Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Climate Change & Intense Hurricanes

Robert F. Kennedy, points out on his blog at The Huffington Post, that scientists see a link between "global warming" or global climate change and the increasing incidents of strong hurricanes. The ocean temperature is rising, the ice caps are melting and ocean temperature plays a role in the formation of hurricanes.

Well, the science is clear. This month, a study published in the journal Nature by a renowned MIT climatologist linked the increasing prevalence of destructive hurricanes to human-induced global warming.
And Kennedy reminds us that Haley Barbour, governor of Mississippi, has contributed to the problems his state is now facing:
As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, it’s worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush’s iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2.

“A moment of truth is arriving,” Barbour wrote, “in the form of a decision whether this Administration’s policy will be to regulate and/or tax CO2 as a pollutant. The question is whether environmental policy still prevails over energy policy with Bush-Cheney, as it did with Clinton-Gore.” He derided the idea of regulating CO2 as “eco-extremism,” and chided them for allowing environmental concerns to “trump good energy policy, which the country has lacked for eight years.”
As we used to say in the Ozarks, "The chickens have come home to roost." But rather than admit the truth, the Repugs would rather kill the messengers.

The Guardian reports that they are working hard to intimidate climatologists:

Some of America's leading scientists have accused Republican politicians of intimidating climate-change experts by placing them under unprecedented scrutiny.

A far-reaching inquiry into the careers of three of the US's most senior climate specialists has been launched by Joe Barton, the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on energy and commerce. He has demanded details of all their sources of funding, methods and everything they have ever published.

Mr Barton, a Texan closely associated with the fossil-fuel lobby, has spent his 11 years as chairman opposing every piece of legislation designed to combat climate change.

He is using the wide powers of his committee to force the scientists to produce great quantities of material after alleging flaws and lack of transparency in their research. He is working with Ed Whitfield, the chairman of the sub-committee on oversight and investigations.

The scientific work they are investigating was important in establishing that man-made carbon emissions were at least partly responsible for global warming, and formed part of the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which convinced most world leaders - George Bush was a notable exception - that urgent action was needed to curb greenhouse gases.

The demands in letters sent to the scientists have been compared by some US media commentators to the anti-communist "witch-hunts" pursued by Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.

You have to ask yourself who has the greater credibility: scientists or politicians?