Community voice: We need global solutions to climate change | Community voice
Are you tired of the scorching heat every summer? Yeah me too. Are you tired of the dozens of forest fires that destroy trees, houses and sometimes towns? Yeah me too. Well get used to it, climate change is here and it is real.
According to climatologist Peter Kalmus: “Heat waves have been worsening for decades as average global temperatures rise. They become more intense, last longer, affect larger areas, and strike earlier in the season. A recent study predicts that if humanity fails to switch quickly from fossil fuels, a large part of the tropics will experience deadly heat conditions almost every day of the year by the turn of the century. In this scenario, hundreds of millions of people, perhaps billions, could be forced to choose between death and migration.
Wait, wasn’t there a report that some 30,000 American scientists, including about 9,000 with doctorates, signed a statement, called the “Global Warming Petition Project,” claiming that climate change has not take place?
Yes it did, but what is this “Global Warming Petition?” The Draft Global Warming Petition, also known as the Oregon Petition, is a petition urging the United States government to reject the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming and similar policies. Some see it as a political petition designed to misinform and confuse the public about the scientific findings and consensus of climate change research.
Some members of the National Academy of Sciences are describing the petition as a farce, as the accredited climate experts on the list are very few. The petition contains an assortment of metallurgists, botanists, agronomists, organic chemists, etc. The vast majority of scientists who signed the petition have never studied climatology and do no research in it. A doctorate in metallurgy just makes you better at metallurgy. It doesn’t turn you into some kind of paleoclimatology expert. So the petition’s suggestion that everyone with a degree in metallurgy or geophysics knows a lot about climate change, or is familiar with all the research that has been done, is complete nonsense.
Tellingly, the petition was organized and circulated by a president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (described as a small independent research group) in 1998, and again in 2007. The “Journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons “is associated with the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, which sponsored the petition.
The publication is the outlet of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which is a libertarian political organization. The association has promoted a series of scientifically discredited hypotheses, including the belief that HIV does not cause AIDS, that being homosexual reduces life expectancy, that there is a link between abortion and cancer of the breast, and that there is a causal relationship between vaccines and autism. . He opposes the Affordable Care Act and other forms of universal health insurance. All of this is very suspect and perhaps indicative of a political and / or religious agenda.
The concentration of CO2 has been steadily increasing, mainly due to the combustion of fossil fuels but also to large-scale tropical deforestation which depletes the capacity of the climate system for photosynthesis. Today, it is around 420 ppm, a record, and 40% higher than its pre-industrial values, a level that has not existed on Earth for several million years.
The effects of increased CO2 are not limited to an increase in air temperature. As the oceans warm, they expand, producing a rise in sea level, which is exacerbated by the melting of polar ice, Greenland ice and glaciers. The warmer atmosphere contains more water vapor, resulting in increased heavy precipitation and flooding, while changes in weather conditions intensify heat waves and droughts in other regions.
There is a strong scientific consensus that the Earth is warming up and that this is mainly caused by human activities. Almost all of the climate scientists who actively publish (98%) support the reality of anthropogenic climate change, and the remaining 2% of contrarian studies cannot be replicated, contain errors, or have a financial agenda (read companies fossil fuels).
We must all share the responsibility for our current climate problems and for a potential irreversible disaster. It is clear that global solutions must be quickly implemented.
David Keranen is a retired teacher. He is an Army veteran and a graduate of Michigan State and Cornell University.