Opinion: Alternate facts, but no alternate Earth

compare_obs_2016

The truth shall set you free … therefore, it must be arranged that you not be told the truth.

The truth, according to federal scientists at both NASA and NOAA, is that 2016 was the warmest year ever recorded by mankind on planet Earth.

The previous record-hot year had been 2015.

Prior to that, the record-setting year was 2014. These records have occurred despite conservative insistence a few years back that global warming had ceased and perhaps even begun to reverse itself.

We don’t yet know what will happen in 2017.  Under our new president, we also don’t know whether the scientists who collect such data will still be able to collect it, analyze it and disseminate it by this time next year. We don’t even know whether those scientists will still have jobs.

Here’s what we do know:

We know that such a sustained phenomenon cannot be explained away as “the climate is always changing.” nor dismissed as a hoax led by China to destroy American capitalism, as our president has publicly alleged. The planetary heating that we are now witnessing within the tiny span of a human lifetime is occurring at a far more rapid pace than anything ever recorded in temperature data or data drawn from tree rings, ice cores and other scientific means that reach back hundreds of thousands of years. This is by no means normal or usual.

As a matter of basic physics, we also know that such rapid disruption of an otherwise stable system cannot occur without a cause. We know that nothing occurring in the natural world — not sunspots or other solar activity, for example — could be that cause. We have one, and only one, plausible explanation for what is happening.

As someone on the Badlands National Park twitter account helpfully pointed out Tuesday afternoon in straightforward scientific terms:

.c3al6kpxaaepsox

Unfortunately, those statements of established, nonpolitical fact were deleted within a few hours of their posting as contrary to Trump administration policy. All mention of climate change has already been removed from the White House website. The Centers for Disease Control here in Atlanta suddenly canceled a long-scheduled conference on the health challenges created by climate change, such as extended heat waves and the spread of tropical disease, so that it would not become a target.

According to Reuters, the Environmental Protection Agency has also been ordered to shutdown its main climate-change webpage, perhaps as early as today. (As of this moment, it is still open to the public.) EPA employees are already under a gag rule forbidding them to communicate with the press or the taxpayers who pay their salaries. Bob Walker, a senior science advisor to Trump, has said that NASA will be stripped of its earth-science budget and forced to cease “politically correct environmental monitoring.” And back in December, the Trump transition team demanded the names of all Department of Energy employees and contractors who had attended United Nations climate meetings or who had worked on climate-change data.

The demand was rejected by the Obama administration and then withdrawn, but the message had been sent.

Meanwhile, the weather folks predict the temperature will reach a balmy 70 degrees here in Atlanta on Jan. 25. If that proves accurate, this will be the 10th day this January with temperatures of 70 or above. So far this month, we have set or tied four records for high temperatures. By themselves, such localized data mean nothing. But they are being repeated month after month, year after year, in sites all across the globe.

The scary part is that these are just the early signs of what threatens to be a truly profound climate shift. We can retreat into alternate facts that may allow us to ignore that reality, for a time. But alternate facts cannot give us an alternate Earth.

Reader Comments 0

1469 comments
BillLyons
BillLyons

Jay, I saw your column on global warming in Sunday's paper, but apparently it is the same as your 25 Jan column.


I am concerned that your column leaves out important information which results in misleading the public on the important issue of climate change (once called global warming).


"Warmest" and "recorded" are the key descriptors which need explanation in this discussion.

First, the use of "recorded" allows the alarmists to ignore the inconvenient fact that the earth has had many warmer periods before the beginning of recorded temperature records. 

Second, the recorded temperature of 2016 was only a small fraction of one degree warmer than the previous year, well within the margin of error.

I spent a portion of my early life learning about climatology at MIT (for a full year, many more class hours than Gore devoted). I then then worked in one of the two centers of our nation which were devoted to developing the use of computers to forecast weather phenomena. In recent years I have spent much time reading the various theories about "global warming"

I hope that you will offer a more balanced summary in your future pronouncements.

Bill

--
William (Bill) Lyons, 3082 Old Cabin Lane, Smyrna GA 30080, 770-805-9017

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Denise285 

When Madeleine "It was worth it" (to kill the Iraqi children) Albright is leading the defense of human rights, woe unto us.

TBS
TBS

Did Trump pass on some more alternative facts that were conveyed to him or did he just make up an alternative fact as usual?


Langer’s daughter on Wednesday said her father is a German citizen with permanent residence in Boca Raton, Fla., and is not allowed to vote

“He is a citizen of Germany,” Christina Langer told the Times when reached on her father's cell phone. "He is not a friend of President Trump’s, and I don’t know why he would talk about him.”


http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/316216-trump-cited-pro-golfer-as-voter-fraud-example-report



If you have to tell a dubious at best story to congressional leaders as your example for illegal voting you might should just let it go.  

KUTGF
KUTGF

@TBS Goes with the 1000s of cheers from NJ when the WTC came down. 

HDB0329
HDB0329

@TBS ....wasn't there a TV show called the "Liar's Club"? Maybe the Orange One made a guest appearance and took the show's title to heart......


....another way the GOP advocates for voter suppression......

TBS
TBS

@KUTGF @TBS


Unless Langer was at the polling place to vote illegally it's strange he told Trump about what appeared to be people voting illegally. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@TBS @KUTGF With Trump he always wants to tell a story about him knowing a "celebrity" and then a lie to back up his lies. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

To Donnie Pinko, from far below:


"And, I obviously meant my words at  'a different level than that,' (i.e. simply Donald Trump's ego).  I believe most readers of my comments, below, understood that from my words, in context.


Btw, in referring to what the President of Mexico was standing against, you left out my important words, 'and power,' after my word, 'ego.'


Dishonest, Donnie. Shame on you."

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

"After the interview last night, it is quite obvious he (Trump) doesn't need to be in charge of even a cap gun. "

As I have posted repeatedly, the feeling is mutual in that Libs should not be in charge of even a lemonade stand.

Trump is not a politician but likely somewhere during his first term he will start to appear more like one.

The take away to the comment however is that Libs gave up all credibility on criticizing Trump with their 8 years of blind stupid loyalty to Obama that continues to this day.

HDB0329
HDB0329

@JohnnyReb "Trump is not a politician but likely somewhere during his first term he will start to appear more like one ...".....is that before or after the conflicts of interest are so egregious that the next steps to save the nation would lead to impeachment and conviction??

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Actually some scientists are proposing alternate earths where it's neither too hot nor too cold and can potentially harbor water, a resource essential to life. They're affectionately known as Goldilocks planets.

My advice to jay?

Hold your water.

schnirt 

TBS
TBS

@Eye wonder @td1234


Ole Kam sure butchered polygamy, didn't he? 

May as well been at a butcher shop when he posted polygyny.  

td1234
td1234

So Trump is going to force the UN's hand. It is either the US pulling its money or they boot out the Palestinians.  

HDB0329
HDB0329

@td1234 ...so you want the US to pull out of the UN and have NO VOICE in the world.....


...when WW3 starts because of sheer stupidity......what will you say then??

td1234
td1234

@HDB0329 And you actually believe the world's number economy and largest military would have no voice if they pulled out of the UN? LOL

honested
honested

@td1234 @HDB0329 

While you believe the tiny, loud, barely legitimate country of Israel should be allowed to steal land and water with our blessing?

td1234
td1234

@honested The US will protect and advocate for Israel, Get use to it and deal with it. 

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

Deal with the fact that an unhinged, would-be dictator willingly violates the will of the majority?

HDB0329
HDB0329

@td1234 @HDB0329 ....actually, the CHINESE have the largest military....and there are more than 1.5 BILLION Muslims worldwide.....vs 300 MILLION of us.....


...numbers don't lie.....


....and the Chinese could bring this nation down without firing a shot by saying one thing: "We're pulling our money out....pay us our T-Bills....."....



td1234
td1234

@HDB0329 And the US could put them in a great depression by saying we refuse to pay off our debt and will no longer take any imports from your country. 

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

if the US bails out..good luck in getting intell from other countries in the UN..

HDB0329
HDB0329

@td1234 @HDB0329 .....that wouldn't trigger a Chinese depression.....it would trigger either a WORLDWIDE depression because the US would have defaulted and the dollar could not be trusted as the monetary standard....or a WAR...in which no one could win!!


Either way...it's lose-lose...and it'd be BIGLY (as the Orange One says....)....


...better rethink this.....

honested
honested

@td1234 @BuckeyeGa 

I always wondered what life would be like if the US relied on a policy of ignorance and arrogance in world affairs.

honested
honested

@DownInAlbany 

After the interview last night, it is quite obvious he doesn't need to be in charge of even a cap gun.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@DownInAlbany This is more show boating and pandering to the lunatic base by the Dems.

It was not talked about too much but there was a faction on the Right who were concerned that if the USA received a first strike that Obama would have surrendered instead of retaliating.

But unlike our lunatic opponents, and to be clear not all are lunatics but too many, the Right did not introduce a ridiculous bill that has zero chance.

HDB0329
HDB0329

@DownInAlbany ....if you listened to what the legislation entailed, what the intention is that a PRE-EMPTIVE or FIRST NUCLEAR STRIKE can't be performed by the President unless a declaration of WAR is performed.....and the CONSTITUTION puts that power in the hands of CONGRESS!!



td1234
td1234

@HDB0329 The President is Constitutionally the commander and chief of the military.  

HDB0329
HDB0329

@td1234 @HDB0329 ...and WAR can only be declared by CONGRESS!! A pre-emptive or first nuclear strike is a WARTIME move.....that legislation would be a fail safe measure for ANY President....but especially the Orange one!!

HDB0329
HDB0329

@td1234 @HDB0329 ...and that's part of the problem......no checks and balances on a pre-emptive nuclear strike...once you let the bird fly, every nuclear power is reacting in kind.......this legislation is the fail safe measure......

td1234
td1234

@HDB0329 @td1234 Why didn't the Dems propose this when they were in charge of Congress and Obama was President? 


This is nothing more than political grandstanding and will go nowhere. 

HDB0329
HDB0329

@td1234 @HDB0329 ....because prior to the Orange One, we had Presidents that were relatively measured in their reasonings when it came to the nuclear capability of the world.


When the Orange One advocated for increased nuclear proliferation worldwide, that necessitated a paradigm shift!! Remember: President Obama said that he would NOT order a pre-emptive nor first strike WITHOUT consultation!!

td1234
td1234

@HDB0329 BS. Progs used the same "mentally unstable" arguments with GWB and RR. 


It is part of their old, tired playbook.

HDB0329
HDB0329

@td1234 @HDB0329 Reagan's Alzheimers was an issue..but thankfully, that didn't become a factor in his Administration.....but Shrub wasn't as unstable as the Orange One.....


...besides, the evidence is much clearer on the Orange One than the others.....