Posted by: maboulette | August 9, 2017

Revenge of The Climate Scientists


melting earth

Monday, The New York Times published a leaked climate report by scientists from 13 federal agencies that shows that the earth is warming, the consequences will be severe, if not apocalyptic, and humans are the cause of it. None of this is news to anyone who pays attention to what’s happening on Planet Earth. What’s new is that scientists from virtually every relevant federal agency are broadcasting this right now, at a time when the Trump administration has pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, pushed policies to increase coal mining on federal lands, rolled back air pollution standards and taken direct aim at President Obama’s signature climate change achievement, the Clean Power Plan.

HEALTH OF THE WHOLE WORLD

This report argues that climate change is not only real and happening now, but that by:

  • Denying science;
  • Lying to the American people;
  • Pushing fossil fuels;

President Trump is putting the health and stability of the operating system of the entire planet at risk. To put it bluntly, this report is a huge throw-down by federal scientists that challenges the most basic fundamentals of Trump’s climate denial charade.

REMARKABLE

Science reports are their own kind of art form, with subtle ways of underscoring or clarifying data and politically dangerous information (the early IPCC reports were masterpieces of not-always-deliberate scientific obfuscation). This report is remarkable for its clarity, brevity and use of helpful graphics. In recent decades, scientists have learned a lot about how the earth works. But just as importantly, they have learned how to communicate what they have learned about how the earth works.

GLOBAL AND US TEMPERATURES

The basics of the report are unflinching: Global and U.S. temperatures will continue to rise, temperature and rainfall extremes are becoming more common, oceans are rising and becoming more acidic, Alaska and the Arctic are warming faster than anywhere. And it’s not “natural cycles” that are causing this – it’s us.

“Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially the emissions of greenhouse gases, are primarily responsible for the observed climate changes in the industrial era. There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in the climate.”

COMING WEEKS

In the coming weeks, it will be grimly entertaining to watch Trump, Pruitt and the cast of clowns in the White House:

  • Discredit;
  • Dance around;
  • Deny this report.

But for the moment, scientists have gotten their revenge. They have resisted the forces of darkness and given us a sharp and true picture of the world we are creating for ourselves, and for generations to come. And for that, we should be grateful. It’s not easy being a truth-teller in this new world of alternative facts and fossil fuel hucksterism, but this report is a reminder, if one is needed, that climate scientists are among the real heroes of our time.

Stunning pictures of climate change

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