Tuesday, November 3, 2009
HAS THE TEMPERATURE OF THE PLANET REMAINED STABLE OVER THE PAST DECADE?
In a word, yes.
So why do scientists and many governments remain concerned? To the box on the right are five guides to the issue. The overriding attitude of most scientists is that a ten year period does not necessarily mean that the temperature of Planet Earth has stabilized. All the indicators (ice cores, glacier disappearance, specie decline, etc.) point to an uptick and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as recently as September reported that the expectation is an increase of 6 degrees F by 2100. This is the group that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
Yet, our Congress will do nothing before the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference next month, which is the pivotal summit charged to develop the successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Copenhagen is looming to be a disaster because of American politics (democrats from coal states are loath to enact anything that will increase the price of energy), the global economic downturn, Republicans, conservatives, fossil fuel companies and most of all, the lack of will on part of the public.
Yet, how you can you blame the masses when, first, the globe has not warmed during the past decade, second, the annual sea level rise is barely perceptible, and, third, decision-makers seem unwilling to take any action. I have long postulated that nothing much will get done until many tens of millions perish one hot summer. But, by then, isn't it too late?
The Dow Jones Industrials slipped 18 to 9772, while world markets mostly fell, although the Japan Nikkei rose 11 to 9814. Gold rose $19/toz to another all-time high of $1082. Why? India bought $6.7 billion worth of this precious metal. Crude oil is just under $80/barrel.
Mirinae killed up to 20 in the Philippines and double that in Vietnam. There is a disturbance in the Caribbean.