Seeing the “Liberal” in the blog’s title, it won’t be a surprise to hear that I’m on the side of the political divide that worries about global warming (or global climate change if you prefer). I bought myself a hybrid vehicle when I got back from Iraq and do my personal best to compost, conserve and recycle when I can. I occasionally get into arguments with my friends on the Right about the issue. Seems like those arguments have become less frequent in the last year and I’d suggest that’s because folx have been focused on the terrible state of the Economy. The Right’s got it’s hammer to bludgeon us with in unemployment and the deficit, issues which are more red meat and potatoes than trying to make something out of “hey those scientists fudged some data, so that means all the other non-fudged data on global warming is invalid.”
Still, the issue hasn’t gone away. The places I go on the internet and things I read, I think, reflect a shift toward a greener, more environmentally friendly world. It’s just that this shift is an undercurrent, rather top headline stuff. You know, like the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf, talk of “green jobs,” the huge increase in energy projects that focus on solar, wind and other, or even the New Cold War-ish idea of how China is beating us in production of green technologies.
This brings me to a piece from The Economist’s Democracy in America blog. It’s a good piece and I recommend the whole thing, but this line kind of sums it up for me – “Give them another two decades, and they’ll probably come around. Unfortunately, by that time an enormous amount of damage will already have been done.” In the end, I’m not going to get any satisfaction from being able to tell my friends in 20 years, “I told you so.” I’m just going to be sad that I couldn’t show them how wrong they are now, so that we can avoid the worst of what’s to come.
Even though it’s pointless in my struggle with the Professor and others on the Right, here are a couple of points from the DIA piece that back up my side…
– “Every one of the twelve hottest years on record has come since 1997.”
– “2010 was also the wettest year ever, corresponding to the expectation that higher heat means more water vapour.”
– “More countries set national high-temperature records in 2010 than ever before, including the biggest one, Russia.”
– “Arctic sea ice in December was at its lowest level ever,
– “Temperatures across a broad swathe of northern Canada have been 20° C higher than normal for the past month. The record temperatures are coming despite the lowest levels of solar activity in a century and a La Nina effect that should be making Canada colder rather than warmer.”