I've never been big on putting bumper stickers on my car. Obama didn't even rate one in 2008, though I made an exception for John Kitzhaber's gubernatorial campaign in 2010. Since he is now Oregon's governor, obviously the sticker made a difference.
I'm hoping the same will be true of my new bumper sticker message: "Friends don't let friends deny Global Warming." I bought two of architect David Stockbridge Smith's creations after learning about them via a Climate Progress post.
It's more than a little strange that this bumper sticker is necessary. After all, there's no need for "Friends don't let friends deny Quantum Mechanics" or "Friends don't let friends deny DNA."
But even though the evidence for global warming is nearly as strong as that for other generally accepted scientific facts, anti-science types (often funded by the oil industry) continue to do their best to obfuscate the truth.
2010 tied with 2005 as the hottest year on record, was the wettest year on record, and was part of the hottest decade on record.
To measure climate change, scientists look at long-term trends. The temperature trend, including data from 2010, shows the climate has warmed by approximately 0.36°F per decade since the late 1970s. “If the warming trend continues, as is expected, if greenhouse gases continue to increase, the 2010 record will not stand for long,” said James Hansen, the director of GISS [Goddard Institute for Space Studies].
Paleoclimate data suggests carbon dioxide "may have at least twice the effect on global temperatures than currently projected by computer models"
The atmospheric CO2 concentration currently is 390 parts per million by volume (ppmv), and continuing on a business-as-usual path of energy use based on fossil fuels will raise it to ∼900 to 1100 ppmv by the end of this century (see the first figure) (1). When was the last time the atmosphere contained ∼1000 ppmv of CO2?
Recent reconstructions (2–4) of atmospheric CO2 concentrations through history indicate that it has been ∼30 to 100 million years since this concentration existed in the atmosphere (the range in time is due to uncertainty in proxy values of CO2).
The data also reveal that the reduction of CO2 from this high level to the lower levels of the recent past took tens of millions of years. Through the burning of fossil fuels, the atmosphere will return to this concentration in a matter of a century. Thus, the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 is unprecedented in Earth’s history.
Massive floods reflect that global warming is real, is happening, and is scientific fact.
The pictures today from around the world of dramatic rooftop rescues from raging waters, makes it seem as though natural disasters are becoming an everyday occurrence. But they're not all that natural; climate scientists say man-made global warming is the sudden force behind the forces of nature.
..."If left unchecked, climate warming will continue so the things that we're having hints of now, foretastes of now, will come stronger," Richard Sommerville, a climate scientist at the University of California at San Diego and author of "The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change," said.
The extreme weather the world has seen is part of a larger trend, he said. "The world is warming up ... It's warming for sure and science is very confident that most of the warming is due to human causes."
These pictures tell the tale.
Another presentation worth considering.
Posted by: Bob | January 18, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Bob, any global cooling scenario isn't worth considering, because the science and facts don't support it. The earth is warming, not cooling, no matter what some guy says.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | January 18, 2011 at 07:27 PM
It has been observed that ice ages were preceded by periods of rapid global warming.
Posted by: Mills Carter | January 19, 2011 at 06:17 PM
It's too late to do anything about global warming. It was always too late, because we cannot help being what we are: selfish creatures who are concerned only with their own individual comfort.
However, we are also naturally occurring creatures, which means that we function as energy transformers. Life is simply a transitory phase in the constantly changing reality of the planet.
No need to affirm or deny global warming. It is simply an observation.
This message has been brought to you courtesy of fossil fuel consumption.
I will close by declaring that nauseating mantra of insincerity: Have A Nice Day!
Posted by: Willie R. | January 20, 2011 at 02:11 AM
I think this civilization is doomed to run its course. Like Willie R said, we are selfish creatures. Even we who condemn those who pollute do the same by consuming manufactured products, the production of which pollutes the planet, including fuel efficient cars which still spew contaminants into the air. Energy snobs in their hybrids are no better than all the ignorant slobs in their conventional vehicles. Goddamn it. Quit driving altogether if you want something to happen. It begins with you and me.
There are so many factors involved. We can't even agree on a health care bill. How do we get the world to change to a new paradigm? China and India love emerging out of third world status. It's burm baby burn as far as they are concerned.
If you think you can do something about it follow the old adage that if you want world peace let it begin with yourself. Go back to primitive living off the grid. Eat foraged roots and berries. Sleep in a brush or adobe hut or occupy an abandoned building. Quit buying plastic stuff like these computers that eventually end up as trash. Quit paying your mortgage because the money that pays for it probably comes one way or another from a process that pollutes. Does your work ever involve paper? Metal? Synthetic fabrics? Fuel? Lubricants? Energy? If you talk the talk then walk the walk.
Maybe the outcome of global warming will be something good we can't see yet. Like getting rid of an excess 5 or 6 billion energy burners. Think of all the cheap housing that will be available.
It will unfold.
Posted by: Mills | January 20, 2011 at 05:20 PM
I'd like to see real solutions proposed such as an affordable national plan to put solar panels on every house and a plug-in electric hybrid car in every garage. Allow people to get reasonable 15 year financing. And by the way limit it to USA manufactured solar panels and plug in hybrids. That should create a few jobs. We need to think big about the future.
Posted by: Nw | January 20, 2011 at 05:54 PM
I think that the debate is far from over regarding climate change. And, if we're possibly dealing with a global surface temperature cyclic condition, then it's certainly in our best interest to understand the potential factors and outcome involved.
This whole climate change affair is a "loaded" movement - full of questionable research, data, etc. (probably from both sides of the isle) - along with political and monetary interests.
Let the debate continue.
PS: Whether long-term global surface temperatures are here to stay or not - I favor reducing toxic emissions that contribute to poor health and a plain funky environment. I'm all in favor of reducing our dependency on fossil fuels.
Posted by: Bob | January 20, 2011 at 06:47 PM