Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Still Waiting for the Apology from Climate Change Deniers

It's been twenty years now, since climatologists and scientists first began to raise the warning flags about global warming and climate change. It was first a theory, knowing that the "greenhouse" effect, with more carbon in the atmosphere, could trap heat and light and warm the planet. Later, we began to record actual warming temperatures, across the globe. Conservatives, especially those linked to the oil and gas industries, scoffed.

Vice-President Al Gore tried to raise a warning. The ice caps were melting. Temperatures were rising. Again, the talking heads on Fox News made fun and denied there was an issue, and "if there is warming, it is natural and not man-made".

Measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was shown to be sky high. Record hot summers were recorded. Droughts increased. Still the climate change deniers laughed and said this was just hysterical tree huggers crying wolf.

Last summer in Michigan, in Ferndale and Oak Park, we reached a temperature of 105 degrees on the Fourth of July. I know because I was out campaigning, and after a couple of hours, we had to retreat to our homes in exhaustion. That evening, we had the worst hail storm that I have ever experienced. Hail the size of golfballs rained down. I know because I was out in it, and my car was trashed. Two thousand dollars of insurance-paid repairs was just my experience. Multiply that by hundreds or thousands of others who had roofs and vehicles ruined.

Giant hundred year floods and hurricanes now occur every couple of years.
Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and other states regularly experience droughts and county -wide forest fires, destroying homes and businesses.

Rising sea levels now flood the northeast causing billions in damage. Cities like Baltimore and New York are building or cosidering dykes and seawalls.

Our winters are nice and mild, but snowfall is shrinking. Meanwhile, Australia is on fire, and they are having their hottest summer on record. Southern plants and animals (and insects) are moving north. Northern animals and plants are at risk for extinction.

Humans are bad at planning for the future, but we are putting our children and grandchildren at risk. We were warned, but we ignored them. We keep drilling for more petroleum products, driving giant SUVs, and having more babies.

Meanwhile, those who denied any looming problem, quietly continue to avert their eyes to the growing menance. We need an apology from them, and then action to at least try and plan for the upcoming disaster, and try and reduce the impact.