This is it!! The LAST American presidential election where fucked up, greedy, "Hairy Old White Men" like those running the Republican Party can ever deny the reality of climate change.
I haven’t blogged about climate change in many months. I guess it’s because I don’t even think about it any more. No, not from the James Inhoffe viewpoint, sticking my ignorant head in the ground and ignoring the issue. No, I don’t think about it because it’s a fact of life, just like the sun rising every morning. It’s happening, it’s relentlessly marching on, and at this stage, there’s absolutely nothing we can do to stop it. We’ve dug our grave…
But even as a scientist who knows the science behind climate change, I find the pace of change truly shocking. I find stories like this one truly shocking. It’s been a given that Arctic sea ice has been shrinking, but the pace of decline has outpaced even the most dire of predictions. Last week, it was officially announced that the Arctic sea ice was at its lowest level ever…and there were still a few weeks left in the melt season. What’s really shocking are the numbers, compared to just 30 years ago.
By area, Arctic sea ice covers 45% less area today than it did over the 1979 to 2000 average. HALF of Arctic sea ice gone, in the blink of a geologic eye. It’s even more shocking when you look at volume of sea ice, as it’s not just area that’s declined precipitously, it’s the volume of the remaining ice. The remaining ice continues to deteriorate in quality and thickness, and now is down an astounding 72% from the 1979 to 2000 average. THREE-QUARTERS of all Arctic ice…gone in one generation.
As the story above states, the pace of decline is outpacing all projections, and it’s now quite possible that in just 4 years, the Arctic will be completely ice-free in the summer.
The “good” news, I guess, if there is any? This could very well be the VERY last presidential election where one completely fucked up American political party denies the reality of climate change. Four summers from now, when ships are freely plowing across the Arctic Ocean without any pesky ice to stop them, it will be awfully damned hard for the greedy, ignorant, short-sighted SOB’s on the right to deny the reality of climate change. Of course, by then it will also be too late to do anything about it…since right NOW, it’s too late to do anything about it.
Posted in Climate Change
Tagged arctic, change, climate, decline, denial, denialist, election, free, global warming, ice, ice-free, melt, ocean, party, presidential, republican, warm, warming
Anthropogenic effects on climate change? GONE!! Legislated away by the BRILLIANT (as always) Republicans in the North Carolina legislature. WHY in the hell didn't we think of doing this a long time ago??!!?
I don’t know whether to laugh, or cry. Sometimes the complete idiocy (and greed) of human beings initiates both reactions at the same time. Take the case of North Carolina law makers this week…
If you haven’t seen it, take the time to watch Stephen Colbert’s slant to this story. It seems that a North Carolina coastal economic development group isn’t happy with scientists. Darn pesky scientists…they had the GALL to predict that sea level rise would be greater than 3 feet by 2100. It makes it a LOT harder to sell coastal real estate or convince companies to locate on the North Carolina coast, when all the evidence and science in the world points to that land being underwater in 50 or so years.
So…the economic development group has partnered with Republican (of course!) lawmakers in the state to basically outlaw science!! The businesspeople and Republican lawmakers simply are saying that scientists are wrong, and that you should ONLY look at what’s happened in the past, to predict future climate change. None of this fretting over CO2 levels that just reached 400 ppm!! No fretting about accelerating warming in the polar regions that will melt ice like butter in a blast furnace!! Nah….it’s the REAL ESTATE industry that REALLY knows climate science!!!
So, they’re crafting legislation that would effectively legislate away climate change science! They would make it North Carolina LAW that any climate projections affecting policy in the state would assume that sea-level rise will simply occur at historical levels, and won’t accelerate as global warming ramps up.
Simple! Problem solved! We scientist…SO, so silly, worrying about gathering evidence, analyzing the data, and spitting out facts and figures. All we really need to do is legislate science away! Think of the possibilities! What if the Yellowstone caldera should get frisky and threaten to erupt again? No need for scientists to study it…just pass a law outlawing the volcano from erupting! Giant asteroid headed on a collision course with earth? No problem!! Just legislate it away!!
Unbelievable. It DOES perfectly represent what the Republican Party represents, however. After all, we CAN’T have science interfere with real estate and business! If science is butting heads with business interests, is there ever ANY doubt on which side of the argument Republicans will land? We’ve seen this story a hundred times in other forms…fracking and polluting water supplies, endangered species habitat vs. development, air quality vs. power company lobbyists…it’s the same story every time. What’s so pathetic is that I’m sure Republican VOTERS in North Carolina are swallowing this hook, line, and sinker, and APPLAUDING their hillbilly legislators for this bold move.
To laugh? Or to cry? With each move Republicans make like this, it’s getting harder and harder to laugh about it.
Posted in Climate Change, Environmental Awareness, Scientific Awareness
Tagged ban, change, climate, global warming, law, legislature, level, North Carolina, ocean, republican, rise, science, sea, temperature
Climate change skeptics...it's not just the temperature change, the measurable change in atmospheric composition, or the measurable change in ocean acidity. It's the completely unprecedented RATE of change that points to a human hand behind today's climate change.
Those that try to deny climate change is occurring, or try to deny that humans are influencing climate change, point to changes in atmospheric composition, temperature, or other climate related variables that have occurred in the past. Climate change
idiots skeptics point out that temperature increases have occurred in the past, or that carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere have occurred in the past. All true, but what they purposely do not address is the RATE of change that is occurring.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have skyrocketed since the industrial revolution. In geologic time, it’s a blink of an eye, rising from 280 parts per million to nearly 400 ppm today. Over the past 500,000 years ago, carbon dioxide levels have naturally fluctuated…but only in a range between about 200 and 300 ppm. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels today are likely the highest they’ve been in over 20 million years.
Again, however, climate change
idiots skeptics point out that atmospheric carbon dioxide rates were much higher in the far distant past. It’s true, as CO2 levels in the atmosphere were once much higher than they are even today. Besides the fact that the earth’s climate when CO2 levels were once 600 ppm or higher wouldn’t be very conducive to support today’s massive human population, the point that climate change idiots skeptics miss is the incredibly rapid rate of change over the past 200 years. It’s not just that today’s atmospheric CO2 levels are so historically high compared to the last 20 million years, it’s the astonishing rate of increase over just a 200 year period, a period that just happens to correspond perfectly to industrialization and the widespread use of fossil fuels.
Last week Science published a paper that talked about effects increased atmospheric CO2 are having on ocean acidity, stating that oceans today are acidifying at the fastest rate in at least 300 million years. As the authors of the paper note, “What we’re doing today really stands out in the geologic record.” It’s impossible to deny the correlation between human impacts on land-use change and use of fossil fuels, and the incredibly rapid increase in atmospheric CO2. This study on ocean acidification further strengthens the empirical evidence linking human activity with an unprecedented rate of change in atmospheric and ocean chemistry.
I’m sure climate change
idiots skeptics (and industry and politicians on the right who back them) are hard at work behind the scenes right now, trying to come up with a way to dispute the findings in this paper. From a scientific standpoint, you keep waiting for the day when the empirical evidence is so overwhelming that even climate change idiots skeptics can’t deny it any more. Hell, the evidence ALREADY is so overwhelming that any rational human being can’t deny it. Unfortunately we are either a) not dealing with rational human beings, or b) those in industry or those with political motivations for denying climate change KNOW it’s happening, but are purposely trying to distort the truth for their own political or economic gain. The latter is obviously true, as I have NO doubt that those in the fossil fuel industries KNOW climate change is occurring, and that we are to blame. I have NO doubt that politicians will PUBLICLY act like climate-change deniers, actually know the truth but are lying for political gain.