Sunday, July 25, 2010

East Coast Heat Wave Silences Climate Change Deniers

Remember how all the climate change deniers came out of the woodwork during last winter's Snowpocalypse? Well, in case you forgot here is a refresher on how they manipulated this weather-related event to turn it into an attack on the science of climate change.

Sean Hannity: "It’s the most severe winter storm in years, which would seem to contradict Al Gore’s hysterical global warming theories."

Newt Gingrich: "Historic snow storm in Washington – third this year – where is Al Gore to explain it snows this heavily as a sign global warming is imminent."

Fast forward to this summer's record-breaking East Coast Heat Wave and where are the climate change deniers now? In their minds if the epic snow storm last winter disproves global warming, wouldn't this unprecedented heat prove it? Of course the real science says that these are mostly weather-related events, not climate events. But that climate change is producing more extreme weather events and that we should get used to more unusually hot summers and cold winters and weird weather in general.

For some perspective on how hot it is, I took these pictures at the bank by my mom's house in North Arlington. It was 92 degrees fahrenheit at 10 p.m.

And when I arrived in New York City yesterday they were in the middle of one of their worst heat waves on record. From the Associated Press:

"In New York City, temperatures in July have averaged 5.5 degrees above normal, according to the private weather service AccuWeather.

The stifling heat this summer seems to be part of a global trend. So far, 2010 is on track to overtake 2005 as the warmest year recorded for the planet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

And today I took the Long Island Railroad Express Train from Manhattan to the Hamptons and found out that there were reports of a waterspout, which is a tornado that develops over water. This is what scientists would call "global weirding" -- strange weather phenomena due to climate change. From the Long Island Press:

"Call it the summer of unusual weather. For Long Islanders on the East End, severe thunderstorms caused power outages and widespread damage Wednesday evening.

East Hampton took the brunt of the beating from the storm, according to National Weather Service forecasters in Upton, which reported that there was also a waterspout sighting. A waterspout is a tornado that occurs over the water. Downed power lines and uprooted trees were also reported."

But I'll let the climate change deniers speak for themselves. This is video of ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl confronting Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who is a famous climate change denier.

In the interview Inhofe says the planet is going through a "cooling period" and that is what all the scientists say. Sorry Mr. Inhofe but you are wrong. From Wikipedia:

"In contrast to the global cooling conjecture, the current scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but undergone global warming throughout the twentieth century."

And this is an excerpt from a story by an AP Science Reporter on titled "Statistics rejects global cooling."

"An analysis of global temperatures by independent statisticians shows the Earth is still warming and not cooling as some global warming skeptics are claiming.

The analysis was conducted at the request of The Associated Press to investigate the legitimacy of talk of a cooling trend that has been spreading on the Internet, fueled by some news reports, a new book and temperatures that have been cooler in a few recent years.

In short, it is not true, according to the statisticians who contributed to the AP analysis.

The statisticians, reviewing two sets of temperature data, found no trend of falling temperatures over time."

But the climate change deniers seem to be unperturbed by actual facts. And when someone at the level of Mr. Inhofe spouts out these spurious claims it has real consequences for the planet as Senator Harry Reid found out recently when he didn't have enough votes to move forward with comprehensive climate change and clean energy legislation.

But thankfully there are sane Senators such as Bernie Sanders who are not afraid to stand up for the overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change and the need for urgent action.

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