NewEnergyNews: CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL DYING HARD

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    Friday, October 05, 2012

    CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL DYING HARD

    Climate-change denial getting harder to defend; But the skeptics keep shifting their arguments, so it is crucial to continue pursuing scientific data on the issue.

    Glen M. MacDonald, October 4, 2012

    “…The United States experienced the warmest July in its history, with more than 3,000 heat records broken across the country…in a year that is turning out to be the hottest ever. High temperatures along with low precipitation generated drought conditions across 60% of the Lower 48 states, which affected 70% of the corn and soybean crop and rendered part of the Mississippi River nonnavigable. Arctic Sea ice declined to a record low, and a surface thaw swept across 97% of the Greenland ice cap.

    “Though it's not possible to definitively link any of these individual events to human-caused climate change, the summer's extreme weather follows clear longer-term trends and is consistent with climate model projections…[The]one bit of good news…[is all this] is making climate-change denial more difficult to defend…The Koch Foundation provided funding to physicist Richard Muller of UC Berkeley, a longtime climate-change skeptic, to disprove the widespread consensus on global warming…[He] showed the exact same warming trend found by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other scientists…”

    “…But that hasn't silenced the climate-change deniers entirely; they've simply shifted their arguments…Increasingly, they are accepting evidence of recent warming, but they deny that it is largely caused by humans, attributing it instead to natural factors such as solar variability or the El Niño system. But these arguments don't fly…[Research] has shown that recent variations in the solar cycle, volcanic activity and El Niño/La Niña events actually had a tempering effect on warming…The evidence is now overwhelming that by and large the warming we are seeing has an anthropogenic cause…

    “…[More recently skeptics claim] that even if anthropogenic climate change is real, projections overstate future warming…It's true that mitigation and adaptation will be costly. But inaction could carry even higher costs. Economists Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth Stanton calculated that putting off adaptation and mitigation efforts could cost the United States 1.36% of its gross domestic product by 2025, and 1.84% by 2100…[W]e have to ask what we can do about it, and how much we can afford to spend…This will require a broad public conversation and a well-informed public.”

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