Wake Up Trump, GOP: CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!
We need to dispense with terms like 500 year or even 100 year storm events. Let’s face it, storms like Sandy, Harvey, and Irma and the devastating swaths of destruction and havoc they have reeked are now yearly events. As I write this, Irma, the largest Atlantic storm ever recorded is pounding Cuba as a category 4 hurricane (after having leveled several Caribbean islands as a category 5 storm), Katia is pounding east coast of Mexico as a category 4 hurricane, and category 4 hurricane Jose mercifully is grazing the Leeward Islands before likely heading northeast and sparing a direct hit to the US. Just last week, our nation’s 4th largest city of Houston got drowned by Harvey.
Nonetheless, infamous climate change and global warming denier Scott Pruitt who Trump picked to head up our Environmental Protection Agency will not even engage in a conversation about the reality pf climate change that 97% of the world’s scientists are in full agreement with. The featured image of Trump’s tweet about the “hoax” of global warming is just one of many of his over the top and ridiculous tweets denying global warming. His choice in relying on his gut instincts he so famously trusts that global warming is not real, over the fact based conclusions of the best scientific minds in the world goes beyond rhetoric and extends into policy as he has already reversed Obama era climate change regulations and pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement (joining Sudan as the only other country to do so).
More troubling, however, is the reality that the majority of the republican party at least publicly denies climate change and global warming, as does the majority of their voting base. As disappointing as this is, it should come as no surprise, as this same group of people generally believes that the earth is only 10,000 years old, that man predated animals, evolution is a blasphemous fantasy, and man magically appeared in the form of Adam (who then had a woman sprout from one of his ribs and when on to populate the earth through their offspring, hideous inbreeding notwithstanding). One can only wonder what this ilk thinks of the dinosaurs that roamed the earth 68 million years ago.
Modern era climate change deniers and those that denounce science are no different than the church hierarchy of the past that under threat of torture forced Galileo to recant his correct scientific observation that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of our solar system. Their rationale had zero basis in science and more basis in fear that it threatened their religious dogma. Their modern counterpart may feel their own religious dogma threatened by science in a similar manner but in addition to that, many conveniently deny science because their acknowledgement will no longer justify their huge gas guzzling SUV’s or their jobs that may be tied to fossil fuels.
Well here are the statistics per NASA, since 1980:
- The earth’s average temperature increased by 1.7 degrees F
- Arctic ice has shrunk by 13.3% per decade
- Land ice has reduced by 286 gigatonnes per year
- Sea level has risen by 3.4 mm per year
- 16 of the hottest years recorded over the past 136 years have occurred since 2001, with 2014, 2015, and 2016 each eclipsing the previous year as the hottest on record
These facts are undeniable no matter how much one wishes to believe otherwise. Other conservatives who may not try to refute these facts instead explain them away by stating that this is occurring independent of man’s influence as a natural cycle of warming. This assumption is all fine and dandy aside from the fact that ice core samples prove that, while natural changes like those recorded since 1980 have indeed occurred, historically take millennia to occur, not 37 years!
One can only hope that the devastating human and economic costs of Sandy, Harvey, Irma did not happen in vain; and that these and future storms that were previously considered to be 500 year natural disasters that instead occur with regular frequency, will wake up a major political party and their voting base to the reality of climate change.