Big Oil wants us to remain addicted to oil, a major source of carbon pollution. So it and other special interests have conducted an aggressive disinformation campaign for more than a decade to convince Americans that there's a major disagreement among scientists on the dangers posed by carbon pollution, just as the tobacco industry disputed the science to keep smokers addicted.
Yes, the 3,000-page review of the scientific literature by
The basic science is clear. Naturally occurring, heat-trapping gases keep the planet about 60 degrees warmer than it would otherwise be, giving us the livable climate we have today. Since the industrial revolution, humankind has spewed vast quantities of extra greenhouse gases, principally carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, into the atmosphere, causing more and more heat to be trapped. And so the atmosphere is warming.
The Bush administration concluded in a 2008 report, "It is well established ... that the global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases." That study noted that we're already seeing more extreme weather events.
In the past million years, the climate was primarily driven by natural cycles initiated by changes in Earth's orbit, which led to emissions of greenhouse gases, an amplifying feedback that caused rapid warming after long ice ages. As pre-eminent climatologist
Now we are punching the beast in the face. If we don't act quickly, by midcentury carbon dioxide concentrations in the air will reach levels not seen in 15 million years, when it was 5 to 10 degrees warmer and seas were 75 to 120 feet higher, a 2009 study concluded.
The good news is that sea levels don't rise as fast as temperatures, but the bad news is that everywhere you look around the planet, ice is disappearing much faster than expected. Whereas the IPCC had ignored dynamic effects and predicted sea levels might rise perhaps only 1 to 2 feet in this century if we took no action to reduce emissions, major studies since 2007 put the estimate at 3 to 6 feet, enough to generate 100 million environmental refugees or more. Other studies warn that the U.S. Southwest could become a permanent dust bowl post-2040, with
We can preserve clean air and a livable climate for our children while slashing the
Available at Amazon.com:
- Dirty Truth About Air: Pollution's Effect On Heart Health Obesity and Fertility
- Climategate Shows There's No Global Warming Consensus
- Climategate Reflects Changing Debate over Global Warming
- Global Warming Fact Denial Won't Change Climate Back
- Energy-Efficient Updates Help Homeowners Save Cash
- Going Green Is Good Business
- Small Town Grapples with Legacy of Chemical Byproduct
- Side by Side in Need for Green Growth: China and America try cooperation
- Jolt for Energy Innovation: Government Investing
- National Power Grid That Thinks
- Exxon: Slow Evolution of an Oil Giant
- Stuttering Start for Electric Cars
- Going the Extra Mile
- Front Line of the Climate War
Climate Change - Global Warming Fact Denial Won't Change Climate Back | Joseph Romm
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