It’s time to get serious about global warming |

It’s time to get serious about global warming

Hal Sundin
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
As I See It

Regardless of what you call it – global warming, or climate change – the deniers need to pull their heads out of the sand, open their eyes – and their minds – to what is going on in the world around them. In just the last three months, there has been a plethora of articles on the subject and its cause and effects. We will present evidence that global warming is real, and then examine the most likely cause of global warming and the effects which it is likely to have on the future of our planet.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center has announced that 2010 to date is the warmest year on record, and that this decade is also the warmest on record, easily surpassing the 1990s, the previous warmest decade. Nine nations have recorded their all-time highest temperature – 111 degrees in Russia and 130 degrees in Pakistan. Even Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, has become a believer after unprecedented 100+-degree temperatures have plagued his country. Throughout circumpolar Russia, Canada and Alaska, the permafrost line is being driven northward as atmospheric temperatures, which have risen as much as 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 20 years in that part of the world, are thawing the tundra. This rise in temperature in the Arctic has greatly reduced the area of Arctic sea ice since 2000, most notably since 2006. The area of sea ice is now 22 percent less than the 1979-2000 average, and the shrinkage in just the last year was 130,000 square miles. The Greenland ice cap is also shrinking, as are glaciers throughout the world, many of them completely disappearing. And worldwide, ocean temperatures have risen 1 degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1900. In spite of the data, collected by science-driven research agencies like NOAA, we still have a few vociferous deniers like Rush Limbaugh, who calls global warming “fake science”, Senator James Imhofe of Oklahoma, who calls it a “hoax”, Sean Hannity, who claims 2009 was the ninth coolest year on record (a preposterous claim totally at odds with NOAA’s report that it was one of the warmest years on record), and Glenn Beck, who claims that in the two years since 2007 nearly all of the Arctic Ice which had melted has returned.

Just who are those in the small but loud chorus of deniers, and what is their motivation? Paul Krugman, recently wrote in the New York Times, “Look at the scientists who question the consensus on climate change, look at the organizations pushing false scandals, look at the think tanks claiming that any effort to limit emissions would cripple the economy. Again and again, you’ll find that they are on the receiving end of a pipeline of funding that starts with Exxon Mobil, which has spent tens of millions of dollars promoting climate change denial, or Koch Industries, which has been sponsoring anti-environmental organizations for two decades. Or look at the politicians who have been most vociferously opposed to climate action. Where do they get much of their campaign money? You already know the answer.” The most notable false scandal was the so-called “Climategate”, allegations of fabricated data by climate scientists and supposedly damaging e-mails. Three thorough investigations of these claims unmasked them as a fraud concocted by opponents of climate action, sadly bought into by many in the news media.

An overwhelming majority of the legitimate scientists on the International Panel on Climate Change, and climatologists, who study climate change almost universally endorse the view that the earth is warming.

To be continued.

– Glenwood resident Hal Sundin’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent

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