Future generations will look back at us and howl in indignation

16-008-1

The data are in: As expected, last year was easily the warmest on record. Global temperatures shattered the previous high, set just the previous year. As the administrators for both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration note:

“Fifteen of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001. Temperatures will bounce around from year to year, but the direction of the long-term trend is as clear as a rocket headed for space: it is going up.”

As the administrators note, sea levels are rising, increasing by almost three inches in the last two decade. The Arctic ice cap is shrinking, as are icesheets and glaciers. Greenland alone is shedding 300 billion tons of ice a year. The world in which mankind and every other species evolved is being altered before our eyes. And if previous patterns hold, 2016 may well top the record-shattering heat of 2015.

We cannot say that we weren’t warned. That is not a defense available to us. As far back as the 1970s, scientists and computer models have been warning that increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere would drive global temperatures upward at a rate never before seen in the global climate record reaching back hundreds of thousands of years. Lo and behold, we can see it happening.

But some of course refuse to see. They refuse to understand. When confronted by the facts they retreat into a series of frustrating nesting doll arguments, each hidden inside the other: The planet isn’t heating, and if it is heating it is not caused by mankind, and if it is heating and it is caused by mankind then it’s probably good for us anyway, and if it is heating and caused by mankind and not good for us then there’s nothing we can do about it anyway. That is not the behavior of someone confident in either their data or argument.

ND024-1
Oh. and the whole thing is a conspiracy cooked up by scientists around the world as part of a plot to seize control of the economy. Because you know, that’s what scientists like to do. An entire major American political party has made belief in that ridiculous argument a central test of loyalty, crippling the response by the nation whose global leadership on the issue is most essential.

Jeb Bush, allegedly one of the more sensible leaders of that party, put it this way when responding to a question in New Hampshire last month:

“The climate is changing — it always has, that’s not any news flash — and the outcomes of that are still not determined. To create policies for today that will have some impact for 50 years from now is almost destined to be wrong.”

Only willful stupidity allows an intelligent person to make a statement like that. As the Wall Street Journal points out, Bush and many other figures in the GOP, including Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, have in the past been willing to accept the science on climate change but have since succumbed to the know-nothingness demanded by their party.

The WSJ reports:

“Shifts by Mr. Rubio and some of his rivals on the issue recall an inconvenient past that many in the GOP would like to forget: Republicans, not Democrats, first championed market-based systems to control pollution, as a way to avoid more direct regulation.

Until 2008, many Republicans, including then-presidential nominee John McCain, supported cap-and-trade to address climate change. Once Mr. Obama won the White House, Republicans swiftly unified against nearly all of his initiatives, including a cap-and-trade bill that would have set limits on carbon emissions and allowed companies to trade pollution credits to comply.”

Future generations will look back on this era and they will howl in indignation at our irresponsibility and self-indulgence.

Reader Comments 0

1558 comments
vhn
vhn

Mr. Bookman ignores the reason why Republicans have no confidence in the legitimacy of the hypothesis of global warming (now rebranded as climate change). 

The 97% "consensus" that is so often sited has been debunked as an outright lie.  Google "John Cook 97%" and see the methodology he used to calculate this number.

The "Hockey Stick" graph promoted by Michael Mann and Al Gore has been proven to be flawed. There is an entire book out that quotes 100 top scientists worldwide that state that the hockey stick theory is junk science and /or a fraud. 

The main political actor promoting this nonsense is the UN.  The now disgraced former head of the IPCC is on record as saying that fighting climate change is his "religion".  


The "hottest year on record' meme is only derived by "adjusting" prior years' ground based temperature station readings.

 

Weather satellites show no additional temperature increase for the past 18+ years and it is clear that the computer models did not expect, nor can they account for, this pause in temperature change.

Lastly, I encourage you to Google "Naomi Klein Climate Change".  This will inform you as to why the leftists are rallying around this junk-science political agenda.

Paper8oy
Paper8oy

If there are future generations. Not only warming and ice melt, our fresh water is being poisoned, seeds modified, edible plants drenched in herbicides, methane gases after the ice melt, rainforests becoming deserts, 1,000 year storms yearly, dead oceans;I can go on and on. Free markets are only interested in profits; destroy mankind for a little silver. It's still cheaper to pour poisons into a river. Simply put, with one political party living in a bubble with misinformation being pumped into their ears 24-7-365, I don't think humans will survive on earth. We're blowing it people. M

JackWC
JackWC

The Earth is 4.5 billion years old and we've had 14 of the 15 warmest years on record? When did the record start?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

"If you mix in some years that are below average you end up with more of a flat curve eh?" Got to love some of our statistically-challenged RWers! 

rimsky
rimsky

JPMorgan Chase & Co <JPM.N> directors raised Chief Executive Jamie Dimon's total compensation by 35 percent to $27 million for 2015, a regulatory filing on Thursday showed.

But the board cut the cash portion and tied three-fourths of the total to more performance-sensitive stock awards, the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said.//////

I am glad I do no banking with this bank.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Yep tiny disappeared so I guess he's a government worker.  Damn slacker.

Peachs
Peachs

Trump is a cable news invention. They started controlling college football,playing it when they needed programming on Thursday or now Wednesday night then late night games which allowed middle market teams to compete against the establishment and now they make the political market bringing trash to new value with entertainment ratings out flanking substance. It is like the church open the doors to blue jeans to fill the pews and then having their open battle with gays to feed the appetite of the new low brow they cater to.

chuckie99
chuckie99

You got that. climate change is real. However it is not caused by us and has been occurring since the beginning of time, be that 6 thousand or millions of of years ago. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@chuckie99 However it is not caused by us


Unfortunaly it is.


And yes the planet has warmed and cooled over time. But not at this RATE


And that is the problem

rimsky
rimsky

@chuckie99 If you are a scientist you would be trying to prove what you said.

honested
honested

@chuckie99 

If for some inexplicable reason it was 6,000 years ago, there IS sufficient evidence that something is terribly wrong (evidence that is much older than 6,000 years).

Even with the billion plus years, there is sufficient evidence to give people pause.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

If Bookman says Climate Change (is it warming now? We used to fear the coming ice age) is real that settles it. The debate is finally settled.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@BuckeyeGa You mean like this...


"It is about time to see how many of our regular bloggers are state government workers.  The ones that disappear at noon are state workers wasting the taxpayers money blogging all day". 

~~~~Signed Tiny

ZAZ
ZAZ

Trump will straighten out this mess. Just be patient. What we don't need is a bloated woman in pants suits falling asleep in cabinet meetings. Agreed?

TBS
TBS

You are running for POTUS?

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@ZAZ

In her stead, we'll have a bloated man in a pant suit.

Nothing changes other than gender.

ZAZ
ZAZ

@FIGMO2 @ZAZ Wrong. Energy, enthusiasm & courage are a few differences that come to mind quickly. There are many more.

honested
honested

@ZAZ @FIGMO2 

I guess you help me understand why at one time people thought the 'pet rock' was a good idea.

breckenridge
breckenridge

The National Review lambasting of Trump once again brings to the forefront the basic dysfunction within the GOP.  There are two distinctly different types of republicans.  On the one hand there are the white, college educated, high income earners living in the suburbs of cities north of the Mason-Dixon line. This group is religiously tolerant or indifferent.  Then there are the white, uneducated, low income earning religious fundamentalists living in primarily rural areas in the south. They are stupids, and the stupids make the party look bad.


It's time to get on with it, time to split the party, time to separate the country club republicans from the trailer park trash.

honested
honested

@breckenridge 

As I suggested earlier:

The 'too crazy to get elected to anything" 

and the "wow we really hate taxes and regulation but somebody effective has got to run the show".

Might finally lead to some effective coalitions with the ensuing Democratic Majority.

Peachs
Peachs

Downs you could use a little color..

Peachs
Peachs

You start seeing how the south got in these messes. Segration originally was more class filtered than race, now you allied yourselves with any white person as if that will make for a common cause.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

@breckenridge If they don't think like you they are stupids? And how do the "won't work, won't marry my childrens' mother, please keep sending me money" voters make the Democrat party look? Are they stupids too?


Low education and religion always go together? I hope my church doesn't find out about my MBA- I will be toast!

crboggs
crboggs

Using exaggerated terms like "shattered" is a bit disingenuous and smells like fear mongering.  If you dig a bit and find the actual NASA release you'll find the following...  (I'll let people decide for themselves if an increase of 0.23 degrees sounds like a "shattering" impact in a fluid system like Mother Nature...)


Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much.


Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@crboggs 

At that rate, in 50 years the average temperature would rise over ten degrees.

crboggs
crboggs

@honested @crboggs @Nick_Danger I would argue that our minute snapshot of data/time isn't enough in the grand scheme of things to close the discussion.  We could be in a warming trend that lasts a thousand years before a new ice age occurs.  We just don't know...nor can we argue that we DO KNOW with the data at hand.


All of our best efforts to curb a warming trend may or may not be enough to have an impact.


That's not to say we shouldn't do anything.  But lets not try to argue that as humans we have the power to stop it or cool the planet...

crboggs
crboggs

@Nick_Danger @crboggs True. But that assumes a steady trend that continues over 50 years without any deviation or correction.  If you mix in some years that are below average you end up with more of a flat curve eh?


There are alot of variables, not all of which are within our ability to control.


Again...Mother Nature is not a static system...and its also a bit narcissistic to believe that only mankind has the ability to alter or impact our environment.


The planet has been going through warming and cooling trends for eons...well before we have any useful or validated data points.

crboggs
crboggs

@honested @crboggs @Nick_Danger I can agree that we CAN be smarter about our choices.  


But then you have to weigh that against the reality of day to day life and civilization as a whole.


There's alot of exaggeration and hyperbole being used to drive political agendas that have nothing to do with safeguarding the planet for future generations...


Notice my comment on the term "shattered"...why not just leave out the editorial element?  You know why...it wouldn't have the same impact on people who aren't smart enough to question or who are too lazy to care...

honested
honested

@crboggs @honested @Nick_Danger 

Well then, can we start by collectively suggesting that the 'profit' of hydrocarbon extractors and monopoly utilities are of ABSOLUTELY NO VALUE to the broad population?

I ask since that is apparently the next level of excuse why we should move glacially slow.

crboggs
crboggs

@honested @crboggs @Nick_Danger Only if you want to ignore the huge factor hydrocarbons play in advancing society as a whole and your individual standard of living.  


Don't make the mistake of thinking that fossil fuel is only used in gasoline that's stuffed into gas guzzling SUVs driven by stay at home soccer moms.


Are you ready to give up your computers, smart phones, bottled water, etc etc etc.


We need to recycle...we need to be efficient...but we can't pretend that we can wean ourselves off of fossil fuels as a building block of our society and technology...



crboggs
crboggs

@Nick_Danger @crboggs @honested Thanks.  I enjoy reasoned discussion and debate and try to acknowledge when someone makes a point I hadn't considered or actually changes my perspective / opinion.


Sadly...things usually digress into just the sort of exaggeration that led me to register and respond to Jay's blog in the first place...


Kamchak
Kamchak

@crboggs 

Sadly...

I am so so saddy saddy sad sad sad that you haz sadz.

honested
honested

@crboggs @honested @Nick_Danger 

Yes, I have had the argument with plenty of people (including a couple of PSC Commissioners) around "we can't do it without coal".

Fact is we can, but we can't be tied at the hip to an industry intent they have a 'right' to sell us x amount of coal per year in perpetuity and it is our 'responsibility' to buy it. 

The only reason to delude ourselves that 'we can't wean ourselves off fossil fuels' is the raw power of the industry profiting from fossil fuels.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@crboggs @Nick_Danger @honested 

Reasoned debate can be had here, bit it isn't easy...and few will acknowledge when they are shown to be wrong. 

But even most of our trolls can be pretty decent...sometimes...most of them...once in a blue moon...  :-/

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

@honested @crboggs @Nick_Danger You guys just engaged in adult debate- the first time I have ever noticed honested do so. Congratulations (seriously).


However, I see Kamchak nosing around. If he gets involved, all hoped of rational debate will be gone.