Our bizarre weather over the last few days has once again brought the reality of climate change home. After a searing summer that saw a punishing drought in the midwest, we are seeing a fairly warm winter. I can't remember ever hearing about tornadoes in January. We had 70 degree weather - also very unusual for January in this area. We've only had a handful of days below freezing.
Bejing China is experiencing a constant twilight
as pollution hovers heavily over the city, casting a "Blade Runner"-esque pall. One has to wonder if mankind is on a suicide mission? Between global climate change and local environmental pollution and destruction, we are cooking ourselves in our own filth.
For some reason, however, politics have gotten involved. Where once Republicans embraced conserv
ing the environment (Nixon), they now seem to have this paranoid delusion that environmental protection is some sort of left-wing "plot", and they do everything they can to prevent Big Government from "impeding" Big Business with regulations. Never mind that the businesses they are protecting are Big Oil, Big Coal, and other polluting industries. They seem to be actively averse to anything that resembles good environmental stewarding (They brought back styrofoam cups
to the House cafeteria after regaining power - really??
). Do they think only "pussies" protect the environment, and Real Men pour used motor oil down the toilet?
It seems, though, that they've acquiesced somewhat, and conceded that the planet is warming up. What they WON'T agree to is that mankind is the cause. They argue that it's happening naturally. That argument may be a losing one now that a new study shows that man-made and natural warming are different
Human-triggered climate warming appears to leave a unique fingerprint on global rainfall rates compared with natural warming, according to a new study.
While rainfall rates increase whether the long-term warming trend is natural or not, the rate of increase appears to be higher during natural warming trends.
The result might help resolve a long-standing discrepancy between changes in rainfall projected in global climate models and changes projected by studying the historical record, researchers say.
The study suggests that "carbon dioxide has a fundamentally different mode of warming than natural climate change" – one that leaves a unique signature on rainfall rates
Will Republicans listen to the science and agree they were wrong? Not likely. Being dismissive of environmental science is just emblematic of their greater aversion to science. Once again, they are pushing for creationism to be taught as science (rather than religion) in 4 states
. This was attempted in Cobb County, GA in 2004, and was tossed out by the court
when some parents sued. Due to the sloppiness of the trial, the settlement was vacated, and the parents ultimately settled out of court in their favor. Therefore, there is no standing court precedent.
The sad upshot of all this is that our kids will be the ones to suffer. They will have to live on a planet that's polluted and overheating. They will get shoddy educations in science, when they are already trailing
in math and science scores. You can't even blame that on red -vs- blue states; there's no real pattern
. It's just a problem overall.
One has to wonder what chance they have when the website
for an ostensibly science-news company has a story about cheerleading
on their front page. Will America always be the dumb jock in the global classroom holding everyone else back? Time will only tell.