Friday, June 23, 2006

Global Warming is Real.... Imagine that?!

It is going to be much harder for many Republican lawmakers and business-financed groups to claim that global warming is just "built on cherry-picked data meant to create an alarming view of recent warming and play down past natural warm periods".

No less than the National Academy of Sciences said that the data are "additional supporting evidence ... that human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming." (the full report avaiable here).
(coverage from: AP; NYT; WaPo; MSNBC; NPR; Boston Globe)

This graph is commonly called Hockey Stick (It can be compared the sharp curve of the hockey blade to the recent uptick in temperatures - the rise in global average surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere during the 20th century - and the stick's long shaft to centuries of previous climate stability. ). It bascially shows that global average temperatures sharply spiking in recent years.

On the political front, a few things worth mentioning:
  • Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, chairman of the House Science Committee, had asked the academy for the report last year after the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, Rep. Joe Barton, launched an investigation of the three climate scientists.
Although both representatives are Republican - one is from NY and one is from... Texas! I'll let you guess which is which.
  • While the 15 European Union states have ratified the Kyoto Protocol on global warming which requires industrialised countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 8% of the 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. What has the Bush administration done exactly?
  • They have maintained that the threat from global warming is not severe enough to warrant new pollution controls that the White House says would have cost 5 million Americans their jobs. (Isn't that typical of the White House's short sighted view... on everything!).
You might have believed them, if in 2002, President Bush had not dismissed a report put out by his own administration warning that human activities are behind climate change that is having significant effects on the environment. (here).
Just like with WMD, this administration has been misleading the public. Remember when a scientist from NASA said in 2002 that the Bush administration was "trying to stifle scientific evidence of the dangers of global warming in an effort to keep the public uninformed". (MSNBC)

This is all very good news for Al Gore. (here)

My take is that it's going to take more than a couple headlines to change the minds of many Americans and have them change their lifestyle. The more in denial, the harder. Unfortunately, it might even more than a Katrina a year.

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