Yesteryear’s climate extremes are today’s climate normals. Yet we are largely oblivious and better off. A hundred years from now the same will be true. Ho hum….
But not everyone thinks this way. Take NASA’s James Hansen for example.
Hansen has recently published a prominent paper (in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS) and placed a prominent op-ed (in the Washington Post) that are aimed at raising the public’s awareness of the impacts of climate change, both now and in the future. In a rather candid admission for a scientific paper (and one which in most cases would have resulted in an immediate rejection), Hansen (and co-authors) proclaim that “…we were motivated in this research by an objective to expose effects of human-made global warming as soon as possible…” To drive the point home further, Hansen’s op-ed was headlined “Climate change is here — and worse than we thought.”…
As more state and other interested parties line-up to contest the EPA’s Endangerment Finding, the EPA is becoming creative in trying to come up with other strategies to justify restricting carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gas) emissions.
One new strategy is to use the Clean Water Act to justify curbing CO2 emissions because they lead to ocean acidification (an impact which itself seems to be overblown). Another is to explore seeking greenhouse gas emissions controls at a local level, under the guise that concentrated local CO2 emissions (i.e. in cities) change the local environment in such a way as to elevate human mortality there.
Never mind that such an impact will never be detectable.
My colleague Pat Michaels refers to this as the EPA’s “whack-a-mole” strategy—while effort is concentrated on trying to beat down one of its pesky and ill-founded CO2-regulating proposals, the EPA pops up another and another and another.…