You write: "In February President Obama said, a little carelessly, that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism." What do you mean? "A little carelessly"!?? Where do you two get off belittling the physical reality and future consequences of ongoing documented trends? You willfully ignore decades worth of global news so as to remain "innocent" to the evolving situation.
(At the end this letter I share a response to the op/ed's lies from 7 leading climate scientists.)
What terrorist threat to New York is greater than the threat of it's streets, subways and subterranean infrastructure being inundated by the ocean? What terrorist threat is greater than killer heat waves, such as the one visited on France in 2003 and sure to revisit? What terrorist threat is greater than the potential impacts of continued severe drought on California?
STOP HIDING ! TAKE A LOOK !
It is simply ludicrous pretending our weather doesn't have a deep impact on the wellbeing of our economy at every level, from agriculture, to transportation, construction, communication, the power-grid, even your beloved military-industrial complex and beyond. Not to mention our own wellbeing as we go about our day to days.
Future, too hideous to imagine? After half a century of knowing, yet doing nothing but pursuing personal greed and powerlust, no doubt.
Neither fancy-word-dancing, ideological hatred, or the God of ancient tribal texts can do anything about it. We've done this to ourselves and it's ours alone to deal with. Pretending it's not happening won't help.
Sequestering yourselves within your exclusionary echo-chamber and blinding yourself to most of the evidence out there,
won't make it go away!
- The statement that the world has warmed at half the rate predicted in 1990 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is false. The IPCC predicted that warming between 2015 and 1990 would be between about 0.35 and 0.60 °C. The actual temperature change during that period is 0.5 °C. The statement, besides being false, also ignores that the world has already warmed a total of 1 °C since the start of the industrial revolution, and that as temperatures continue to climb, we are headed into territory not seen in thousands of years. The assertion that the world has been warmer several times in the past 10,000 years is not supported by the most comprehensive temperature reconstructions, and ignores the fact that a continued temperature rise this century will rapidly take the world beyond any climate experienced in that 10,000 year period.
- The statement that there has been no increase in the frequency or intensity of storms, floods or droughts also is flat-out wrong. A recently-released UN study found that both the frequency and intensity of storms and floods has increased over the past decade, and that weather-related disasters are occurring at almost twice the rate as they did two decades ago. The authors also ignore the clear increases in the most deadly type of extreme events caused by climate change — heat waves.
- The claim that Antarctic ice is increasing is based on an isolated paper that has numerous uncertainties associated with it and is contradicted by many other observations. But more importantly, everywhere on Earth, it is clear we are losing ice and that we have likely already entered a period of major ice shelf retreat, with no mechanisms in sight to stop this retreat over the next hundreds to thousands of years. As University of Bristol Professor Jonathan Bamber has written: “West Antarctica has been losing mass at an increasing rate since the 1990s and that trend looks set to continue. The Greenland ice sheet has also been losing mass at an accelerating rate since around 1995. These trends at both poles are huge signals that are unequivocal and uncontested.”
- Finally, the assertion that the cost associated with warming “does not significantly deviate from zero until 3.5°C warming” is one that hardly any scientists or economists agree with, and is contradicted by the overwhelming weight of evidence showing that the adverse impacts from climate change will far outweigh the benefits.
Prof. Eric Wolff, University of Cambridge