Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Now Do You Believe?

Isn’t it strange that someone can believe that the bible is a historical documentation of the earth’s beginnings and human creation, while not believing in man' contribution to climate change? The new data is in, and it’s not going to sit well with conservative ideologues and biased energy industry scientists.

According to the article, “Huge study documents changes from climate warming” the USA TODAY laid out these facts:

“A landmark new climate study reports that global warming is already changing
the life cycles of thousands of animals and plants — as well as hundreds of physical systems — worldwide. While previous studies have looked at single phenomena or smaller areas, this is a new analysis on a continental scale looking at data that had not been previously assembled together in one spot says a scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.”

“By analyzing data from each of the Earth's seven continents and the oceans, the study paints a clear picture of a world that's been undergoing rapid
transformation in just the past few decades due to climate change. ‘Humans are
influencing climate through increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and the warming
world is causing impacts on physical and biological systems attributable at the
global scale. These are things that are happening now, not projections of future changes."

Some of the physical changes include:

Melting glaciers on all continents, specifically in Alaska, Peru, and the Alps.
Earlier break-up and thinning of river and lake ice in Mongolia.
Declining mountain snowpack in western North America.
Earlier spring runoff in North America.

Some of the observed effects on living things include:

Movements of species to higher latitudes and altitudes throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Population of emperor penguins has declined by 50% on Antarctic Peninsula.
Rapid advance of spring arrival of long-distance migratory birds in Europe.

"It was a real challenge to separate the influence of human-caused temperature increases from natural climate variations or other confounding factors, such as land-use changes or pollution," says a co-author and climate scientist at the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. However, scientists reported in the study that "these temperature increases at continental scales cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone."

“The 1970 — 2004 time period was selected because it coincides with the rapid
recent warming of the planet. During that time, the Earth's temperature rose by
about 1 degree F. The study builds upon the consensus of the IPCC, which in 2007 declared manmade climate warming "likely" to have discernible effects on biological and physical systems.”

Sound kinda iffy to you? Of course, faced with new evidence and data, the old arguments will remain relevant to those who have made a profitable industry denying the obvious. In the meantime, the US has already fallen behind other industrialized countries by slowly catching on to the green revolution, where rebuilding a crumbling infrastructure can employ hundreds of thousands of workers. A recent article about wind power described how demand to expand the industry has slowed due to parts shortages. Who's supplying the parts for the wind turbine machines? European companies with European laborers.

The consequences of not acting soon enough, and allowing this vacuous argument to continue, will be felt for generations.

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