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375 top scientists warn of 'real, serious, immediate' climate threat

Posted on 21 September 2016 by John Abraham

Yesterday, 375 of the world’s top scientists, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, published an open letter regarding climate change. In the letter, the scientists report that the evidence is clear: humans are causing climate change. We are now observing climate change and its affect across the globe. The seas are rising, the oceans are warming, the lower atmosphere is warming, the land is warming, ice is melting, rainfall patterns are changing and the ocean is becoming more acidic.

These facts are incontrovertible. No reputable scientist disputes them. It is the truth.

Despite these facts, the letter reports that the US presidential campaign has seen claims that the earth isn’t warming, or it is only a natural warming, or that climate change is a hoax. These claims are false. The claims are made by politicians or real estate developers with no scientific experience. These people who deny the reality of climate change are not scientists. 

These claims aren’t new. We see them every election cycle. In fact, for the Republican Party, they are a virtual litmus test for electability. It is terribly sad that the party of Lincoln (the president who initiated the National Academy of Sciences) has been rebuked by the National Academy today. It is sad that the party of Teddy Roosevelt, who created the National Park System, is acting in a way antithetical to his legacy. It is also sad that the party of Nixon, who created the Environmental Protection Agency, now is trying to eliminate that very organization.

What is perhaps most sad is that the party of “fiscal conservatism” is leading us on a path that will result in higher economic and social costs for all of us.

What we don’t know is what the future will bring. Will the warming be gradual or sudden? Will ocean rise increase at a faster rate or not? Will we continue to see major ice shelf collapse? Increased droughts and heat waves? Will we be able to adapt?

A rational decision maker would take action to manage the risks from climate change. This threat is to our health, our communities, and our economies. A changing climate with warming seas and an acidifying ocean will cause real economic losses for our generation and for the future.

In the letter, the scientists venture deeper into politics than scientists are generally willing to tread. They describe the inane Republican platform and the foolish position of the Republican nominee Donald Trump. Basically, Trump wishes to scrap our environmental agreements, which have resulted in reductions to our own emissions as well as very strong agreements to reduce global warming through international agreements. 

Despite the excellent work over the past 7 years, we have not seen the increase in energy prices that the denialists claimed would occur. Instead, we’ve seen huge reductions in the cost of wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources.

We were right, they were wrong. We can deliver reliable energy to the USA at a low cost, with less pollution.

We scientists have warned the country and the world about the dangers of climate change for decades. We are now seeing our predictions come true. There are no longer any reputable scientists who disagree that humans are the major factor changing the climate.

Click here to read the rest

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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. It's simply impossible for us scientists to stay politically neutral (as James Hansen always wanted to stay) in such a farcical evironment as GOP & their 2016 presidential candidate have created.

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  2. Unfortunately the solution isn't to attack the Republican party, but rather for the constituents of the Republican party to say enough is enough.

    There are rumblings. But so far no leader to rally behind. When your choices are bad, worse, terrible, or insanely ridiculous, you are forced to simply vote according to other aspects of a platform.

    A Crunchy Con Manifesto
    By Rod Dreher

    1 We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly.
    2 Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character.
    3 Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government.
    4 Culture is more important than politics and economics.
    5 A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative.
    6 Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract.
    7 Beauty is more important than efficiency.
    8 The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom.
    9 We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that “the institution most essential to conserve is the family.
    10 Politics and economics won’t save us; if our culture is to be saved at all, it will be by faithfully living by the Permanent Things, conserving these ancient moral truths in the choices we make in our everyday lives.

    Now if there actually was a crunchy conservative in the presidential race, he would likely win the election hands down. Personally I don't even think it would be close. Might even surpass Reagan's landslide. But a candidate that would give up the huge campaign money they would surely lose out on? Not going to happen. It would take someone as rich as Trump but about 100 IQ points smarter and actually sane.

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  3. John, Why didn't you sign this? If they didn't ask for your signature, why not? Same question for all the many other climatologists out there (?). There is a lot of power-of-voice to having a large group of scientists speak out in a strongly worded letter like this. Routine letters like this (once every 6-12 months) with as many signatures as possible would be a good thing to continue.

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  4. I admire the strong and courageous stand this group of scientists have taken in speaking out. Generally scientists should of course be restrained, but there are cases where it would be absurd to stay silent.

    Every value system has exceptional circumstances. I think its a kind of a whistle blowing issue. Trump is so out of line something had to be said for the sake of humanity as a whole.

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  5. Red Baron @2

    Your conservative agenda is a big step forwards but still not totally compelling to me. (Disclosure of bias, - I lean liberal). For example "6 Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract." It's hard to see on what logical basis anyone can really argue this.

    On what basis is old mostly better than new? Are smartphones a bad thing? It would also suggest opposition to free trade agreements, or other global alliances, and I wasn’t aware conservatives opposed those.

    How about small and local and traditional is sometimes good, and big and global is sometimes good, and let logic and evidence determine which should prevail in specific circumstances. I would also say if we structure policies in a way that is generally as fair as possible to everyone, humanity will go a long way.

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  6. @nigelj,

     Yeah, I must agree. Not every part of the Crunchy Con Manifesto is compelling to me either. I just threw that out there to show there is some opposition to the current crop of corrupt politicians leading the conservative side of the aisle.

    In my opinion those politicians are primarily engaged in molding their constituents views on AGW  and important environmental issues with propaganda, rather than actually representing their constituents views. And BTW, I don't think this phenomenon of attempting to influence rather than reflect is limited to the conservative side either.

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  7. How many more times do scientists have to warn of a real, serious, immediate climate threat before politicians commit to doing something about it?  Politics in science can be trouble, but adding science to politics might result in useful change.  For many, political arguments are about emotion rather than facts, and the climate change "debate" is used as a tool of manipulation at the expense of the evidence.

    Unfortunately, the facts aren't good enough by themselves.  We need to be wise to the political games that garner far more attention than cold, hard facts.  If we can use political lobbying as a means to educate and to actually do something about the problem, then we should.  The thermometer isn't partisan, but the outside world is.

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