Monday, October 22, 2012
WHY IS GLOBAL WARMING NOT A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN ISSUE?
These are real headlines:
Summer 2012 was the Third-hottest on Record. (1936 was #1, 1934 was #5, but seven of the past ten warmest U.S. summers have occurred during past decade.) Plus, 2012 has thus far been the hottest year since records began to be taken in 1895.
2012 Saw Warmest September On Record Across the Globe, Says NOAA. And this is two months after July was our warmest ever month, where heat records were broken in more than 3,000 locations across the country, This is the third time since 2000 that the world set or tied this record. Further, September was the 331st consecutive month that global temperatures were above the 20th-century average.
Satellites Show Sea Ice in Arctic Is at a Record Low. That was in August, so some continued ice loss was still to be expected. Summer sea ice has declined by more than 40% since tracking began in the late 1970's. Computer models show that there will be no Arctic summer ice by 2050. Interestingly enough, "South Pole Ice Increase Linked to Climate Change." Just about the time the Arctic was at a low, the Antarctic hit an all-time high for amount of ice. Skeptics went wild, but the counterintuitive scientific consensus is that global warming is the problem. Click on that article to get the details. I might add another reason that the ozone hole is also a cause. I should mention one more thing. Arctic ice does not contribute to sea level rise because the ice is already in the sea. However, the Antarctic is on land, it is a continent, and should global warming overwhelm the ice-making, total melting will result in a sea level rise, just from the Antarctic ice sheet of from 200-210 feet:
This is not a new record, but Death Valley in California at 134 F (10July1913) is the hottest atmospheric temperature ever recorded on Planet Earth. At one time, El Azizia, Libya at 136 F (90 years ago) held that record, but the World Meteorological Organization recently invalidated that recording. Incidentally, since that 134 F, Death Valley has not again reached 130 F, but attained 120 F or higher 24 days this year. The low overnight temperature on July 12 was 107 F. Greenland Ranch, now called Furnace Creek, is where this world record was set. I guess people must live close to this site.
So with all the above, why is global warming a non-issue? The disinformation specialists funded by the fossil energy companies, and business at large, are winning the PR race. Voters are not being influenced by a temperature increase of fractions of a degree each year when very few are actually dying, and are equally blase about a sea level rise they cannot see.
However, a Yale poll showed that our belief in the reality of global warming has increased by 13 percentage points in two and a half years: 57% in January of 2010 to 70% in September of this year. Also, Americans who say global warming is NOT happening declined from 20% to 10%. 48% now think that global warming is a threat to ourselves or community, a jump of 14% over the past seven months. Finally, for the first time since 2008, more than half (54%) now (September) believe that human activities are the cause. This is a large 8 point rise from March of this year. So those hot temperatures are apparently making a difference.
Yet, the only dent this matter made in those presidential debates had to do with the Keystone XL pipeline. The Republicans and Mitt Romney, though, have cleverly reversed the popular concern from environment to energy supply. Barack Obama and the Democrats have waffled badly, and joined the bandwagon, pointing out that they not only love to produce more oil and natural gas, but, see, our petroleum imports have dropped. What they need to do, and this might come from one of those super PACS funded by environmentalists, is to merely compare the attitude of Obama and Romney on global warming. Funny thing, but even though our voters have become more concerned about global warming since this past hot summer, the Obama brain trust has not recognized this shift.