Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Where Has All The Weather Gone?

The issue of climate change seems to have all but fallen off the radar in Canadian politics. Sure we've had a cold winter and a cold spring and of course the opposition parties are busy gorging themselves on Conservative scandal but how did the environment come to vanish from our consciousness?

Now the cold winter is the result of la Nina, the ugly stepsister of her brother, el Nino. Most of us living on the Pacific coast understand these southern ocean-based weather phenomena and the consequences they wreak on the entire world - from the Pacific to North America to Europe and Africa and all the way around to Asia. The freaky weather they bring isn't determinative of anything concerning global warming although whether and how they're tied remains to be resolved.

So what is our Furious Leader doing on the climate change platform, you know, the one he identified as the greatest threat facing mankind? He seems to be eager to do a lot about relatively insigificant threats - things like Islamist terrorism - but diddly squat to fight global warming. Oh I get it, the science isn't in! Right?

The fact is that there's plenty of science already in and more is coming in just about every day. We're learning that the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, isn't a bunch of radicals after all. In fact, its consensus-based format has been exposed as its Achilles' Heel, leading the IPCC reports to consistently underestimate the pace and extent of AGW-driven climate change. They forecast some dire result to arrive in 20-years and then it appears in just two.

The denialists have been busy indeed sowing doubt and uncertainty, even outright falsehoods. It's curious how their predictions have no bearing on the results that keep coming in but money talks, especially with a corporate driven media.

Every now and then it's good to go back to the basics for a reality check and a good place to start is to re-read the article from Grist on "How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic":

If you haven't read it, check it out. If you haven't read it for a while, check it out again.


Anonymous said...

It seems a certain 73 year old scientist-astronaut from Australia with no ties to oil and, having spent his entire life studying the earths weather pattern has put a bit of a scare into some people now hasnt he? His idea that the earth has been actually cooling since 1998 and will continue to cool is somewhat alarming, imagine, CO2 gasses actually reflecting the suns warmth, and, his warnings that sunspot activity have reached a 20 year low..?? I dont know, maybe like I'm all the others and listen to ALL sides before picking one that suites my ideology. Oh ya...its snowing here in Ottawa today. billg

The Mound of Sound said...

Sorry Bill but I don't think your Aussie has put a scare into anyone, certainly no one I know of. Why don't you follow the link I provided Bill and get in touch with the actual science. You see, there's an enormous amount of it out there for those who want to shape their opinions on current research by active climate scientists not old geezers who haven't conducted much less published any credible (i.e. peer-reviewed) research in decades.

The science is all there Bill, from genuine, credible scientists, unless you choose to ignore it.

Anonymous said...

I'm back in South Korea and arrived here on the 27 of April. La Nina the ugly stepbrother of his stepbrother La Nino hasn't affected this part of Asia. As a matter of fact, Korea has always had four distinct seasons but not any more. The past several winters have slid right into high summer temperatures in spring. Several days ago it was 30 C.