We are going over Niagara Falls in a life raft. We can hear the falls at this point. Unfortunately, turning the boat around and leisurely paddling against the current will not be enough at this point. The ice caps are already melting. The globe is already on fire. The islands are already drowning. People are dying.
To my conservative friends: This is not alarmist. This is science. The reason you don’t know about this and don’t believe it when you do hear about it is two-fold:
1. The energy companies (the wealthiest corporations on earth) control the Republican Party AND they control the mainstream media, and therefore our access to information.
2. The fundamentalists believe that God is in control, and that nothing bad will happen to this planet or to us (or to other species) that isn’t ordained by God.
So – if you’re conservative politically AND conservative religiously, you’ve got an uphill battle to fight toward truth. You have likely bought into the lies you hear on TV and talk radio – things like “many scientists disagree that climate change is a result of human activity.” You know what? The scientists who say things like this are ones whose checks are signed by Mobile and friends OR by the Christian Right. Bad things are happening, and worse things are coming, and if you’re a science-denier, you are part of the problem!
Scientists agree that a temperature increase above 1900 levels of over 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) will be problematic – more wild fires, crazier storms, an accelerated loss of species, and more. They also agree that a rise of over 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) above 1900 levels will be catastrophic. We’re talking world drought, the loss of coastlines, more fires, more violent storms, billions of dollars in loss – and lots of deaths.
Today we are well on our way – we are up just a little over 1 degree Farenheit, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. Let me say this again…we are in big trouble. This isn’t a Hollywood movie or alarmist propaganda. It’s science, and it’s real.
Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of scientific organizations that have endorsed the position that we are in trouble:
AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES
Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations: “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.”
American Chemical Society : “Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem.”
American Geophysical Union : “The Earth’s climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system — including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of precipitation, and the length of seasons — are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century.”
American Medical Association : “Our AMA … supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant.”
American Meteorological Society: “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.”
American Physical Society: “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”
The Geological Society of America: “The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s.”
International academies joint statement : “Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities.”
U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
U.S. Global Change Research Program : “The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Human ‘fingerprints’ also have been identified in many other aspects of the climate system, including changes in ocean heat content, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, and Arctic sea ice.”
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level. Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is likely (greater than 90 percent probability) due to the observed increase in man-made greenhouse gas concentrations.”