A week or two ago I wrote a piece, somewhat wise guy and satirical, on global warming. The idea of Greenland thawing out for the first time in the memory of climatologists scared me. After all, what does anything else matter – getting your work published or produced, great reviews, winning the lottery, etc. – if the planet goes to hell? Who’s going to read your work other than, remotely possibly, the remnants of humanity cowering in caves avoiding cannibals.
Then, after a day or two I deleted the blog. Not sure why. Maybe it was my tone, maybe I didn’t like it. Maybe it was the thought nobody really seems to give a damn other than the farmer who is watching his field of corn wither or the thirsty animal approaching a dried up water hole. As for politicians, the deteriorating climate is a soccer ball they like kicking back and forth.
Anyway, I deleted. Then this afternoon I came across a front page story in the Washington Post by James E. Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He begins:
``When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988 , I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.
``But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.
``My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.
``In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.
``This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.
``The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.’’
He goes on, and it gets darker. I attach the link to the full story below, along with some 2,500 comments (as of today, August 8, more than 4,800 comments), some intelligent, some, of course, sheer idiocy, and some of those would think I’m an idiot for taking Hansen’s warnings seriously (also, today, August 8, NOAA reports July 2012 was the hottest July in 118 years of record keeping). So be it. The report Monday should shed more light.
And this time I’m not hitting the delete button. I don’t want to see planet Earth deleted.
Causes Steve Hauk Supports
City of Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove, California; Animal Friends Rescue Project, Pacific Grove; Animal Welfare Information and Assistance,...