Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yesterday's Heresy Might Finally Be Turning Into Today's Orthodoxy

Will 2013 be seen as the year the world (a.k.a. America) clued in to the reality of climate change?  A shift does seem to be happening when papers such as the L.A. Times announce they'll no longer be printing the rantings of denialists. 

It was encouraging to see the Washington Post link to a piece from entitled "Six Things We Learned About Our Changing Climate in 2013."

1. There are record levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

2. Global warming may have appeared to slow down, but it’s an illusion.

3. An overwhelming majority of scientists agree that human activities are changing the climate. 

4. Climate change is already impacting your life.

5. There’s not nearly enough being done to stop climate change.

6. There is one key formula to preventing catastrophic climate change.

The amount of data and fine detail involved in calculating climate change projections can seem overwhelming, but a report released this summer by the International Energy Authority articulates the basic math.

Of all existing fossil fuel reserves that are still in the Earth—all of the coal, oil and natural gas—we must ultimately leave two-thirds unburned, in the ground, to avoid warming the climate more than 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit), a number scientists recognize as a target for avoiding catastrophic climate change.

If we can figure out a way to stay within this carbon budget before it’s too late, we can still avert a climate disaster. If we can’t, then we too might look back at today’s record-breaking temperatures, droughts and floods as a fond memory of milder times.

There's really nothing remotely new here except that apparently what was previously attacked as heresy is now accepted as orthodoxy.  I wonder if there's some way to get the word to Ottawa?

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