CLIMATE CHANGE - GLOBAL WARMING
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Never before in recorded history has the earth’s surface been visible below the polar ice cap –
UNTIL NOW !
Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Sun’s energy varied.
But in the past century, another force has started to influence Earth’s climate: HUMANITY !
Why The Controversy ?
The global warming controversy includes a variety of disputes about the nature, causes, and consequences of global warming. The debates, however, are more in the popular media than in the scientific literature. The disputed issues involve the causes of increased global average air temperature, especially since the mid-20th century, whether such a warming trend is unprecedented or within normal climatic variations, whether humankind has contributed significantly to it, and whether the increase is wholly or partially an artifact of poor measurements. Additional disputes concern estimates of climate sensitivity, predictions of additional warming, and what the consequences of global warming will be.
However, in the scientific literature, there is a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused mainly by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. No scientific body of national or international standing disagrees with this view, though a few organizations hold non-committal positions. (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
From James P. McGovern District Update March 15, 2022.
Amid a historically unstable period for global oil and gas prices, many families are experiencing real financial stress and wondering how we can end America’s dependence on foreign energy. It’s a good question.
Sadly, Big Oil companies and their corrupt backers in Congress are asking something different: how can they exploit this moment to drive up profits and build even more dirty infrastructure?
They claim price increases are driven by President Biden’s energy policies, but this is a lie.
The Biden administration is actually outpacing Trump in the approval of new permits to drill, and the U.S. oil industry is already sitting on 9,000 unused permits.
And even though the United States is the number one producer of oil in the world, these companies still aren’t even producing as much crude oil as they did before the pandemic. They’re choosing instead to meet the resurgence of demand with an artificial shortage to jack up their profits.
Although our country has been a net-exporter of fossil fuel energy since 2019, the volatile nature of a global commodity like oil means that prices can never be fully insulated from geopolitical events.
Adding to corporate America’s deception is the disingenuous insistence that new fossil fuel supplies could be available in time to make a difference.
We can’t just flip a switch to turn on the Keystone XL pipeline, as GOP leadership claims. The reality is Keystone XL was never even built—and experts estimate it would only lower gas prices by a single cent per gallon.
Greedy fossil fuel companies know this, but they want to lock us in to new infrastructure and long-term contracts that keep America dependent on them.
GOP leadership might be content pledging allegiance to fossil fuel talking points, but you shouldn’t be.
President Biden is taking immediate steps to lower gas prices for you and your family and address Big Oil’s price gouging.
But we all need to ask why we should give any thought to new drilling and pipelines at all, when the path to energy independence lies with clean energy.
Ditching fossil fuels once and for all would be much more effective, cheaper, and safer than giving Big Oil their wish list.
Why? Because the past decade has brought us lightyears ahead in clean energy and electric vehicle technology. Wind and solar are now among the cheapest forms of energy on the planet, and advances in batteries and other technologies make clean energy an obvious choice.
Renewables are also faster to build, in large part because they can be built in a decentralized fashion, in many places, and scaled up quickly.
And oil and gas already have major problems of their own. American taxpayers subsidize fossil fuels by a staggering $650 billion per year in the form of direct tax breaks for oil and gas companies, cleanup for environmental harms, and health costs associated with the burning of fossil fuels.
The costs of continued reliance on oil and gas are not merely financial, either. Air pollution from burning fossil fuels leads to as many as 9 million premature deaths every year. And of course, there is the greatest cost of all: climate change.
In fact, if we do not transition away from fossil fuels, the global costs will be a staggering $551 trillion—more than the sum of all wealth on Earth. Clean energy is the bargain of the century.
The claim that our energy independence lies hidden at the bottom of new oil wells or at the end of new pipelines is a lie.
And in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s horrific and unprovoked attack on the people of Ukraine, pushing that lie on Americans—who want to stand up to oil bullies like Putin—amounts to war profiteering.
Putin wants to invade his way into an empire and use his oil to blackmail the world—and the best way to stop him is to make his oil worthless.
So we have a choice. We can believe Big Oil’s lies and resign ourselves to an energy future that is too clumsy to cut the legs out from oil bullies like Putin, too costly to sustain, and too sluggish to stave off irreparable harm to the planet.
Or we can choose one that secures true energy independence, prosperity for our communities, international stability, and a livable world for our children.
I say we pick the latter.
Yours in Service,
James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
CLIMATE CHANGE – GLOBAL WARMING FACT SHEET
Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change
By Justin Gillis. New York Times. Updated July 6, 2017
WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING, ANYWAY?
Ø Global warming is caused by the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into earth’s atmosphere. The gases act like a thick blanket, trapping the sun’s heat and causing the planet to warm up. Increase the gases and the warming increases, too. These gases are created when we burn fossil fuels in our cars and power plants as well as by loss of forests and agriculture.
Ø Scientists find clues to global warming by studying remnants of the past in ancient glacial ice, ocean sediments as well as tree and coral rings.
Ø Global warming is problematic to human civilization because it will cause increasingly severe storms and droughts, glaciers to melt, rising seas, changes in weather patterns, the spread of disease.
Ø Automobiles and coal-burning power plants are the two biggest sources of carbon dioxide in the U.S. Clearing of forests is also an important source worldwide.
Ø Scientists say that unless we curb global warming emissions, average temperatures could rise by 3 to 9 degrees by the end of this century – in our grandchildren’s lifetime!.
SURPRISING SCIENTIFIC STATS ON GLOBAL WARMING
Ø Recent data from Antarctic ice cores indicates that carbon dioxide concentrations are now higher than at any time during the past 650,000 years, which is as far back as measurements can now reach.
Ø 2005 was the warmest year on record since atmospheric temperatures have been measured. The ten warmest years on record have all been since 1990. In summer 2005, and in every year since, heat records were broken in hundreds of U.S. cities.
Ø Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history.
Ø In 2003, heat waves caused over 30,000 deaths in Europe and 1500 deaths in India.
Ø Since 1978, arctic sea ice has been shrinking by about 9 percent per decade – a total of 29% to date.
Ø Seagulls were spotted for the first time ever at the North Pole in 2000.
Ø The snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro, at their current rate of melt, may be gone by 2020.
PREDICTED EFFECTS AS TEMPERATURES RISE
Ø Global warming is predicted to increase the intensity of hurricanes. In the past several decades, the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes globally has almost doubled. Because the ocean is getting warmer, tropical storms can pick up more energy and become far more powerful.
Ø Even as severe storms cause flooding in some areas, droughts and wildfires will increase in others.
Ø Low-lying islands, some capes and coastlines will no longer be habitable due to rising sea level.
Ø Forests, farms and cities will face troublesome new pests and more mosquito-borne diseases.
Ø Disruption of habitats such as coral reefs and alpine meadows could drive many plant and animal species to extinction.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Ø Energy efficiency, conservation, renewable sources of energy and new policies will all be part of the solution. Much of this technology already exists to reverse the effects of global warming. Immediate steps include building cleaner cars, CFL light bulbs, manufacturing more efficient appliances and conserving energy on an international basis.
Ø Individuals can make an immediate difference by trying to reduce their personal greenhouse gas emissions.
Ø Major corporations are already finding ways to cut emissions while still saving money – but there is tremendous opportunity for more innovation.
Ø Developing and making available new clean energy technologies — such as wind power, solar power, hybrid electric engines, and alternative fuels – will be key to controlling global warming.
Climate Change Blog