Here in the winter of our discontent, Americans are free to deny climate change — or at least put off thinking about it. Unfortunately — according to John Queally from Common Dreams — our friends below the equator don’t have that option, as the land of Oz sweats out this summer’s heatwaves, wildfires, and record-breaking temperatures of 122° Fahrenheit. David Jones, head of the Australia Bureau of Meteorology’s climate monitoring and prediction unit declared, “The current heatwave – in terms of its duration, its intensity and its extent – is now unprecedented in our records [and] The air mass over the inland is still heating up — it hasn’t peaked.”
As a clear sign that Jones and his colleagues view hotter climes and raging wild fires as ‘the new normal’ rather than a temporary phenomenon, they increased the upper range of their heat index today to a shocking 129°F, and ominously named the new color code “Deep Purple.” Whether this is a joking reference to Deep Purple and Journey’s upcoming Australian tour, or merely indicates that they’ve run out of other colors, ‘enquiring minds’ may never know. Australia’s leading scientists — including Jones — unequivocally blame human-made climate change for this summer’s scorching temperatures. In an interview with Ben Cubby from The Age, Jones states:
‘‘Clearly, the climate system is responding to the background warming trend. Everything that happens in the climate system now is taking place on a planet which is a degree hotter than it used to be.
We know that global climate doesn’t respond monotonically – it does go up and down with natural variation. That’s why some years are hotter than others because of a range of factors. But we’re getting many more hot records than we’re getting cold records. That’s not an issue that is explained away by natural variation.”
“Those of us who spend our days trawling – and contributing to – the scientific literature on climate change are becoming increasingly gloomy about the future of human civilization.
We are well past the time of niceties, of avoiding the dire nature of what is unfolding, and politely trying not to scare the public. The unparalleled setting of new heat extremes is forcing the continual upwards trending of warming predictions for the future, and the timescale is contracting.”
- We haven’t signed the Kyoto Protocol: Although the United States has signed the Kyoto Protocols governing carbon emissions back in December, 1997, we aren’t bound by its provisions because the US senate and house still haven’t ratified it. In fact, our illustrious senate unanimously passed the Byrd-Hagel resolution earlier that year, stating that “it was not the sense of the senate that the United States should be a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol.” In our failure to agree to binding obligations to reduce emissions and greenhouse gasses, we join our fellow third world nations, Afghanistan, Andorra, and South Sudan.
- We’ve sat in denial: Despite all scientific evidence to the contrary, more Republicans believe in demonic possession than in climate change, and we’ve allowed the crackpots to take over the conversation — despite the fact that 97 percent of scientists agree that “climate change is real and is being driven by human activity.”
- Oh, and we’ve bought gas guzzling sports utility vehicles. Lots of gas guzzling sports utility vehicles.
|Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, “like” her on facebook, or follow her on Twitter. For more articles by Elisabeth, click here.|