Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Climate change affecting the weather? Ya think?

Headline in The New York Times today: In Poll, Many Link Weather Extremes to Climate Change. The story under the headline relates how a large majority of Americans believe that this year’s unusually warm winter, last year’s blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming. And by a 2-to-1 margin, the public says the weather has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years.

Can this really be true? After years of being in denial despite climate scientists' best efforts to make the case that human-caused climate warming is happening and that we need to try to slow or reverse it, is the public finally ready to accept the truth of climate change?
“Most people in the country are looking at everything that’s happened; it just seems to be one disaster after another after another,” said Anthony A. Leiserowitz of Yale University, one of the researchers who commissioned the new poll. “People are starting to connect the dots.”
Maybe. But after reading the story in the Times, if you follow up by reading the reader comments on the story, you may be excused for wondering if that is really true. There are too many people out there who still believe, in all seriousness, that the whole thing about climate change is just one big conspiracy of those damned scientists and the liberal media.

2 comments:

  1. The truth of climate change. You mean that the climate changes, it always has and always will?

    And one of the main solutions to this natural phenomenon is to build wind turbines, bird chopping wind turbines. Surely you're somewhat conflicted about this favored solution.

    The main reason wind turbines are the solution of choice is because they are tall, slender and they turn gracefully in the breeze. In other words they are pretty to look at.

    Ever notice how geothermal energy is alaways ignored by your enviornmental friends? Geothermal plants are boxy and industrial looking, they don't look pretty. So they are ignored. Just Google some images of geothermal plants sometime and you'll see what I mean.

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    1. Most conservationists that I am aware of are open to any source of energy that will not destroy the environment in the process of extracting or producing it - and that would include geothermal energy. Also, most of us who love birds are very conflicted about the use of wind turbines. They can be very deadly for migrating birds and especially for large raptors. There have been recent studies in the United Kingdom that indicate that the turbines may not be as detrimental to birds as we have feared, but I have reservations about those studies. They only included ten specific species. I don't find turbines particularly pretty to look at and I don't believe that is their attraction for those who champion them.

      Yes, climate change has happened throughout the history of the earth, without the intervention of humans. The problem is that since the beginning of the Industrial Age and the profligate use of fossil fuels by humans, the natural cycle of that change has been affected and the earth is heating up much faster than it should in the normal course of things. If we continue on this course, we will make the planet unlivable for our species. Earth will survive. We may not.

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