A few pertinent quotes on climate change

In the book, “When Climate Change Hits Home,” by Diogo Castro Freire, the impact of climate change on all of us is defined. It ranges from preparing for less ski business in Aspen to lifting houses by two feet in Norfolk to holding back the sea water in Miami as it seeps through the porous limestone to depleted fishing in New England waters to more severe forest fires and droughts.

A few quotes will help speak to the lessening number of doubters that still remain as well as show the severity.

Per the International Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), 195 countries approved this summary position in November, 2014 in Paris:

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen….Anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas emissions….are extremely likely (95% probability) to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell said at a speech at Center for Global Energy Policy in September, 2014:

“Meeting energy demand is a massive challenge. But, so too is the need to tackle the real and growing threat that climate change poses.”

Ken Cohen, VP of Public and Government Affairs, ExxonMobil wrote in “ExxonMobil Perspectives” in May, 2015:

“ExxonMobil takes global climate change seriously and the risks of rising greenhouse gas emissions warrant thoughtful action.”

Katharine Hayhoe, a renowned climatologist working at Texas Tech University said at a conference in DC in the summer, 2015:

“Seven billion people now live on the planet and two-thirds of the world’s largest cities are within two feet of sea level.”

The World Health Organization estimates in 2015:

“There are at least 150,000 annual deaths worldwide that can be attributed to climate change, but most people fail to see the connection.” 

Not included in the book, which is a quick read given the subject, are three meaningful quotes from our leading US Presidential candidates

Former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a speech at the League of Conservation Voters in December, 2014,

“The science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say. Sea levels are rising; ice caps are melting; storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc. … If we act decisively now we can still head off the most catastrophic consequences.”

Real Estate Developer Donald Trump has referred to climate change or global warming as a hoax on several occasions. Here are just two:

In a tweet on November 6, 2012, Trump wrote “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

On December 30, 2015, Trump told the crowd at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., “Obama’s talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money-making industry, okay? It’s a hoax, a lot of it.”

It should be noted per Politifacts that Trump has backed off, then doubled and tripled down on the hoax issue quite often depending on who is talking with. But, when it comes to money, Trump’s golf development in Ireland petitioned the Irish government in writing for permission to build a sea wall to hold back the rising sea levels due to climate change.

I have purposefully ended with these quotes from the two leading Presidential candidates. In addition to all of the reasons that make Trump a dangerous candidate, what is not talked about enough is we can ill-afford a President who does not see climate change and its man-made influence as a serious matter and who will take further steps to ameliorate its impact.

And, it is not just Trump. Sixteen of seventeen GOP Presidential candidates would not support climate change as a major issue that we need to address. Two Republican governors, Rick Scott of Florida and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, told staffers to not use the words climate change or global warming in public speeches or papers. George W. Bush had his White House Council on the Environment alter any papers that crossed his desk to delete references to climate change or global warming.

In this case, party matters. There are four candidates running for President, but only one who does not recognize climate change for the problem it is – Donald Trump. Let me close with a key reason why I left the Republican Party in 2006 – if they cannot recognize one of the greatest issues facing our planet, then why should I trust them with any other issue. And, that was ten years ago.


22 thoughts on “A few pertinent quotes on climate change

    • Erika, it is frightening that a Presidential candidate can be let off the hook so easily. This should be a non-starter issue. Thanks for your comments. Keith

      • I absolutely agree, Keith. That is what we all say. How can someone talking such BS be allowed to run for the White House? Incomprehensible!!!!

      • Erika, people who are voting for him want change, but not all change is good. America and the world will be a more dangerous place with his bigotry, naïveté,inexperience, lack of understanding, ego, thin skin and bombast. What I don’t understand is people look past his history of screwing people over to make money. Keith

      • Yes, yes, exactly our observations. He appears like a kid who plays God! It is horrible. He is dangerous in his combination of naïveté, racism, and megalomania! He is definitely the oposite of how a statesman should be. I hope that enough people awaken early enough!

  1. I wonder whether they really don’t believe it or if they just see it as an inconvenient truth for their big business backers. For all the jobs they say will be lost if some industries have to alter they way they do business, or even shut down completely, many more jobs can be – and are being – created in industries such as clean energy and those that focus on sustainability. As long as you have a major presidential candidate spewing nonsense and a governor pointing to a snowball as “proof” that climate change is a hoax, I don’t have a lot of hope that things will change soon, in time to affect change, or at all.

    • I have wondered the same … they do not want to promote an unpopular idea, and the acceptance of climate change is unpopular among many because if you accept it as reality, then you must change your lifestyle, at least somewhat, give up something, make some sacrifices. Trump tells people what they want to hear, not what they ought to hear. Good point.

      • He does tell them what they want to hear, in keeping with his “The Art of the Deal” tactic of playing to people’s fantasies. Coal miners need to be leveled with as those jobs will continue to decline and must decline. So, training and bridge compensation must be discussed, eg.

      • Yes, I actually have friends in Wise Co., Virginia, a coal mining community … and I have tried to talk to them calmly and rationally. Care to guess how that went? Right.

      • Jill, I was proud of Bernie who shot straight with coal miners. People don’t like being lied to and the leaders in those areas have been doing just that. Keith

    • Janis, I think Al Gore’s use of “an inconvenient truth” is brilliant. Yet, more than twelve years later, the train has left the station and we can no longer set it aside. Thanks for your wise observations. Keith

      • That was a brilliant title, and so true. None of us like being told that we can’t live like we want to, and do whatever we feel like doing. I’m afraid that what used to be merely “inconvenient” has now become life-changing. Changing out a few light bulbs won’t fix the ice caps. We need to make some major – and probably very uncomfortable – adjustments to the way we do things. Honestly, I’m not sure it’s possible to do enough anymore.

      • Janis, I would love the next President present the problems and needed efforts of all of us. The book I quoted from is 104 pages of reading and it speaks of small things and big things we must do to make a difference. Thanks, Keith

  2. Very timely and pertinent post, Keith! This is one that cannot be said too often, as it is of critical importance. And if, after these past two months of drought in the west, massive flooding in Louisiana, and record high temps throughout July, people still deny that climate change is real, then somebody needs to rip their blinders off!

    • Well, if we can reach a few who were considering the man…Plus the fossil fuel industry is leaving Republicans out to dry. They are being forced to act and the GOP is slow to follow.

  3. Note to Readers: Since I have shared my disappointment with Republican leaders including their standard bearer, let me at least point out the efforts of a Charlotte based group called ClearPath Foundation. The thrust of this group is to speak to moderates and conservatives focusing on the need for renewable energy going light on climate change references. A conservative group survey indicated that 75% of conservative voters are desirous of more renewable energy, so opportunity for change exists in the electorate.

  4. Note to Readers: In article from Justin Gillis of The New York Times called “Climate change already flooding East, Gulf coasts,” the following quote appears.

    “I’m a Republican, but I also realize, by any objective analysis, the sea level is rising,”said Jason Buelterman, the mayor of tiny Tybee Island, one of the first Georgia communities to adopt a detailed climate plan.

    At some point, people have to set aside the naysaying and act. Otherwise, it will be too late.

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