Friday, July 22, 2005

pinions of buddy don: too hot?

it has been verr hot up in here lately, temps in the 90s day after day. tuther day, miz bd sed, 'hal lay loo ya! twill drop to 85 on saturdy!' that wood be grate on a counta how we are visitin micky, our irish frien, over in brooklyn. we plan to take a walk thru the brooklyn botanik garden.

ifn ye aint hot a nuff, heres a few articulls to hep ye warm up:

Senators Struggle to Act on Global Warming:
"Climate change is perhaps the most worrisome global environmental problem confronting human society today," said Molina, a professor at the University of California at San Diego. Molina added that while experts are still uncertain about exactly how global warming will play out in future decades, "not knowing with certainty how the climate system will respond should not be an excuse for inaction."

Several committee Republicans, including some who had questioned climate change predictions in the past, said they agree the world has reached a scientific consensus on global warming.

"I have come to believe, along with many of my colleagues, that there is a substantial human effect on the environment," said Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho), who has opposed mandatory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions and voted against last month's "sense of the Senate" resolution on climate change.

Some GOP senators, such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), went further. In an interview, Murkowski said that "there's an emerging consensus we've got to deal" with climate change, adding it would be "tough" to cut greenhouse gases sufficiently through voluntary programs alone.
A Bid to Chill Thinking; Behind Joe Barton's Assault on Climate Scientists:
Barton, an 11-term Republican from Texas, is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and one of the oil lobby's best friends on Capitol Hill. Late last month he fired off letters to professor Michael Mann of the University of Virginia and two other scientists demanding information about what he claimed were "methodological flaws and data errors" in their studies of global warming.

Barton's letters to the scientists had a peremptory, when-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife tone. Mann was told that within less than three weeks, he must list "all financial support you have received related to your research," provide "the location of all data archives relating to each published study for which you were an author," "provide all agreements relating to . . . underlying grants or funding," and deliver similarly detailed information in five other categories.

The scientists' offense was that they had authored a controversial study that reported a sharp rise in global temperatures during the 20th century, based on an analysis of tree rings, glacial ice and coral layers. The study was an important source for a 2001 report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that argued the 1990s had been the hottest decade in 1,000 years. A graph summarizing the sharp upturn last century after hundreds of years of flat temperatures became known as the "hockey stick," and it has been derided ever since by skeptics.
Warming Up to a New Task:
For Alaskans, warming is a fact on the ground and in the sea. They see it in things such as the sagging ground above the permafrost — the frozen subsoil on which their homes and water pipes stand — and the breakaway sea ice from which seal and bowhead whale hunters have sometimes had to radio for a rescue.

Average temperatures in Barrow are up 4 degrees over the last 50 years, and as much as 7 degrees in other parts of the Arctic, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. The average rise across the globe is 1.5 degrees.
"There's no question something is going on," says Warren Matumeak, 77, an Inupiat elder.

"Spring is coming earlier. We see birds up here we've never seen before. The Earth is changing around us, and we have to figure out how to adapt," said Matumeak, a former land and wildlife manager for the North Slope Borough, the rough local equivalent of a county, albeit one slightly larger than Minnesota.

As the northern polar region warms, some climate models predict what is dryly called a "positive feedback loop," which could start to warm the Earth much more quickly.

For Barrow, such a loop spells likely doom, a self-reinforcing cycle in which melting ice raises surface temperatures, which in turns melts more ice. That could cause severe coastal erosion and alter the delicate balance that sustains life on the tundra.

In a worst-case scenario, people would be forced to leave Barrow altogether, as residents of Shishmaref and Newtok, two smaller coastal villages in Alaska, have decided to do because of continuing erosion.
Bush: Global warming is just hot air:
When the New York Times quizzed Bush about why his scientists had shifted their positions on what caused global warming, he appeared entirely ignorant that they had. "I don't think we did," he said. When tipped off to the paper's coverage of the report, he added: "Oh, OK, well, that's got to be true." Maybe he really doesn't read the newspapers. His aides then assured reporters that, no, this report wouldn't signal any change in his policies around climate change.

In other words, Bush will continue to delay regulatory action related to global warming, while pledging to invest in more study of the issue in the name of "sound science," before doing anything about it.
"The Bush administration has been playing whack-a-mole trying to beat back its own scientists on global warming; every once in a while they miss one," says Jeremy Symons, who worked at the Environmental Protection Agency in 2001, when the president reneged on his campaign promise to regulate global-warming pollution -- a move, Symons says, done for "no reason other than to appease polluters."

"The strength of the science is overwhelming and it's reflected in this new report," adds Symons, now climate change program manager for the National Wildlife Federation. "It doesn't leave the administration anywhere to hide about the fact that it's not doing anything. The science hasn't changed, but when it comes to policy the Bush administration still has its head in the sand."

It's a repeat of a situation early in Bush's presidency, when he asked the National Academy of Sciences to look into global warming and they found that it is happening and is likely caused by such human activities as burning fossil fuels. The response? The administration just continued to call for further study and even infamously censored mentions of the harmful impact of global warming from a federal environmental report.
whut? me wurry? no way. turn up the a.c., baby, tiz a'gittin too hot in here.

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