Tag Archives: Global warming

Yes, climate is changing

You hear it almost unfailingly whenever we get hit with a cold snap, such as what has gripped North Texas — and much of the rest of the country of late.

It comes from climate change deniers who scoff at the notion that our climate is changing, and the globe is getting warmer. I heard it the other morning while having breakfast with some gentlemen with whom I am acquainted. They dissed the notion of global warming.

I didn’t say a word, as I don’t know them well enough to challenge such nonsense.

One of our local TV meteorologists put it well recently in a public service announcement. The weather, he said, defines what is happening in the moment, while “climate” defines longer-term trends.

That was his way of telling us to disregard current weather conditions when discussing whether the climate is changing.

I believe he is correct.

I remember the time during an earlier D.C. cold snap when climate change denier U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma took a snowball to the floor of the Senate to make some kind of idiotic argument that climate change is a hoax, a product of liberals seeking to damage to the fossil fuel industry which, I should add, was a big contributor to Inhofe during his years in public life.

The term “global warming” has for all intent been replaced by “climate change,” which I believe is a more inclusive description of what is happening to our good Earth. We indeed are suffering through more climate extremes from year to year.

The data we receive from worldwide meteorological organizations is beyond dispute. It is that despite these cold snaps, Earth’s mean temperature is rising year over year, the global ice caps are melting, mountain glaciers are receding and that thousands of species of wildlife are endangered by the changing climate.

When I hear the climate change deniers dismiss the evidence because they’re bundling up to protect against frigid air temps, I am left only to shake my head in dismay at their ignorance.

Climate is changing … period

Let’s be sure to wait for what’s to come this winter, as it likely will drive many environmentally conscious Americans to the verge of screaming out loud.

We have endured a searing summer, with high-temperature records falling seemingly every day. It has become almost a given in weather-watching circles that severe summers usually precede severe winters. We’ll go from very hot to very cold.

What will be the mantra we can expect to hear? It will come from climate-change deniers who, when trying to stay warm during the next frigid winter, will express open doubt that Earth indeed is getting warmer.

Let’s hold on for a moment, eh?

There’s a simple difference between the terms “weather” and “climate.” Weather is intended to examine day-to-day events. Climate looks at the longer term. So, when someone says the climate isn’t changing because it’s cold on a given winter day, then he or she is blowing it out of his backside.

Many of us prefer the current term of art, which is “climate change,” rather than “global warming.”

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association reports damn near every year about how our climate events are getting more frequent and more severe.

Of course, the linchpin argument centers on the reasons for the intense change. I happen to be one American patriot who believes human beings are significantly responsible for the change in our climate. Thus, I won’t listen to the climate-change deniers.

We are throwing carbon emissions into the air; we are cutting trees and removing plant life that turns carbon dioxide into oxygen. This isn’t happening by itself. It is happening because human beings are acting irresponsibly.

I am preparing for a severe winter. I also am getting ready to listen to the doubters who will deny the obvious, that our climate is changing.

Yep, climate is changing

The heat that is bearing down on us in Texas has quelled the arguments too often heard from those who deny the obvious.

Which is that Earth’s climate is changing … and that human beings are largely responsible for the intense warming we’re experiencing.

We keep setting heat records in the Dallas/Fort Worth area damn near daily. The weather forecasters look down the calendar for the next week to 10 days and they say the same thing: No relief is in sight.

Now, I truly understand the difference between weather and climate. It’s just that the current weather is acting like a harbinger of what we can expect in the years — maybe decades — to come.

National weather organizations tell us constantly that months are getting warmer; our ocean water is getting warmer, spurring more intense storms.

Many news networks long ago quit interviewing climate change deniers, telling us their arguments are not valid, that they promote lies. I’m fine with that.

And so, here we are. The summer of 2023 has been a brutal event so far.

I am ready for autumn. Then again, that remains the same as it has been for as long as I can remember.

Until then, I am quite content to live without listening to the crap offered by those who deny the obvious.

Heat wave: not a new issue

All this chatter about how hot the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean have become during this murderous summer heat wave reminds me of an episode my family and I experienced in the early 1990s.

We were living in Beaumont, Texas. One weekend I was mowing the lawn during a heat wave; the temperature was in the high 90s, the humidity was the same. It felt like 200 degrees out there.

Finally, I quit mowing. I walked inside and announced to my wife and sons, “We’re going to the beach!” We packed up our 1987 Honda Civic with coolers full of drinks, beach towels, a couple of folding chairs … and off we drove.

We headed south toward the Gulf of Mexico, we hung a left at Sabine Pass and drove to Holly Beach, La., one of our favorite — and unexplored — resorts on the coast. We drove our Honda onto the beach, piled out of the car and ran into the surf.

My … God! The water had to be 100 degrees!

So, this is my way of telling you that what we’re experiencing these days is nothing new. Am I dismissing the climate change/global warming arguments? Not … one … bit!

I am going to submit that the human impact on our climate has been decades in the making and that its effect has been felt long before what many of us are experiencing in the summer of 2023.

We are pouring carbon emissions into the air; we are ridding the planet of trees that replace the carbon dioxide with oxygen. Plenty of politicians have warned us that we are approaching — or have surpassed already — the point of no return. Others, including scientists, say we can still save this planet of ours.

We had better get busy. As of this very moment, it’s the only planet we have in this vast universe.


Climate change: legislative target

President Biden’s recent success has prompted plenty of discussion about whether his political standing will hold up through the 2024 election, presuming he actually runs for re-election.

I want to look briefly at one aspect of Biden’s hot streak. It’s the Inflation Reduction Act and the provision contained in it that deals straight ahead with what I consider to be the nation’s most serious existential threat: climate change.

Forbes magazine has taken a good look at specific aspects of the IRA. Here is its summary of the climate change aspect of the law:

The bill includes numerous investments in climate protection, including tax credits for households to offset energy costs, investments in clean energy production and tax credits aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

Now, I have to ask: Why is any of that such a bad thing?

The Inflation Reduction Act is a slimmed-down version of Biden’s Build Back Better legislative ideal. He couldn’t get all Democrats — let alone any Republicans — to buy into the initial version of the bill. So, he settled on this dialed-back facsimile.

What I find horribly disconcerting from GOP critics is their insistence that efforts to curb carbon emissions is a “job killer.” In a way, yes, this emphasis will reduce jobs … in the fossil fuel industry. The payback, though, comes with investment in new clean-energy jobs. 

Here’s What’s In The Inflation Reduction Act – Forbes Advisor

You might recall a statement that 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said about her plan to convert to clean energy. She pledged to virtually eliminate fossil fuel jobs; her foes led by GOP nominee Donald Trump hammered her mercilessly. Except that she said in the very next sentence that she would want to replace those fossil fuel jobs with clean energy jobs.

Here’s a bit more from Forbes: Though the bill may fall short of bringing immediate price relief to consumers, it’s monumental in other ways. According to The Wilderness Society, a nonprofit land conservation organization established in 1935, the Inflation Reduction Act is described as a “breakthrough” on climate policy.

A “breakthrough on climate policy”? I agree about whether this bill bring much immediate relief on inflation. However, I am going to retain a belief that tax breaks and household incentives are going to bring immediate relief to the stresses humankind is putting on our fragile planet.


Biden to use his power

President Biden has made a vow that many of us will seek to ensure he keeps it.

He pledges to use all the executive authority contained in his high office to wage war against climate change, which he labels — quite correctly — as an “existential threat” to the nation’s security.

Biden cannot depend on Congress to enact legislation. Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who seems to take pleasure in torpedoing Biden’s agenda, signaled yet again he won’t back any legislative answers to climate change.

That means, according to Biden, that he will use the power of his office to take whatever measures he can legally take.

Let’s understand that only one person is elected on a national scale: the president of the United States. The Constitution does distribute power to the legislative and judicial branches of government. Individual senators, House members or judges, though, do not have the authority bestowed on the individual who is elected by the entire nation.

Thus, President Biden is spot on in his effort to deploy the power of his office to do what Congress is unable — and unwilling — to do.

That is to declare war on climate change. Many of us are keeping our eyes open to ensure he follows through.


Yeah, it’s hot … but wait

I keep sweating through my shirts, soaking them and me to an annoying level. It’s been hotter ‘n hell out there for most of July and is likely to stay that way in North Texas through the next month, too.

Let us, though, put a thing or two in perspective.

Does the current heat wave prove without a doubt that Earth’s climate is changing? Nope. It doesn’t prove a thing, only that it’s damn hot.

I am reminded of when a U.S. senator traipsed onto the floor of that chamber with a snowball in hand. Republican Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a noted climate change denier, sought to use the snowball as absolute proof that climate change — aka global warming — is the hoax he has said it is.

Inhofe was wrong. Indeed, he insulted the intelligence of many others of us who do believe that Earth’s climate is changing, that the planet’s temperature is rising.

So,, juxtaposed with that example, I want to caution those who would equate the current blistering heat as proof of the thing that Inhofe said is a hoax are mistaken if they equate the current heat wave with climate change.

A Dallas-Fort Worth network affiliate station, WFAA-TV, has been running a public service announcement that seeks to explain the difference between “climate” and “weather.” WFAA meteorologist Greg Fields makes the point that “weather” measures conditions in the moment, while “climate” conditions should be measured over lengthy periods of time.

That’s a boiled-down explanation of what many of us have known all along. Still, I happen to believe that our climate is changing. I also believe humankind has played a huge role in that bringing about that change. And … I believe we need to get busy to mitigate the damage that we keep doing to it.

Let us complain all we want about the hot weather. Heck, I’m doing plenty of it myself. However, let us take care that we don’t conflate today’s 100-degree blast with the changing of Earth’s climate.


Remember the chill? Me neither!

Memories are too short, given that we rarely remember what we bitched about when the weather outside was the extreme opposite of what it is at this moment.

I am complaining a lot these days about the North Texas blast furnace that has brought us record heat, with no relief in short-term sight … although I heard a TV weather forecaster this morning say something about a “cold front” that might be heading our way.

It wasn’t that long ago when my complaints concerned winter’s grip over North Texas and how it wouldn’t let go. We had daily temps at or near freezing. Oh, and then we remembered what it was like around here a year ago, when the killer freeze swept in over the entire state. It killed hundreds of Texans and forced our junior U.S. senator, Republican Ted Cruz, to flee to Cancun while the rest of us were shivering.

The winter of 2021-22 did let go. Boy, did it ever!

We are just now entering summer. This is Day Two? Holy smokes, man! What is gonna happen when the dog days arrive?

This much is certain. I won’t wish for winter to clamp its icy grip on us. I also will refrain from complaining about “climate change,” because I know that today’s weather has little do with Earth’s climate.

Stay cool, folks.


Hey, it’s still just spring!

You’ll remember, I am sure, when we all were bitching about the freezing temperatures, about how winter just wouldn’t release its grip on North Texas.

It wasn’t that long ago, right?

Well, we don’t have to gripe about shivering at night.

The weather guys and gals are telling us we’re going to set heat records this weekend in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area. Temps are going to approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit!

Now, let me be clear about something. I am not going to launch into a climate change rant; I’ll save that for another day.

I just want to remind everyone — I hope you’re sitting down for this — that the start of summer is still five weeks away!

Stay cool, y’all.


POTUS reverses predecessor’s denial

Joe Biden sees climate change as an existential threat to the nation and the world.

Donald Trump called it, among other things, a “hoax,” a figment of the “fake media” and its obsession with leftist policies.

Biden is correct. His predecessor is wrong. Biden was correct to return the United States to the Paris Climate Accord; Trump was wrong to pull us out the accords in 2017.

Which is why many of us are applauding President Biden’s decision to return to the climate change negotiating table and to hammer out potential solutions to what the scientific community has concluded: that humankind’s contribution to the changing world climate compels it to seek solutions.

Biden selected former Secretary of State John Kerry to serve as the administration’s spokesman on climate change issues. He brought Kerry with him to Glasgow to talk with other world leaders about the United States’ potential role in seeking answers to the crisis.

Indeed, Kerry is no novice at this level of international diplomacy. He served for four years as chief diplomat during the Obama administration. Prior to that he served in the U.S. Senate, ran for president in 2004 and distinguished himself as an articulate purveyor of national policy.

So, the United States is back in the climate change game.

That, I daresay, is a very good thing for the future of the planet. Or at least it could be a good thing if the industrialized world pulls its collective head out and gets busy seeking solutions.