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Acknowledging Climate Change Doesn’t Make You A Liberal: A Message From A Republican Meteorologist On Climate Change
Paul Douglas, via neorenaissance, ClimateProgress
I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real.
I am a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters, I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority: a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up, long-term. It’s ironic.
The root of the word conservative is “conserve.” A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.
Acknowledging Climate Science Doesn’t Make You A Liberal
My climate epiphany wasn’t overnight, and it had nothing to do with Al Gore. In the mid-90s I noticed gradual changes in the weather patterns floating over Minnesota. Curious, I began investigating climate science, and, over time, began to see the thumbprint of climate change, along with 97% of published, peer-reviewed PhD’s, who link a 40% spike in greenhouse gases with a warmer, stormier atmosphere.
Bill O’Reilly, whom I respect, talks of a “no-spin zone.” Yet today there’s a very concerted, well-funded effort to spin climate science. Some companies, institutes and think tanks are cherry-picking data, planting dubious seeds of doubt, arming professional deniers, scientists-for-hire and skeptical bloggers with the ammunition necessary to keep climate confusion alive. It’s the “you can’t prove smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer!” argument, times 100, with many of the same players. Amazing.
Schopenhauer said “All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally it is accepted as self-evident.” We are now well into Stage 2. It’s getting bloody out there. Climate scientists are receiving death threats and many Americans don’t know what to believe. Some turn to talk radio or denial-blogs for their climate information. No wonder they’re confused...
(29 March 2012)
Arctic sea ice may have passed crucial tipping point
Fred Pearce, The New Scientist
The disappearance of Arctic sea ice has crossed a "tipping point" that could soon make ice-free summers a regular feature across most of the Arctic Ocean, says a British climate scientist who is setting up an early warning system for dangerous climate tipping points.
Tim Lenton at the University of Exeter has carried out a day-by-day assessment of Arctic ice-cover data collected since satellite observation began in 1979. He presented his hotly anticipated findings for the first time at the Planet Under Pressure conference in London on Monday.
Up until 2007, sea ice systematically fluctuated between extensive cover in winter and lower cover in summer. But since then, says Lenton, the difference between winter and summer ice cover has been a million square kilometres greater than it was before, as a result of unprecedented summer melting. These observations are in contrast to what models predict should have happened...
(27 March 2012)
2C warming target 'out of reach'- ex UN climate chief
AFP, Outcome Magazine
The UN’s former climate chief on Tuesday said the global warming pledge he helped set at the Copenhagen Summit little more than two years ago was already unattainable.
“I think two degrees is out of reach,” Yvo de Boer, former executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said on the sidelines of a conference here on June’s Rio+20 summit.
The UNFCCC’s 195 parties have pledged to limit the rise in global average temperatures to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
The target was set by a core group of countries in the final stormy hours at the Copenhagen Summit in December 2009 and became enshrined by the forum at Cancun, Mexico a year later.
But more and more scientists are warning that the objective is slipping away without radical, early cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions. Some consider the goal to be a dangerous political mirage, for Earth is now on track for 3C (5.4 F) of warming or more.
“The two degrees is lost but that doesn’t mean for me we should forget about it,” de Boer said in the interview with AFP.
“It is a very significant target, it’s not just a target that was plucked out of the air, it refers to trying to limit a number of impacts.”
(27 March 2012)