For about half of the United States there have been serious weather conditions that seem extreme. An historical look at some of these will show they are indeed unusual and could be the result of climate changes that result from an increasing warming planet.
The Department of Ecology in Washington State is but one scientific agency that lays this out for us:
Recent climate modeling results indicate that “extreme” weather events may become more common. Rising average temperatures produce a more variable climate system. What can we expect with weather changes? Localized events could include
- heat waves, droughts
- storms with extreme rain or snow, and
- dust storms.
What creates more extreme weather?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) from cars, industries and power plants trap heat near the earth’s surface. More heat means more energy. Adding so much energy to the atmosphere creates the potential for more extremes.
Climatologists say extreme weather events will become more common as our climate heats up. SOURCE
NOAA Scientists tell us that:
Global Surface temperatures have increased about 0.74°C (plus or minus 0.18°C) since the late-19th century, and the linear trend for the past 50 years of 0.13°C (plus or minus 0.03°C) per decade is nearly twice that for the past 100 years. The warming has not been globally uniform. Some areas (including parts of the southeastern U.S. and parts of the North Atlantic) have, in fact, cooled slightly over the last century. The recent warmth has been greatest over North America and Eurasia between 40 and 70°N. Lastly, seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1995. SOURCE
In 2007 the IPCC declared:
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations.”
Closer to home –
- Tennessee’s flooding broke all-time records, according to USGS measurements.
- Record Droughts in Texas. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook issued on April 7th and valid through June 2011 indicates that drought is likely to persist or intensify in Texas.
- Wildfires in US break record
Just yesterday for the third day in a row, violent storms hit North Texas where I live with tornadoes touching down in some areas everyday. The number and velocity of these storms are above average as they have been in other regions of the midwest and the South. Yet these events are reported meteorologically without any indication of the records they set in relationship to the scientific data that strongly suggests they are related to warmer global temperatures: temperatures that are man-made though our increased use of fossil fuels.
We know the mainstream media are owned by corporate interests that tend to align themselves with portfolios filled with fossil fuel companies and their large profits each year. To top this off many in Congress have refused to eliminate the federal subsidies to big oil companies that are in the billions each year, encouraging further development of dirty energy sources emitting CO2 into the atmosphere rather than funding clean, renewable energy technology.
Some in Congress may be more serious about changing this though now that gas prices are hovering around $4.00 a gallon. According to a report from Rick Klein with The Note “Rep. Earl Blumenauer, sponsor of a bill that he says would strip $40 billion in subsidies from the largest oil companies over five years, said Congress should stop giving tax breaks to companies that don’t need them.
“Our $8 billion a year that is handed to the oil interests does not affect a $2 trillion global price for oil. What it does is it just goes to the bottom line, and you see those profits at record highs,” Blumenauer, D-Ore., told us.
Even Republican House Speaker John Boehner appears amenable “to ending some tax breaks for large oil-and-gas producers that Democrats have long sought to eliminate.” SOURCE
But even if these actions are taken there is still resistance by many conservatives in Congress which consists primarily of most Republicans and a handful of Democrats to allow the EPA to do their job of monitoring and regulating CO2 output from industrial sources like coal-fired power plants; sources that generate tons of CO2 and other toxic elements that go into our air and water supplies.
According to an article from the National Resources Defense Council “More than 100 new conventional coal-fired power plants are in various stages of development throughout the United States. By 2030, the Department of Energy projects that the equivalent of 450 new large (300 MW) coal-fired power plants will be completed. With a lifetime of more than 60 years, these plants will produce more than 60 billion tons of CO2 in total—10 times the current annual emissions from all sources— enough to effectively foreclose the option to prevent dangerous global warming.”
Why aren’t all these dots being connected and aired to the public at the level that the Royal Wedding is or the war in Libya? This information will have more far-ranging effects on more people than either one of these incidences. Who makes the decision at the corporate level that dismisses this vital information that can alter the future of our civilization? Why is this NOT news for consumption by the general public? The major news sources in this country owe it to it’s viewers , listeners and readers to open up this dialogue in the public interest.