The 1980s were the warmest decade ever recorded. That is until the 1990s arrived to become the warmest decade ever recorded or at least until the 2000s became the warmest decade ever recorded. Here we stand, 2010, three full decades down the road and we're living in the hottest year ever recorded.
As I noted a few days back, NASA released its list of the hottest years ever - 2005, followed by 2007, 2009, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2004, 2001 and 2008 with 2010 poised to bump 2005 out of first place. Res ipsa loquitor - the thing speaks for itself.
But temperature is just one indicator. There are ten in all. From The Globe:
“The conclusion is unmistakable – yes, the planet is warming,” said Derek Arndt, a co-editor of the report, called State of the Climate, which was published by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.
“The facts speak for themselves, and speak simultaneously,” said Mr. Arndt, who runs the Climate Monitoring Branch at NOAA. “And, they all point toward the same conclusion – the globe is warming.”
The report – co-edited by researchers in the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia – pulled together data from 10 climate indicators measured by 160 research groups in 48 countries. The scientists compared the figures decade by decade as far back as possible, more than 100 years in some cases.
...[Arndt] said he was personally taken aback by how all 10 indicators clearly showed the Earth is heating up. “Seeing them standing next to each other, kind of nakedly, and pointing to the same conclusion, it very much jumped off the page at me... Absolutely, yes, we live in a warming planet.”
Of the 10 measurements, the report said seven are rising – air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, air temperature over oceans, sea level, ocean heat, humidity and the temperature of the troposphere, which is the atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface. Three indicators are declining – Arctic sea ice, glaciers and spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere. All of which point to a warming trend."
Kind of makes you wonder how much longer those inveterate fossil fuelers, the Tar Sanders who hold the Conservative and Liberal leadership, can ignore this threat to our country, to our children and grandchildren? How much longer are they going to remain mute on this? Those two characters have a solemn duty to this country and the Canadian people. This is a problem the like of which we've never confronted before. It's potentially existential in dimension and it's not going away.
If the Bitumen Bert & Ernie can't muster a climate change policy that's clear, comprehensive and solid as concrete; if they can't address the country's urgent need for remediation and adaptation measures; then they ought to pack their bags and get the hell out of Ottawa.
We cannot afford to wait, uninformed and unprepared, while the impacts of climate change overtake us. It can easily take 20-years or more to implement adaptation measures. You have to get raw information out to each of the appropriate levels of government and to the public, that information has to be assessed and debated, options have to be weighed and selected and then, finally, action has to be taken and completed. 20 years? Easy.
You can't run from these facts. You can't ignore them. When you're a federal leader you simply have to respond to them. If the federal government can't or won't respond effectively to events that threaten our way of life, what is the point of having those people in Ottawa?