no one cares to mention. We want peace but tell what peace brought to the entire world. If we to measure from the first days of the alleged Arab Israeli peace we se nothing but war and more war. I know very well that the United States can do more and probably the only nation that can demand Israel to behave and listen.

    I do know that Mr. Obama is under a lot of pressure but so what? He should have made that calculation before running for office. America must play a bigger and better role to stop this madness in the Middle East. I’m a father and it kills me when I see so many orphans in which their parents were killed by a weapon were supplied by the US. It hurts me when I see these kids have no homes, to schools, no play places, no parks, no efficient hospitals to go if the get ill. This is a real shameful period of times we live in. Where only look at these people that they are nothing but flies or garbage species and need to go.

    Terrorism started long time ago, nothing new here did not start on 9/11, no 9/11 was nothing but an episode that took place in our land. Terrorism cost us a lot, over 3000 casualties and a lot of people died for no cause. However the American government spent millions and millions of dollars trying to shine its profile in Moslem world but with no success. The solution is very easy someone with big heart should be able to say to the world we have had enough of Israel’s violations to basic human right and dignity. Bring on the Palestinian State put Jerusalem under International mandate so all can live in peace. No one should be able to go to sleep when thousands of children don’t have a roof to sleep under.

    America is doing two wars, and if you study it and went in dept you will be able to find very quickly that those two wars were not a US wars and the rest is yours to find out!!! I appreciate your comments and hope to see world comes to real peace before someone like Netanyahu uses his nuclear or should I say Tactical nuclear weaponry and a new war to start we never will know when it is going to end.