Monday, September 5, 2011

Flat Earth!?

It is not convenient to think about global climate change. Facing up to the facts about our changing planet can be uncomfortable. And who wants to really consider what would need to be done in order to slow or reverse the effects humans have had on the environment? It’s hard. It’s unpleasant. It would be much easier to pass this problem on to future generations.

The effects of climate change will likely include more frequent droughts in some areas and heavier precipitation in others.

It is apparently much more politically expedient to deny that humans have had anything to do with climate change, to say that it is part of a naturally occurring cycle, that all we have to do is wait it out. It would be simple to agree with the talking heads on conservative talk shows that every time there is a snowstorm it is proof that scientists are cooking up this whole climate change thing for attention or to milk the government for money so they can get more funding for research. Sure, it would be easier to pretend that global climate change doesn’t exist.

The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.

But it would be terribly, sinfully, unpatriotically stupid.

Yet there are a whole bunch of politicians who are getting attention for doing just that. I don’t believe for a minute that Rick Perry, for example, doesn’t understand what is happening to our planet. I couldn’t imagine a scenario where someone with his resources wouldn’t ever look at the graphs ( or try to get a grasp on the data that prove the facts. I don’t think there are any scientist who don’t believe that the temperature of the globe is increasing, those facts are easily and 100% verifiable. Perry's book, Fed Up! takes a look a climate science and finds it to be "all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight."

Visualization of the 2007 Arctic sea ice minimum

A quick look at NASA's website outlines the evidence of global climate change. It is overwhelming.

*Sea level rise

*Global temperature rise

*Warming oceans

*Shrinking ice sheets

*Declining Arctic sea ice

*Glacial retreat

*Extreme events

*Ocean acidification

The overwhelming majority of scientist who collect data and study the information about climate change (somewhere between 97 and 98% - one could hardly expect to ever get similar numbers about anything scientific) believe that global climate change is caused by humans. And yet Perry and others keep pushing a political agenda that invites us to take our eye off of the ball, to ignore scientifically proven facts, to disregard our responsibility to take action about the eventual consequences if we sit idly by and keep talking about global climate change as if it is a random theory.

There are a lot of folks who simply believe someone who says something often enough, loud enough and with enough vitriol. There are a lot of folks who think that some short-term, nebulous gain is worth putting off looking for a solution to a long-term problem.

And, frankly, there are a lot of people who think since we can’t see the curve of the earth from where we are standing, that the world is flat.

1 comment:

Chris Hass said...

Jon Huntsman sees that the world is round. He even admits global warming is real and that evolution doesn't seem to far fetched. How do you think he does at a straw pole???