If you are in the path of Hurricane Dorian, or if your home in the Bahamas has already been destroyed, thoughts of the impact of global warming on our world are probably not foremost in your mind.
No, your life is being seriously disrupted as you try to protect your home and your family as best you can. If you're in a mandatory evacuation zone, you're having to leave your home to find safety elsewhere, worrying all the while about what will happen, wondering whether your house will still be standing when you return.
You watch the ever changing weather forecast, trying to predict where you fit within the track of that massive storm. Should you escape inland? Where would you go? Those are very real concerns that are affecting millions of coastal inhabitants from Florida northward through North Carolina. And, already, at this writing, five deaths from the storm have been reported in the Bahamas and untold numbers of homes have been demolished.
But if you take time to think, as I have done today as we sit here in Myrtle Beach, SC, possibly in the path of Dorian, you get really pissed off. Why? Because the president of the United States continues to deny the impact of global warming on our weather and continues to take actions that will undoubtedly worsen the situation for years to come -- actions that will allow the very industries largely responsible for these problems to cause even more harm.
The science is clear. Human activity, including emissions from fossil fuels and constant degradation of our forests and greenlands in name of progress, has contributed to the steady warming of the earth's temperatures for decades and continues to do so. And those warmer temperatures contribute to the frequency and intensity of storms like Dorian.
So for Trump to deny this and to take action to reverse progress made by previous administrations is either an act of absolute stupidity or of greed-inspired irresponsibility.
A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides a comprehensive assessment of the physical science basis of climate change since 2007 and clearly correlates global warming to changes in hurricane activity in the 21st century as its effects include rising sea levels and increased tropical cyclone rainfall and intensity.
Here is how the report opens:
“Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis” presents clear and robust conclusions in a global assessment of climate change science— not the least of which is that the science now shows with 95 percent certainty that human activity is the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century.
The report confirms that warming in the climate system is unequivocal, with many of the observed changes unprecedented over decades to millennia: warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, diminishing snow and ice, rising sea levels and increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.
These and other findings confirm and enhance our scientific under- standing of the climate system and the role of greenhouse gas emissions; as such, the report demands the urgent attention of both policymakers and the general public.
In the report's Summary for Policymakers, the report states that each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years.
Moreover, the report says that ocean warming, which dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, has steadily occurred for decades. And how many times have you heard meteorologists reporting on hurricanes state that warm ocean waters provide "jet fuel" to hurricanes and helps them grow in intensity?
"Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system," the report states, adding, "Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions."
Yet, our president and his Environmental Protection Agency are doing precisely the opposite of what the name of that agency implies. It is not protecting the environment, it is working to destroy it. And in the process, it is directly worsening the frequency and severity of hurricanes -- storms like Dorian.
And Trump's tweets urging people to stay safe are useless and silly.
That will do a lot of good, Mr. President. Instead of sending out such useless tweets and going golfing while the storm rages, why don't you stop denying reality and start working towards combatting the real global warming threat to humanity?