Tag: Greenhouse gases
As if the world needed any more evidence that man-made global warming is occurring right in front of our eyes, James Hansen recently added another HUGE piece of evidence with his statistical analysis that gives 1 in 10 odds regarding the likelihood of rare temperatures occurring throughout the world without the influence of global warming.
The analysis is so important because its conclusions are based on statistical analysis, not complex climate models whose conclusions are oftentimes as broad as they are difficult to interpret by the "lay" individual. Hansen's statistical analysis simply analyzed global temperatures over the past 60 years and asked, "How likely is this to have occurred in the absence of global warming?" 1 in 10.
This new and important piece of evidence for man-made global warming probably won't win over the skeptics. What Hansen's new analysis should do though is push reluctant politicians from around the world into taking comprehensive and aggressive actions to finally reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that each of our collective societies spews into the atmosphere on a yearly basis.
Even though President Obama has made some courageous moves on the environmental front (most notably, his decision to delay the decision regarding the Keystone XL pipeline), clean energy has seemingly taken a back seat on the president's agenda as election time moves closer to the present. With 80% of the U.S.'s energy consumption coming from fossil fuels, the U.S. stands poised to help reduce the international community's carbon footprint with more aggressive moves towards clean energy. With an increasing worldwide energy demand, it has become more important than ever to move away from fossil fuel sources of energy towards cleaner forms.
Unfortunately, clean energy is not an issue that gets many politicians cookie points. President Obama will continue to hammer away at themes of economic growth, job creation, and the like, giving little attention to clean energy until the next presidential election has passed. If this moves President Obama back into the White House for another four year term, one could argue that ignoring clean energy for the moment is an appropriate political route to take. What's the alternative, Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich in the White House?
1) the scientific evidence of dangerous, man-made climate change is crystal clear and voluminous, as is the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that we need to act urgently - as in, this is a planetary environmental emergency - to slash greenhouse gas emissions NOW;
2) our national security depends heavily on a rapid move off of our "oil addiction," which means first and foremost transitioning the U.S. vehicle fleet to far higher efficiency, and also to clean-energy-generated electricity;
3) our economic future will be determined in large part on how rapidly we transition off of 19th and 20th century fuels (mainly coal and oil) and into 21st century energy sources (efficiency, wind, solar, wave, geothermal, next-generation biofuels, and possibly also nuclear power if the cost, safety, and waste disposal issues are all taken care of.
more on the "flip"