Tag Archives: United Nations

‘Climate change’ is real, new study reports

I recently engaged in a brief Facebook “scuffle” with a couple of former journalism colleagues about climate change. They argue that the planet isn’t warming after all, citing studies published in the United Kingdom that back up their contention.

I’ve argued for some time that climate change is real. The only debate, as I’ve viewed it, is whether it’s caused by human beings or whether it’s part of Earth’s ecological cycle.

Well … yet another new report concludes the climate is changing and that — you guessed it — humankind is the culprit. CNN.com reports that the researchers among the most learned in the world and their findings are considered to be a bellwether.


Oh, my. Here we go again.

CNN.com reported today: “Climate scientists are 95 percent confident — that is to say, surer than ever — that humans are responsible for at least ‘half of the observed increase in global average surface temperatures since the 1950s.'”

The study comes from the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change. I know exactly what my friends on the right — the climate-change deniers — are going to say about that: The United Nations? Everyone knows the U.N. is run by a bunch of political lefties who are out to destroy the industrial world as we’ve known it. They point to the occasional cold snap that blows in over the Panhandle as “proof” that global warming and climate change are hoaxes cooked up by former Vice President Al Gore’s cabal of environmental whack jobs.

I tend to view the U.N. — and Vice President Gore — more seriously than their critics.

CNN reported further: “Scientists are 90 percent sure that 1981-2010 was the warmest such span in the last eight centuries, and there’s a 66 percent chance that it was the warmest 30-year period in the last 1,400 years.

“While the last 15 years have not warmed as quickly, we’ve seen steady warming over most of the globe, and we haven’t seen a below-average temperature month since February 1985.”

Is this the end of the debate? Hardly. It’s just going to heat up even more … kind of like the way the planet has been getting hotter.

Obama to seek congressional permission on Syria

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz recently called President Obama “imperial” and “lawless.”

The junior U.S. senator from Texas, of course, is fond of tossing out pejorative terms, often recklessly.

I’m curious now whether he feels that way about the Obama administration as it seeks congressional approval to strike at Syria in response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on civilians, including women and children.


I’m quite certain Cruz would vote “no” on a congressional resolution. But in the grand scheme, seeking congressional approval for a strike is both wise politically and from a policy standpoint.

Politically, a “no” vote from the House and Senate puts the monkey on lawmakers’ backs for failing to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad for gassing innocent victims. The president has made a compelling case that Assad’s military machine needs to be punished severely for this horrifying action. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, two former senators with extensive foreign policy experience — not to mention actual military combat experience — have declared their outrage over the chemical weapons attack.

Obama now seems willing to ask Congress for is approval. He is willing to wait for House members and senators to return from their month-long recess before taking the issue up with them. He’s consulted heavily with congressional leaders along with our allies to line them up in support of whatever action might occur.

Is there a lesson to be learned from the British Parliament’s rejection of a use-of-force resolution? That remains to be seen. For now, any U.S. action likely will be done solely with our military might.

The Navy is standing by, as are all available forces that would be deployed against the Syrians.

All the president needs — and it’s no small task — is an approval by the rest of the country’s elected representatives.

I’ll weigh in with this: Congress should approve a limited, but decisive, strike against the Syrian military. However, if it says “no” to such an action, the president would be wise to heed Congress’s “advice and consent” on this critical matter.

As for some of the loudmouths who serve on Capitol Hill, they ought to put a lid on the nasty name-calling and give the president credit for asking their permission to act.

Syria should present unifying threat

Suppose the president of the United States orders aerial strikes against Syria.

And suppose those strikes involve manned aircraft, piloted by young American servicemen and women who are thrust into harm’s way by their commander in chief’s order.

What will be our national response? Are we going to rally behind our commander in chief or will we second-guess, armchair quarterback and be openly critical — if not hostile — toward those who issue the order?

I’m hoping for a unifying effect.


President Obama is weighing his options carefully. He’s meeting with congressional leaders, the very folks who insist that the president consult with them before taking action. He’s calling allies around the world, enlisting others to join in a coalition to strike against Syria, which used chemical weapons against its own people. Secretary of State John Kerry called it a “moral outrage,” and no national leader anywhere with a conscience can — or should — condone such an act.

It’s not yet clear whether we’re going to become involved in an all-out shooting war in Syria. Obama’s stated mission would be to punish the Syrians for violating a widely accepted tenet of international behavior. The use of chemical weapons crosses that so-called “red line” the president said exists in that conflict.

The late U.S. Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, R-Mich., once said that partisan disagreements must stop “at the water’s edge.” Will we heed the wise man’s words?