Monday, August 30, 2010

Hottest August on record? Who cares?

In just about another 36 hours, August will end. It will almost certainly (unless we get a sudden unexpected Arctic blast) be the warmest August on record for Houston and this area.

By my records, we've only had three days where the temperatures have reached 100 degrees or above and we have had other Augusts where we've had more above-100 days. The reason that this month has been so much hotter is because the increased greenhouse gases hold the heat in at night and the earth cannot cool off. We've had very warm nights this August and that has tilted the record.

A front page article in the Houston Chronicle by science writer Eric Berger explained all of this today, but his article ended on the depressing note that public opinion is still divided on the issue of global warming and unwilling to do anything about decreasing the human-created greenhouse gases that are heating up our world. In fact, in this part of the world, public opinion is not closely divided at all. It is overwhelmingly on the side of the global warming deniers - as I call them the know-nothings and do-nothings - as a reading of the online comments in response to Eric's article will give some proof. This could have something to do with the fact that so many in this area depend upon the oil companies for their incomes. It is hard to convince a person of the truth when his economic viability depends upon believing a lie.

While no one weather event can be related to global climate change, climate scientists warn that our future Augusts will likely continue to get warmer and even if we acted now to try to reverse global warming, this would probably still be the case for the foreseeable future. But it seems quite certain that we will not act. We will continue to send our pollutants into the air and turn down the thermostats in our houses.

Hotter Augusts? Who cares? That's what air conditioners are for.

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