Sunday, July 08, 2012
Are You Ready To Admit Global Warming Is Real Yet ?
I know there are many right-wingers (and their corporate masters) who would like for Americans to think this is just an unusual year, and things will soon return to normal. But to believe that, you have to ignore the fact that 9 out of the past ten years have been the hottest years ever recorded in the United States. And that's not the only change being noted by many. Anyone who has paid attention knows that severe weather and storms have gotten more severe. And more than half of the country is either currently in drought, or is getting very close to that.
Why is this happening? The answer is obvious -- whether the people want to admit it or not. We are (as the graph above shows) burning more and more fossil fuels and dumping more carbon emissions into the atmosphere with each passing year. The nation is addicted to fossil fuels, and seems to have no desire to wean themselves off of them -- and too many politicians (of both parties) have been bought by the oil, gas, coal, and energy industries, who don't want to have to spend any of their record-breaking profits to clean up their act.
To keep those profits flowing, the fossil fuel industries have convinced many Americans that a clean-up effort for the atmosphere will raise taxes and cost jobs. It's not true, but even if it was, that would be preferable to destroying the only planet we have. They also say we cannot do it alone. That ignores the fact that many other nations were ready to act a few years ago, until this country refused to cooperate. The fact is that the U.S. burns so much fossil fuels that we must be the leader in changing. If we act, the world will follow -- and the few nations that don't will soon be shamed into doing so. But nothing will happen until the U.S. takes the lead and acts.
And this is not a problem that can be ignored for much longer. As many climate scientists have warned, we are close to the tipping point -- where any action we take will not stave off the impending disaster. It is also not something that can be quickly corrected. Here's what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says:
“About 50% of a CO2 increase will be removed from the atmosphere within 30 years, and a further 30% will be removed within a few centuries. The remaining 20% may stay in the atmosphere for many thousands of years.”
Global climate change (commonly called "global warming") is real, and it is primarily caused by human being dumping hundreds of billions of carbon emissions into the air. We still have a little time to stop the worst effects and reverse the damage already suffered, but not much time. It's time to act -- if not for ourselves, then surely for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Do we really want to be know as the generation that refused to save the world while there was still a chance?