Sunday, June 19, 2011

Read This Now - The Weather Report

Climate change is real, you can see it's effects on the news nearly every day and more and more people in the US and around the world are experiencing the effects first hand this year as extreme weather events become more and more common.

The saddest and most shocking part is that no one in the US Government seems to care, especially those who know better.  It's one thing for pandering blowhards to rail on as idiot deniers and skeptics of climate change and it's another all together for those members of the government who know just how serious the challenges we face are and who choose to ignore them since the politics aren't pretty.

Elizabeth Kolbert has a good rundown in this week's comment in the New Yorker...

For decades, climate scientists have predicted that, as global temperatures rose, the side effects would include deeper droughts, more intense flooding, and more ferocious storms. The details of these forecasts are immensely complicated, but the underlying science is pretty simple. Warm air can hold more moisture. This means that there is greater evaporation. It also means that there is more water, and hence more energy, available to the system. 

What we are seeing now is these predictions being borne out. If no particular flood or drought or storm can be directly attributed to climate change—there’s always the possibility that any single event was just a random occurrence—the over-all trend toward more extreme weather follows from the heating of the earth. As the cover of Newsweek declared last week, “weather panic” is the “new normal.” The larger problem is that this “new normal” won’t last. Each additional ton of carbon dioxide that’s spewed into the atmosphere contributes to further warming, thus increasing the risk of violent weather.

It isn't pretty and it can be depressing, but that's all the more reason everyone should read the piece (and pretty much everything that Kolbert writes these days).

See also the sordid tale of how climate change legislation fell apart last summer.

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