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America and the world have had quite an awful time the past few years with wild weather--drought, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wind, heat. Many people in our country have died in these natural disasters, and New Hampshire has had its share of trouble. While we use the word "natural,” most people now believe that these disasters are a result of global warming, also called climate change. However, there are still too many climate change deniers in Congress, and this is preventing the United States from moving forward, even as time is running out to slow down climate change.

After years of arguing about whether we were experiencing climate change as a result of our human activities, the evidence is pretty convincing to most scientists at this point. Most agree it is from burning fossil fuels. Seth Borenstein, an AP science writer, reported that Richard Muller, a "prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming", conducted a two-year study to see if the earth was heating up. While he did not study the cause, his conclusion was that the earth was rapidly heating up. This was huge news in the climate skeptic industry, whose ranks grow smaller every day

Consider the evidence for just this summer. The heat has been tormenting people. American farmers are experiencing a drought disaster. There are wild storms across the country. Greenland has just experienced a huge ice melt. Christine Roberts of The New York Daily News wrote that, "The ice sheet that blankets Greenland has melted at an astonishing rate this summer, stunning NASA scientists and leaving many wondering what will happen next. Nearly 97% of Greenland's surface ice sheet thawed during a four day period in July - more than it ever has in the last 30 years, NASA satellite data shows."

Extreme weather and climate change are tied together, and scientists have collected a lot of data to show this. Reuters environmental correspondent Alister Doyle just reported that "A study this month, for instance, showed that greenhouse gas emissions had raised the chances of the severe heat wave in Texas in 2011 and unusual heat in Britain in late 2011." Doyle says that evidence that we will continue to have severe weather where we live might help experts to plan for the costs associated with it, and to find ways to deal with climate change.

Maybe. But first, we need our policy makers-Congress-to finally acknowledge climate change and stop stalling on finding solutions. We have too many members who refuse to admit there is climate change, or that the federal government has a role to play in stopping it. For example, our Congressman in New Hampshire's First District, Frank Guinta, told the Raymond Tea Party that the federal government has no role to play in fixing global warming.

Congressman Guinta is not alone in trying to block any corrective action. The military has been very concerned about climate change and access to fuel, and is now using some biofuels. Some senators are fighting this on the grounds that it could cost more than traditional fuels. This is discouraging, because scientists tell us we need to act quickly now to change our dependence, and there is also a national security issue here. We must break our dependence on oil for environmental and security reasons, and we must do it now.

I believe there should be an Apollo-type program to address these issues, advance renewable energy, and slow down climate change. But our current Congress took 27 votes to block action to address climate change in 2011, and 94% of the Republican members voted to block any action. If Americans want to fix this climate change problem, they will first need to fix Congress in November.

Originally posted to CarolSheaPorter on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Take New Hampshire Forward!.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Right, and we can start with the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, dewley notid

    Dufus Brigade:

    Louie Gohmert(TX-01)
    Joe Wilson(SC-02)
    Joe Walsh (IL-08) v. Tammy Duckworth
    Steve King (IA-04) v. Christie Vilsack
    Michele Bachmann(MN-06) v. JIm Graves
    Tom Graves(GA-14)
    Paul Broun(GA-10)
    John Culberson(TX-07)
    Phil Gingrey(GA-11)
    Clif Stearns(FL-03)
    Frank Guinta(NH-01) v. Carol Shea-Porter
    Charles Bass(NH-02) v. Ann McLane Kuster
    Allen West(FL-18) v. Patrick Murphy
    Daniel Webster(FL-10) v. Val Demings
    Austin Scott(GA-08)
    Lou Barletta(PA-11)
    Patrick McHenry(NC-10) v. Patsy Keever
    Chip Cravaack(MN-08)
    Sean Duffy(WI-07) v. Pat Kreitlow
    Eric Cantor(VA-07) v. Wayne Powell
    Jeff Denham(CA-10) v. Jose Hernandez
    Steve Womack(AR-03)
    Steve Southerland(FL-02) v. Leonard Bembry
    Virginia Foxx(NC-05)
    Joe Heck(NV-03)
    John Campbell(CA-45)
    Andy Harris (MD-01)
    Peter King (NY-02)
    Frank Lobiondo(NJ-02)
    Nan Hayworth (NY-18) v. Sean Patrick Maloney
    Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
    Mike Coffman (CO-06) v. Joe Miklosi
    Robert Dold (IL-10) v. Brad Schneider
    John Fleming (LA-04)
    Diane Black (TN-06)
    Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
    Justin Amash (MI-03)
    Robert Hurt (VA-05)
    Jim Jordan (OH-04)
    Don Young (AK)
    Paul Ryan (WI-01) v. Rob Zerban
    Collin Peterson (MN-07)
    Renee Elmers (NC-02)
    Timothy Walberg (MI-07)
    Mike Rogers (MI-08)
    Peter Hoekstra (MI-Sen)
    Adrian Smith (NE-03)
    Vern Buchanan (FL-16) v. Keith Firzgerald
    John Sullivan (OK-01)v. Jim Bridenstine
    Scott Rigell (VA-02) v. Paul Hirschbiel
    Ann Marie Beurkle (NY-24) v. Dan Maffei
    Michael Grimm (Ny-11) v.Mark Murphy
    Tom Rooney (FL-17)

    Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage". He's not into "catch and release."

    by hannah on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:36:51 AM PDT

  •  It is getting warmer, and you should stick to (0+ / 0-)

    citing fact rather than inventing impacts for which no evidence exists.  There is no evidence to suggest tropical cyclones have increased in frequency or severity.  There is no evidence to suggest an increase in severe tornadoes in the US.  There is no evidence that drought frequency or severity has increased in the US.

    http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/...

    There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e.,
    intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities. It is likely that there has been
    a poleward shift in the main Northern and Southern Hemisphere extratropical storm tracks. There is low confidence in
    observed trends in small spatial-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and
    inadequacies in monitoring systems. [3.3.2, 3.3.3, 3.4.4, 3.4.5]
    There is medium confidence that some regions of the world have experienced more intense and longer droughts, in
    particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense,
    or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. [3.5.1]
    There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and
    frequency of floods at regional scales because the available instrumental records of floods at gauge stations are
    limited in space and time, and because of confounding effects of changes in land use and engineering. Furthermore,
    there is low agreement in this evidence, and thus overall low confidence at the global scale regarding even the sign of
    these changes. [3.5.2]

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:39:10 AM PDT

    •  While you fuss about "the evidence" (0+ / 0-)

      The rest of us will be trying to fortify our homes to keep them from blowing away, piling sandbags around them to keep the floods out, and trying to find enough water and feed to keep our crops and animals alive.

    •  At the rate things are going, (0+ / 0-)

      climate change will kill most of us before we get completely convincing evidence that it exists or that human activity contributes to it in any way.   Maybe we shouldn't wait.

    •  You left out something (0+ / 0-)

      From your link:

      There is evidence from observations gathered since 1950 of change in some extremes. Confidence in
      observed changes in extremes depends on the quality and quantity of data and the availability of studies
      analyzing these data, which vary across regions and for different extremes. Assigning ‘low confidence’ in
      observed changes in a specific extreme on regional or global scales neither implies nor excludes the
      possibility of changes in this extreme.
      •  Of course, that was my point. I encourage you (0+ / 0-)

        to read the entire document, or the full scientific document if you have the time.  There are multiple papers addressing the specific issues mentioned therein.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:54:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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