Bipartisan Scientists: We Cannot Afford to Have Those Leading Our Nation Misrepresent the Reality and Risks of Climate Change
An excellent piece - but will the people who need to pay attention most even bother? Candidates must deal with facts, not wishes
One of us is a Republican, the other a Democrat. We hold different views on many issues. But as scientists, we share a deep conviction that leaders of both parties must speak to the reality and risks of human-caused climate change, and commit themselves to finding bipartisan solutions.
Good luck with that, given the Koch-worshipers in the modern GOP and Dems too afraid or bought-off to stand up to them.
Scientists have known for more than 100 years that carbon dioxide in our atmosphere traps heat. And today we know that the excess carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere from human activity - primarily, burning coal and oil and clearing forests - is altering our climate.
It’s a conclusion based on established physics and on evidence gathered from satellite data, ancient ice cores, temperature stations, fossilized trees and corals. And it’s a conclusion affirmed by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, established by President Lincoln to advise our nation’s leaders on matters of science.
Speaking of Lincoln…
After former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reiterated his understanding that human activity is warming the planet, Rush Limbaugh denounced him for doing so, saying, “bye-bye nomination.” Romney now says that he doesn’t know what is causing climate change.
Speaking of Romney…
Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently accused climate scientists of “manipulating data.” In Wednesday’s Republican candidate debate, he made an argument like the one tobacco industry executives used to cast doubt on the scientific evidence of smoking’s health risks, saying, “The idea that we would put Americans’ economy in jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense.” Science is never truly settled and no responsible leader would wait for 100 percent certainty to respond to a serious threat.
The US military knows this. Too bad the politicians and voters who enable them don’t.
Making misleading statements about science and picking on scientists is easy. Most would rather defend their findings in peer-reviewed journals than on cable TV. A lie can travel halfway around the world before we even get our lab coats on.
Some politicians, fortunately, are demonstrating a more responsible way to talk about climate change.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, for example, reaffirmed his acceptance of the science in Wednesday’s presidential debate. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has also been speaking up for climate science, even as he has backed away from taking action.
“When you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts,” Christie said last month.
Then please do defer to those experts instead of this guy, Mr. Christie. You do not make good
Whoever wins the next election will lead a nation increasingly affected by climate change, command a Pentagon that calls climate change a national security threat, and preside over federal scientists already working to help states and cities prepare for climate change impacts.
It is time for leaders of both parties to take seriously what science tells us we are doing to our common atmosphere, so we can take up the urgent task of finding solutions on common ground.
At the moment, unfortunately, politicians fiddle while
Rome Earth burns.