Since the ’60s, the scientific community has been hammering away about the harm being done to the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels. They knew that the planet would warm gradually, and that it was necessary to start slowing down the use of CO-2 producing energy. They didn’t have any concrete evidence of what was in the future but they knew it would cause change. Well, that was enough to get some legislation passed that helped a little. In fact, it helped allot in Los Angeles where smog had become a huge problem, but major changes in US and world use of carbon based fuels were difficult to make happen.
For decades, oil companies and the Energy Industry hired scientists to refute the claims of global warming. These “company scientists” gave bogus reports and tried to disprove every attempt by the real scientific community to bring a stronger awareness to the subject and get major legislation passed.
In ’96 an oceanographer named Wally Broeker discovered the connection between ocean circulation and abrupt climate change. This was absolutely mind boggling news – that the result of global warming would be an abrupt (rather than the 10,000 year transition as had long been accepted) flip into “ice age type” weather patterns. This new information was slowly being accepted in the scientific community, and in ’98 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery. This fact, that there is abrupt climate change coming, jolted the neo-cons into running the, then, Gov. George W. Bush in the Presidential Primary, and they did so using any means necessary to guarantee a win (push polling Senator McCain, keeping democrats off of Florida’s voting rolls, etc.). When Bush became President he immediately turned 180 degrees on his campaign pledges and started on his disastrous environmental melt down.
So, in 2001, the scientific community decided to do something that could not be refuted by anyone. They put together a world wide commission of almost 3,000 experts – The International Arctic Science Committee – who came up with several possible scenarios from computer models of very dramatic changes, to more modest climate changes, and averaged the entire array to one that they all agree is very likely – The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.
Based on tons of data, these scientists have finally finished the report and are releasing it to the public, the Congress, and the world. The data that they gathered shows an alarming rate of warming in the Arctic, where the ice cap is diminishing at increasing rates due to man’s burning of fossil fuels, and there is no question about that. What will happen in the decades ahead is still, of course, unknown…..but there is consensus that climate change has already begun, and that it will continue, and that the rate of change will increase.
At some point, the ice caps will melt to a level which will shut down the Atlantic Conveyor that distributes heat from the equatorial region to the poles. At some point in the future, the growing season in Kansas will likely be reduced to 5 to 10 weeks a year. This knowledge, rather conspicuously, coincides with the right wing’s blatant dismantling of the Bill of Rights and the Democracy of the United States.
They too, now know what the result of their gluttony for profits and their decades long neglect of the environment will bring, and they are calling in all bets. They didn’t know about the Atlantic Conveyor (and it’s sister in the Pacific) and that global warming would eventually cause an abrupt climate change. That is, quite frankly, very hard to understand without proof. But the proof has been shown in study after study, and is irrefutable – and the right wing knows it.
President Bush was selected to lead our nation in this time of “climate change awareness” very likely because of his coziness with the oil industry, and the energy industry is still unwilling to make major changes of their emissions or to curtail fossil fuel usage.
The current Administration has a despicable record on the environment – the worst ever. They have rolled back laws, and placed industry executives in oversight positions of the very industries they came from. Things have changed. We can now expect environmental concerns to be neglected even more than before, with the (supposed) mandate Bush received in the November election.
You may not need to worry yourself about this if you can tuck your family away in a mansion in the Caribbean or the Cayman Islands, like all of President Bush’s friends will be able to do when food supplies start dwindling. If not…..perhaps you should worry.