Standing up for climate change science in D.C.
Big Media tweeters are whinging this afternoon that mean old President Obama won't let them watch him play golf today. As Ed Henry explains this is very troubling because, transparency! He's aghast that America is being cheated out of this golden press opp to check out the presidential golf swing. Meanwhile, not seeing any of those very important journalists mentioning this huge climate change demonstration in the heart of their Village:
On Sunday, an estimated crowd of 35,000 people joined the Forward On Climate rally in Washington, DC, where protesters delivered a clear message to President Obama: Take immediate action on climate change by rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Organizers of the rally described as the “largest in U.S. history” also called on the president to issue overdue Clean Air Act standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants.Pretty sure those Americans Ed is so worried about would be better served by becoming informed about the enormous cost of ignoring climate change.
Last month, 13 federal agencies jointly released a draft of the third National Climate Assessment, which concluded, simply, “Climate change is already affecting the American people.” The report found that climate change, caused by human activities, has caused rising sea levels, more frequent and intense heat waves, heavy downpours, floods, and droughts. And that’s not all. Prolonged heat waves and droughts, driven by climate change, are pushing down production of crops and livestock, thus driving up food prices. The changes are also sparking larger and more frequent wildfires; melting the glaciers and mountain snowpack that are essential sources of water supply in the West; and lowering the levels in major bodies of water, from the Colorado and Mississippi rivers to the Great Lakes.That doesn't nearly cover the scope of the ripple effects which they cover at the link. But the big takeaway is we're doing it wrong. We spending too much money on repairs and virtually none on preventation and mitigation. Which costs us infinitely more in the long run.
A 2012 study by the Madrid-based group DARA found that extreme weather associated with climate change is costing the world economy $1.2 trillion a year, destroying 1.6 percent of global gross domestic product. The study projects that the effects of climate change could cut global GDP by 3.2 percent a year by 2030.And the thing is, the scientists were too cautious in their predictions. It's happening a lot faster than anyone predicted. What were once 1-in-100-year events are now more likely to be 1-in-10-year events. Useful to notice that two of the "most significant storms in the past 300 years to strike the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. have occurred within just four months from one another."
In the last 100 years, the third would be the blizzard of 1978. Watch the archived newscast of the 78 blizzard to see how far we've come in tracking the storms. But better forecasting, while it probably saves some lives, won't save us from the damage that gets greater with every major onslaught of extreme weather.
Reasonably sure you won't see Ed Henry talking about this on the TV. However, I'd be willing to bet he'll tell you Obama and Tiger Woods played golf and they wouldn't let the very important press to come along.