Tuesday, October 04, 2005
A picture says a thousand words
The picture on the left shows the minimum ice cover over the Arctic in 1979. The picture on the right was taken this Sept. 21.
Of course there are those who will continue to deny global warming when it is staring them right in the face. Features like the prolonged drought in the southwestern United States (which will continue and become permanent) and the increase in the strength of Atlantic hurricanes were predicted in models twenty years ago, but when it mattered, they stoned the prophets.
Unfortunately, the window to actually do anything about it is closed. We can adapt to it, we can still ameliorate its effects, we can learn to deal with the new reality, but it is too late to prevent this. And even to minimize its effects, we will need to clean out of office the people who probably DO know about it, but have made the ultimate in selfish decisions to actually sacrifice the health of our entire planet and its ecosystem in the interest of maximizing profits in the here and now.
Any idiot who by now, in the face of literally mountains of evidence (including at least one very famous newly bare mountain at that) is still denying global warming deserves about as much of a hearing as people who are still claiming that no one actually saw Elvis in the casket. In the words of a British scientist who recently spoke out about it,
“There are a group of people in various parts of the world ... who simply don’t want to accept human activities can change climate and are changing the climate. I’d liken them to the people who denied that smoking causes lung cancer.”
Well, there are still a few of them out there, too, puffing and hacking their way to the tomb. But the debate has moved on beyond their cherished pipe dreams now, to the more substantive issue of how best to prevent and treat nicotine addiction.
But I bet that most of our leaders, even those who raise questions about global warming, knew enough not to invest in any beachfront property for their retirement.