Tag Archives: Global warming

Global warming risks mount up

The United Nations says that global warming is putting billions of Earth residents at risk.

OK. Earth’s climate is changing and we’d better do something about it. Or else. That settles it, right?

Not even close.


You see, what’s going to happen now is that global warming-climate change deniers are going to take dead aim at the authors of this report. They will say the U.N. is nothing but a bunch of politically correct greeners, lefties whose major intent is to destroy industry as we’ve known it and, while they’re at it, destroy our way of life.

“We’re now in an era where climate change isn’t some kind of future hypothetical,” said the lead author of the report, Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution for Science in California. “We live in an area where impacts from climate change are already widespread and consequential.”

I happen to concur with what the basic outline of the report, which is that the planet’s climate is changing. I’m trying to keep something of an open mind as to the cause: manmade or part of the planet’s ecological cycle.

But let’s assume for a moment that the change in Earth’s climate is all part the planet’s cycle, that there’s nothing we can do about it. Does that mean, then, that we should just sit back and let nature take its course? I think not, given that the very lives of billions of people are going to be affected by things such as sea level increases and possible loss of livelihood as natural resources diminish and possibly disappear.

Extreme weather is getting more extreme. The planet is getting warmer, believe it or not. Yes, we had a chilly winter with lots of snow and ice. The bigger picture tells us that average temperatures continue to rise.

Would reductions in greenhouse gas emissions matter? Must we end the massive deforestation in the tropics? Yes to both. Is there a relationship between the deforestation and the increase in greenhouse gas? Duh!

That’s one example of how humans can affect the change in climate. The report is much more comprehensive and should be taken seriously.

Yes, especially if it comes from the United Nations.

Winter chill vs. climate change

Here come the deniers, the folks who take every opportunity to deny what science has declared to be fact, that Earth’s climate is changing.

Much of the nation is locked in a deep freeze. Hey, it’s winter. It happens every year at the time. Correct?


The Texas Panhandle is no different in that regard. Some of our locals like to brag about how cold it gets every winter. The wind howls and we joke about having to string another length of barbed wire to keep the wind from blowing in from the Arctic.

Of course, this time of year brings out those who keep insisting the planet’s climate isn’t changing. Well, it is.

The debate, as I’ve tried to note all along, isn’t whether the climate is changing. The debate ought to center on its cause. Manmade or natural?

I’m not smart enough to make that determination myself. I try to leave it to scientists who’ve spent many lifetimes studying these things. Many of them say human beings have caused the climate to change by (a) emitting carbon dioxide into the air and (b) laying waste to hundreds of millions of acres of forestland populated by trees that replace the CO2 with oxygen. Others say the climate change is part of the epochal cycle the planet experiences every few million years — and that we’re entering the next cycle.

I tend to believe the human factor is the cause.

I’ll repeat something my dear late mother used to say about those who cannot see the big picture, that they’re “so narrow-minded they can look through a keyhole with both eyes.”

Look at the big picture, folks.

‘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.

Yep, the planet is warming

My late mother had a saying that took to task those who failed to see the big picture.

“That guy is so narrow minded,” Mom would say, “that he can look through a keyhole with both eyes.”

It always made for a good chuckle when she said it, but her wry wit seems a bit more topical these days when I hear people debate whether Planet Earth is getting warmer. More evidence has arrived that suggests it is doing exactly that.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has issued a report that talks about melting ice caps, rising sea levels, loss of marine habitat and threats to coastal communities on every continent. The average annual temperature worldwide is getting warmer, NOAA reports.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that the State of the Climate report also notes, “Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reached 400 parts per million last May, and averaged 392.6 for 2012, the highest in 800,000 years.”

The CO2 level is troublesome in this regard: The deforestation of tropical regions in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia is well-known; those trees didn’t just die of “natural causes.” They were cut down by human beings and as we all learned in junior high school science class, vegetation — such as trees — consume CO2 while emitting oxygen.

The global-warming naysayers keep harping on anecdotal evidence that the world isn’t actually getting warmer. They chide environmentalists such as former Vice President Al Gore for crying “wolf!” over the global warming issue. Remember the brutal winter we had in the Amarillo in late 2012 and early 2013? The temps stayed cold for seemingly forever. Yes, the prolonged cold produced plenty of jokes debunking the global warming “alarmists” who supposedly are out to destroy the fossil-fuel industry because of all that gas it spews into the atmosphere.

Let’s not debate that global warming is in fact occurring. We can debate, perhaps, whether it’s manmade or part of the planet’s epochal cycle. Either way, a lot of human beings and wildlife are being put at risk.

Does humankind have a way to stem global warming? Sure it does. First, though, it has to find the will.