Skip to comments.The time to address climate change is now
Posted on 07/08/2012 2:14:45 PM PDT by mdittmar
Twenty years ago, Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush gathered the nations of the world in Rio to confront the challenge of global climate change. Two decades later, the challenge is more real, and the damage of climate change more pervasive, but we are further behind than ever in addressing the issue. With each passing day, the danger and the urgency only grow.
Promises of action from both political parties have been replaced by a conspiracy of silence.
Conventional wisdom tells us that the chances of Congress acting on this issue is rapidly approaching zero. How dramatic and sad that twenty years later, as nations gather for a second time in Rio, we have failed to prove the conventional wisdom wrong.
Thomas Paine described todays situation well. As America fought for its independence, he said: It is an affront to treat falsehood with complacence. Yet when it comes to the challenge of climate change, the falsehood of todays naysayers is only matched by the complacency of our political system.
In the United States, a calculated campaign of disinformation has steadily beaten back the momentum for action on climate change. Proponents have cowered in the face of millions of dollars of phony, contrived talking points, illogical and wholly unscientific propositions and a general scorn for the truth wrapped in false threats about job loss and tax increases.
But the threat we face from climate change is not an abstract concern for the future. It is already upon us, and its effects are being felt worldwide, right now. The examples are palpable in our daily lives.
Last year, many northeastern states experienced some of their wettest summers. Meanwhile, persistent heat and below average precipitation across the southern United States created record-breaking droughts in Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas of greater intensity than the 1930s Dust Bowl.
Every new report thats published suggests the situation is getting grimmer. Last year, a new assessment found that the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free within this century, likely in the next 30 to 40 years. Think about that for a second. Within a generation maybe two kids will grow up learning geography on maps and globes that show simply an empty blue expanse on the top of the world.
And the effects dont end there. With the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet alone, global sea levels could rise by as much as 3.26 meters in the coming years. And the Pacific and Atlantic coasts may be in for a 25 percent increase above average levels by centurys end.
Benjamin Strauss, co-author of a new study on topographic vulnerability, said it best: Sea level rise is like an invisible tsunami, building force while we do almost nothing We have a closing window of time to prevent the worst by preparing for higher seas. Thats why, in cities like Boston, officials are actively planning for how to manage 100-year floods that are now arriving every twenty years.
The dangers we face could not be more real. All you need to do is look out your window.
We just had the warmest March on record for the contiguous United States. The naysayers will tell you that one hot year doesnt prove global warming; but year after year, new records are being set: 2010 was the hottest year on record, and the last decade was the hottest decade since we started recording the weather.
At the Boston Marathon, temperatures hit 89 degrees Fahrenheit, more than 30 degrees higher than average. Official jackets, gloves and coffee? How about hats, sunscreen and Gatorade and medical tents filled with heat-exhausted runners starting at mile ten of the 26-mile course from Main Street in Hopkinton to Boylston Street in Boston.
In the end, the question is not whether were going to pay for climate change. Were already paying for it. The real question is whether we walk a path that addresses it now in a responsible way and that also helps us break humanitys addiction to oil, cleans up our environment and creates jobs or whether we suffer the consequences later on a massive, unpredictable scale in the form of environmental devastation, conflict, famine, poverty and reduced economic growth for decades to come.
Now is the time to confront the conspiracy of silence on climate change. It is time for complacency to yield to common sense, and narrow interests to bend to the common good. Future generations are counting on us. We all herald our mothers and fathers Greatest Generation. But we should also ask what our kids will say about our generation if we dont wake up to reality.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat, is the senior senator from Massachusetts.
I agree with that one part. The Left have lied for YEARS about "climate change". By definition, a climate does change over years. However, the temperature trend over 20 years has been a cooling trend.
Does it bother anyone that Al Gore is making money on this lie and is celebrated as a "scientist". He isn't. Neither is Kerry. Both are schemers who have looked for a way to live off the taxpayers their entire adult lives.
I kind of like to “address” taxes and yacht parking spaces there Slick.
Hey, don’t be so hard on Lurch. Global whining like his IS a serious problem.
Oh, he means....
Let me know when they build the windfarms off of HyannisPort, John, until then, stfu...
Every release of documents has been filtered by him before release.
I’m sure that a few more windmills and Chinese solar panels will fix us right up.
These nitwits don’t understand that even if it were true nothing can be done about it with that silliness.
But if it were up to me, however, we might be able to do something big but it would require some strong action. If we were to build large reservoirs across the United State’s plains (on government land) and fill it from the Great Lakes, the cooling effect of the water might make a difference. I have noticed about a 2 degree drop in temperature when crossing large lakes in Texas. John Connelly proposed something similar in 1964 but for the purposes of getting water for the droughts which crop ever frequently in Texas.
Kin I git me a carbon credit round here?
The money quote: “Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush gathered the nations of the world in Rio to confront the challenge of global climate change”
I'm not sure. If he had, I'm sure that he would have at least mentioned it when he was running for president.
I guess J F’n K won’t be needing his fancy yacht, now that he’s concerned about un-necessary CO2 emissions.
Shirley, you saw the footage from the video camera he took there. There is a record!
Now, as for self-inflicted wounds....
“With each passing day, the danger and the urgency only grow.”
The danger that I John Kerry will lose a sh!tload of my wifes money if this “SCAM” fails.
A 100% tax rate should do the trick.
“The time to address climate change is now”
Your request is hereby granted.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
Anthropogenic global warming, also known as “climate change”, and GorBull Warming is mere enviro-socialist lies designed to further collectivize America and the world.
There you are. Defined and deconstructed.
Climate change is occurring; climate change has been with us since the beginning of time; mankind has nothing to do with climate change. Yes, we need to plan for climate change, whether it be global cooling or global warming.
The dominating factor in climate change is the Sun's radiant energy. Blaming carbon dioxide emissions is more spurious correlation than science and common sense.
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