The answer to the question in the title is global warming. I saw this factoid on the PBS Newshour tonight as they were reporting the reversal of opinion of a former climate change skeptic, Professor Richard Muller of Cal-Berkeley after he published an Op-Ed piece in late July. He had been one of the most strident skeptics, but he and his daughter, a trained mathematician, studied the available data and concluded he had been wrong before. He said in his Op-Ed piece that the data shows that global warming is occurring and it is worse than others have portrayed.
This is actually not news, except for his recent Op-Ed piece, as he declared eighteen months ago in front of a Congressional Committee that he had been wrong. This surprised greatly the GOP Congressmen who had invited him there. He published his first findings last fall which led to the recent Op-Ed piece. His voice is amplified as he was the Republican poster child for global warming skepticism for a while. In fact, his study was funded in part (I believe it was around $600,000) by the Koch Brothers, who thought he would reach the conclusion he had been espousing. Yet, he surprised even them.
What was interesting is the efforts to discredit him. The 3% of scientists who remain skeptics are a very squeaky wheel and get a lot of attention. Yet, what I find so troubling and have commented on this recently regarding Governor Romney’s convention comments and the GOP platform is what the PBS Newshour reported. 74% of Congressional Republicans do not think global warming is occurring. By my math, that means only 26% do. I find this both funny and sad.
I mentioned in the spring about the Carteret Islands that are slowly being consumed by the sea. There is an interesting documentary on this as the islanders have gone to bigger islands close by to beseech them to let their people move there. These are people who are no more educated than the average American, yet they are seeing first hand what is happening to their island and the crops they try to raise. These islanders and the people they were beseeching all speak openly of global warming. I find it terribly ironic that these average intellect people know more about global warming than 74% of Congressional Republicans as well as the GOP candidate for the Presidency, who mocked President Obama for trying to do something about the rising ocean levels.
I consider Governor Romney of better than average intelligence. So, I can only explain his stance in one way. His party is so heavily funded by the oil/ gas industry that he cannot public state his true feelings about global warming. Vincent Mudd (a terrific blogger by the way) wrote a comment about a recent post that the Department of Defense considers global warming to be one of the greatest threats they face. They are taking measures around San Diego to invest in alternative energy. What do these guys know that the GOP does not? If you get a GOP politician off the record, the reporters say they will admit privately that global warming is occurring. Yet, they cannot state this as a group. I find this to be very illuminating as the evidence is overwhelming.
As an Independent voter, I have made this statement about the “birthers.” I will vote for no candidate who still raises Obama’s birth as an issue. We don’t have time for these thoughts. I will reiterate this comment, but substitute global warming. I will vote for no candidate that does not state global warming is occurring and it is man-influenced. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration completed another study earlier in 2012 and said it is occurring, it is man-influenced and it is worse than projected. They even pointed to Governor Rick Perry’s Texas and noted the droughts in Texas are definitely influenced by man. Perry as you recall is naysayer and also wants to do away with the EPA. Yet, Galveston is slowly being encroached upon by the Gulf of Mexico. There is more than a little irony here.
Well what do I know? I am just an Old Fart who reads a little and does not believe everything he hears and not everything he reads. I do know China and Germany are way ahead of us on eco-energy planning. I do know Brazil is entirely bio-fueled with a mixture of sugar cane ethanol and gas. I do know that Denmark has an eco-energy plan that has survived at least one election. When your land is beneath sea level, global warming takes on great importance to the Danes..
I don’t know about you, but I am going to hang my hat with the 97%. I tend to think scientists know a little more about this than Congress. Please join me and challenge your candidates to tell us where they stand and what measures should we take. We need to plan now what we intend to do and how we can move away from fossil fuels at an accelerated pace. An eco-energy plan has to live beyond anyone’s term in office, as it will take a measured effort over time to change.So, it must be bipartisan. This issue scares me more than any other and if we do not get this right, we won’t have to worry about the others. Our planet will not be able to sustain us.