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March 3, 2013

We may ignore or deny it, but climate change is occurring

The National Academy of Sciences was created by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Lincoln on March 3, 1863.

It is the top scientific advisory body in the United States and has advised the nation on all matters of science in times of both peace and war for the past 150 years. The members are elected by their peers, in recognition of achievement in their respective fields.

On May 7, 2010, the academy issued an open letter in the prestigious journal Science on the subject of “Climate Change and the Integrity of Science.” It was signed by 11 Nobel laureates and 255 National Academy of Sciences members in fields related to climate science. The letter received media coverage in both the United States and globally.

Just what did the letter say?

It included five summary points:

▶ “The planet is warming due to increasing concentrations” of greenhouse gases.

▶ “(That) is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.”

▶ “Natural causes … are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.”

▶ “Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times.”

▶ “The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies.”

Has this letter generated any U.S government policy decisions since to address these concerns? No. 

Our House of Representatives and, perhaps less so, the Senate, are in a state of denial.

According to an article published Feb. 21 in the Guardian by Suzanne Goldenberg, “hundreds of millions of dollars” have been spent “on anti-climate action, anti-solar energy and anti-wind energy campaigns” to sow disinformation, confusion and distrust of the science supporting climate change. This money is coming from Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, “promising anonymity to their conservative billionaire patrons …”

Meanwhile our planet’s weather, and climate, continues to reflect the points made in the National Academy of Sciences letter.

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