Wednesday, March 30, 2011

GOP Deny The Average Recorded Temperature Of Earth Has Been Going Up For Years

When the nonpartisan National Academy of Sciences reviewed climate research data a year ago, it concluded: “A strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems.”

Climate change is driven by "global warming," the average recorded temperature of the earth, which has been going up for years. This warming of the globe leads to climate change, which doesn't necessarily mean all areas will become warmer. Due to the highly variable and interdependent nature of the world's weather patterns, warming in some areas could lead to, for example, much colder winters in others.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a number of conservative scientists are bucking conventional wisdom "that liberals accept climate change and conservatives don't" by warning the public that climate change is real and seeking to debunk attacks from climate-change deniers.

"In much the same role that marriage and abortion played in previous election cycles, denial of climate change has now become a litmus test for the right. The vast majority of Republicans elected to Congress during the midterm election doubt climate science, and senior congressional conservatives have vowed to fight Obama administration efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions."

Ron Brownstein notes in a National Journal column just how striking it is to see a major American political party decide, all together, to reject climate science in its entirety. The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones. Not only William Hague, but such other prominent European conservatives as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have embraced that widespread scientific conviction and supported vigorous action.

No other major political party in any other nation of the world is as thoroughly dismissive of climate science as is the GOP. Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says that although other parties may contain pockets of climate skepticism, there is “no party-wide view like this anywhere in the world.”

Earlier this month, while passing a bill that would curtail the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency, House Republicans rejected three amendments stating that global warming is real, poses a threat and is caused by humans.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, offered an amendment reading, "Congress accepts the scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency that 'warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations in increases of global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.'" It failed: 20 voted for, 31 against. Every Republican member of the committee voted no. Texas Republican Joe Bartan replied to Waxman, saying, "My good friend from California tries to make it clear that the science is settled. I would say it's not settled."

While conservative Republican lawmaker continue to strongly deny all evidence of climate change, Military planners in the Pentagon have concluded that “global warming is officially considered a threat to U.S. national security.” In its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, Pentagon planners reported that climate change could result in food and water scarcity, pandemics, population displacement, and other destabilizing events that could create conflict.

“The American people expect the military to plan for the worst,” says retired Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, a 35-year Navy veteran and president of the American Security Project. “It’s that sort of mindset, I think, that has convinced, in my view, the vast majority of military leaders that climate change is a real threat and that the military plays an important role in confronting it.”

Rejecting that the average recorded temperature of the earth has been going up for years requires an extreme form of denial and an extreme lack of paying attention to the facts:

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