Friday, June 19, 2009

Global warming: want to see Northwest impacts? Just look around

(This article caught my attention, especially the news that Alaskan winters are running nearly 6.5 degrees F. warmer than average. The result: beetles aren't being killed off during the winter months - they're destroying millions of acres of rich forestland from Alaska and British Columbia into the U.S. Rocky Mountains. My fear: the beetle infestation works its way east into Minnesota's hardwood forests and the BWCA. Is that what its going to take for the professional skeptics to wake up and admit something is going on? Lately I've read some articles linking people concerned about climate change with evolution and abortion rights. It made my blood boil: everywhere you turn there's a new conspiracy theory, zealots stereotyping anyone and everyone who looks at the [real] science and jumps to conclusions - we're all socialists or communists, this is merely a smokescreen for the government to take away our personal rights, blah, blah, blah. Say what you will, but the science is unequivocal now. There IS a global problem. Just because we all experience day to day weather does not make us experts on climate change. For the record I don't pretend to be a climate scientist, but I've been following the science closely. Everyone from the National Academy of Science to the National Science Fund and the American Meteorological Society agrees that climate change is real. This is the result of peer-reviewed science, not some wing-nut with a blog. What's it going to take for the skeptics to admit they've been misleading people, twisting the science and the truth in the process? Most logical, rational people [of both parties] who actually examine the data come to the conclusion that something is going on. To believe otherwise, with the preponderance of evidence, is disingenuous. It's not science but dogma, adherence to a world-view and philosophy that can't get past the fact that man might actually impact the world around him. Actions have consequences. To pretend that a 38% spike in greenhouse gases, most of that in the last 50 years, will have NO impact is dangerously naive, borderline pathological. I'm conservative in most aspects of my life, but that doesn't negate the science, it doesn't trump the facts. Climate change is slow-motion global transformation. You can't look out your window, looking at WEATHER, and use that as an argument disputing what's happening worldwide. Unless you're seeing new trees, flowers, shrubs and birds in your yard that weren't there a generation ago. Sorry for the rant, but I'm increasingly frustrated with the denier's refusal to open their eyes and SEE what's happening all around them. The slow trickle of evidence has turned into a torrent. This article is another piece of the puzzle).


Living in a corner of America powered, irrigated and inspired by water, we ought to treat Tuesday's report released by the White House, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, as a wake-up call and cold shower.

"We are the alpha and the omega of global warming," said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., who helped write a flawed -- but needed -- bill to change national energy policy. It's pending in the House.

Want to know how climate change is changing America? Read the report. Want its bottom line: "Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced." Changes "are expected to increase."

Want to see impacts on the Northwest? Just look around, something that global-warming skeptics resolutely refuse to do.

Global warming is shrinking the winter snowpack. A smaller snowpack means reduction in the runoff that sustains our river flows, makes the desert bloom, allows salmon to reach and return from the ocean, and powers the world's greatest hydroelectric system.

The consequences don't end when our rivers reach salt water.

"Climate change and ocean acidification are already having major impacts on Washington: Our $100 million shellfish industry is in crisis after four years of oyster reproductive failure from ocean acidification," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

The complete article at is here.

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