Here is our latest global warming weekly roundup. A lot of big news this week, but what is to be expected?
Global Warming and Extreme Weather Events
Kicking off the global warming news for the week, Bryan Walsh of TIME’s ecocentric blog called this year’s Asian floods the “biggest humanitarian disaster in recent memory—bigger even than the earthquake that hit Haiti in January and the 2004 Asian tsunami.” Walsh also didn’t neglect to say that “the unrelenting rains that have produced the Asian flood is the sort of extreme weather that is likely to become more common with climate change.” Furthermore, he references the global weirding term Thomas Friedman coined that I (and others) love — because it nails the issue so well. “It’s all part of what Thomas Friedman has called ‘global weirding‘—the weather gets strange and unpredictable, with the extremes getting more extreme. ”
After reporting that January through July was the hottest Jan-July on record, NASA went on to reiterate that the heat and extreme weather events in July are what we should be expecting in a warming world — this is “what global warming looks like.” The World Meteorological Organization says basically the same thing in an article titled “Unprecedented sequence of extreme weather events.”
1/5th of Pakistan is under water, thousands have died; over 140 million people in China have been affected by weeks of flooding there; millions of dollars in damage have been caused in Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic from flooding this summer; and fires have killed thousands and caused $15 billion in damage in Russia — this is what climate scientists have been warning us about and this is what will become more and more common in a warming world.
Of course, all of these extreme weather events alone are not conclusive evidence of global warming, but the are exactly what is predicted by climate scientists. Proof of global warming continues to grow, the effects and causes of global warming are becoming more clear, and the scientists are in near unison on these matters… but some still seem determined to wait until their children or grandchildren don’t have food, suffer or die in a storm or fire, or burn
More Global Warming Skeptics Changing Their Views
Someone who has not been the most enlightened when it comes to global warming (or global weirding), science editor of the Daily Mail Michael Hanlon has announced that he is changing is stance on the matter due to recent events in Greenland and his trip to this country (which he now refers to as “Global Warming Ground Zero”). Yesterday, Hanlon wrote: “I have long been something of a climate-change sceptic, but my views in recent years have shifted. For me, the most convincing evidence that something worrying is going on lies right here in the Arctic” (emphasis added). Joss Garman said Hanlon “could previously be seen as the UK’s most influential ‘sceptic’” and has a good story on this and other recent changes in conservative media with regards to global warming.
And on the other side of the Atlantic: “One of America’s most influential global warming skeptics, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers, has finally admitted that global warming is “caused by man.'” Brad Johnson of The Wonk Room has more on this plus a video.
Meanwhile, one of the most infamous and ridiculous global warming deniers in the world, Christopher Monckton (aka Lord Monckton), has been directly and bluntly told by the House of Lords that he needs to stop claiming he is a member of the upper house.
Worst Ethical Scandal in the U.S. Congress
Influential players in the media may be finally coming around, but that doesn’t change that the U.S. Congress (in particular, the Senate) just completely failed acting on this matter. Donald A Brown of Climate Ethics discusses if this is “the worst ethical scandal in the US Congres.” Putting in my 2 cents — yes!
Humans Have More than Heat Waves and Floods to Worry About
Of course, heat waves, fires, hurricanes, and floods are enough of a problem, but another critical problem — mass extinction of species — is expected to result from global warming. Biodiversity is key to our own health and safety as well. This may not be as obvious to many as the threats mentioned above, but I think they are no smaller. A new study out finds that 60% of species recovery plans identify global warming as an extinction threat.
Yes, there’s bad news and bad news on the global warming front. The only good news is that more people are waking up to the problem due to this bad news, but in a few decades, waking people up to the problem will not be the issue.
To follow up this downer post, I have a more uplifting post coming next about green tech and green living news of the week.