"That's here. That's home. That's us."Everything we need to know about the climate change "debate" is contained in these two stories:
1. Humans blamed for climate change
Global climate change is "very likely" to have a human cause, an influential group of scientists has concluded.2. Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said temperatures were probably going to increase by 1.8-4C (3.2-7.2F) by the end of the century.
It also projected that sea levels were most likely to rise by 28-43cm, and global warming was likely to influence the intensity of tropical storms.
. . . the panel concluded that it was at least 90% certain that human emissions of greenhouse gases rather than natural variations are warming the planet's surface.
Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.It really shouldn't be politicized, and it's incredibly frustrating to me -- as someone who really likes this planet and would like to pass it along to his grandchildren in good shape -- that it has been politicized. It's doubly frustrating that something which should really just be a scientific question has been muddled by politicians and industry; and don't be confused by the illusion of debate, because in the scientific community there isn't one.
Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The UN report was written by international experts and is widely regarded as the most comprehensive review yet of climate change science. It will underpin international negotiations on new emissions targets to succeed the Kyoto agreement, the first phase of which expires in 2012. World governments were given a draft last year and invited to comment.
The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees.
I would think jamming more money into the pockets of oil industry executives would be secondary to keeping the environment clean and healthy for ourselves and future generations. I can't believe that isn't a simple idea everyone can agree upon, and I'm quite frankly disgusted whenever I hear someone in my generation arrogantly say, "Why should I care? I'm not going to be here in fifty or one hundred years, anyway."
They should care, because even if they're not around, a whole lot of people will be, including two people who I love very much.