Fox News Op-Ed Urging Climate Action

There is a sobering op-ed up on the Fox News website that compares our current response to climate change to the short-sited decisions and inaction by the U.S. and Europe in 1914 that lead to World War I.

The piece, entitled “Time for Real Leadership on Climate Change, Energy and National Security,” was written by David Slayton, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and David Titley, a Professor of Practice in Meteorology at Penn State.

Check it out.

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Terrific New Guide to Climate Change Science

Way too often scientists produce dry, academic publications that make the average person’s eyes glaze over. That is not the case with a booklet just out from U.S. National Academy of Sciences and The U.K. Royal Society. Entitled “Climate Change: Evidence & Causes,” it provides a very clear and accessible source of information on the state of climate science in 2014. It answers commonly asked questions about climate change and explains what scientists know for sure and what they do not.

The booklet was produced by a team of leading climate scientists as a reference resource for policy makers, educators and others who are seeking to better understand climate change

Please check it out. You will find a direct link to the report in the first paragraph of this post and a link to the NAS page for downloading the booklet below.

Climate Change: Evidence & Causes

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What’s Up with the Deep Freeze?

Along with the recent blasts of arctic air dipping south over the U.S. this winter has come the predictable ranting from commentators opposed to action on climate change. They tout the cold weather as proof that global warming is some kind of hoax. Equally predictable, is that come summer, when we are sweltering under triple digit heat, these same folks will be arguing against any climate connection.

Unfortunately, that kind of agenda-driven rhetoric is designed more to manipulate than illuminate.

So, what should a conservative make of this cold weather as it relates to climate change?

The first thing to keep in mind is the difference between weather and climate. Weather events are relatively localized, short-term conditions that are influenced by a wide variety of factors, whereas the climate reflects long-term trends. A changing climate can impact weather in a variety of predictable and unpredictable ways.

The amount of global warming we are experiencing in 2014 does not preclude winter weather, or even a few weeks of record-breaking cold, but it does mean that our winters will be milder (and summers hotter) on average. Ironically, as bitterly cold winter weather becomes more uncommon, the media makes a bigger deal out of every cold snap we have.

While here in the U.S. this winter has been cold compared to recent ones, it is not very cold compared to the record-breaking winters of the late 1800s, early 1900s, 1930s, or late 1970s.

It does not mean a lot globally either. This past December was among the warmest on record worldwide and Australia is currently experiencing an extreme heatwave that is shattering records. It is so hot Down Under that 100,000 bats fell out of the sky and died from heat stress.

The Weather Channel has a well done article on its website explaining our winter weather in the context of climate change. You can read it by clicking on the link below:

Polar Vortex and Climate Change: Why Rush Limbaugh and Others Are Wrong

So dress warmly, drive safe, and enjoy the cold while it lasts–but don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that we no longer need to worry about climate change.

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Nice Op-Ed by Reagan’s EPA Chief on Climate Change

President Reagan’s EPA Chief Lee Terry has written a very powerful op-ed recalling how Reagan responded when climate scientists discovered that compounds used in aerosol sprays and refrigeration equipment (chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs) were destroying the earth’s protective ozone layer.

He recalls that then, like now with climate change, skeptics and special interests opposed action. They wanted Reagan to ignore the problem, but he didn’t. He did what a true conservative is supposed to do, he listened carefully to the experts, weighed all the facts, and took prudent action to safeguard our atmosphere.

It is a great lesson in conservative leadership as told by someone who was there. Read it here: Lee Thomas: Climate change, a present danger .

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Two Great Conservative Op-Eds on Climate Change

Congratulations to two longtime members of Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship for recently having terrific op-eds published urging conservatives to take the lead in efforts to address climate change. South Carolina member Chester Sansbury’s piece, titled Conservatives must counter climate change, appeared in the Charleston Post & Courier, and Wyoming member Paul Vogelheim’s piece, titled Conservatives need to lead on climate change, appeared in the Casper Star Tribune.

Both of these op-eds reference an opinion piece co-authored by four past Republican EPA Administrators that appeared in the New York Times back in August. In their op-ed (A Republican Case for Climate Action) these officials, who served in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush administrations, recalled past Republican leadership on environment issues, lamented the lack of such leadership today, and noted that we cannot wait any longer to address climate change.

Each of these make compelling cases for conservative leadership on climate and are well worth a read.

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Are Climate Skeptics Ignoring God’s Design

A month or so ago Rush Limbaugh commented on his radio show “If you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in man-made global warming.” Since then several articles debating this have appeared on the Christian Post website.

The latest is a guest column written by the author of this blog and titled: Are Climate Skeptics Ignoring God’s Design? It responds directly to a piece written by Calvin Beisner, a well-known climate skeptic and spokesman for The Cornwall Alliance.

Please check it out.

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Conservative Columnist Reacts to Latest IPCC Report

Washington Post Columnist Michael Gerson has written an insightful piece in reaction to the latest report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In it he points out that the IPCC report “represents consensus not conspiracy,” that the “evidence for human-caused climate disruption is increasingly clear” and that the most deserving target of skepticism is not the science, but rather “the ability of political institutions …to respond prudently” to scientifically established risk. It is another sad commentary on the state of politics today and how responsible stewardship has fell victim to short-term self-interests.  His piece is linked below and definitely worth a read.

Politics is poorly suited to address global warming

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New IPCC Report Adds Urgency to Climate Challenge

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased…The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.”  IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) – Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just released the first part of its Fifth Assessment Report on climate change, which is authored by the world’s foremost climate experts.

It found that the evidence of human influence on the climate has grown since the last assessment in 2008. While scientists typically avoid declaring 100 percent certainty on anything, the report concludes that “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” The phrase “extremely likely” equates to between 95 percent and 100 percent certainty.

A medical diagnosis from just one doctor where he or she expresses 95 to 100 percent certainty would warrant action for most people. Here we have hundreds of experts on the earth and its atmosphere saying that it is sick and that they are 95 to 100 percent certain of the cause.

The report states:

“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.”

Prudence would dictate that we take this diagnosis seriously and start doing what we can to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

The IPCC report, a summary for policy makers, fact sheets and other information can be found at:

www.climatechange2013.org

The full IPCC Fifth Assessment report will be comprised of contributions from three “Working Groups.” The portion just released is from Working Group I and addresses the physical science basis for climate change. It has 209 Lead Authors, 50 Review Editors from 39 countries, and more than 600 Contributing Authors.

 
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Evangelical Climate Scientists Counter Limbaugh Remarks

Katharine Hayhoe and Thomas Ackerman, two highly regarded climate scientists who also happen to be evangelical Christians, have a great op-ed in The Christian Post responding to radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh’s recent remark that “If you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in man-made global warming.” Their effective rebuttal is worth a read.

Limbaugh’s notion that there is some kind of inherent conflict between faith in God and acknowledging man’s role in climate change defies both logic and theology. Faith in God usually comes along with the belief that the earth and its systems represent His handiwork. One of those systems, the carbon cycle, keeps the earth’s atmospheric chemistry in balance by taking excess carbon out of the loop–storing it underground in the form of oil and coal. When we burn fossil fuels, we  essentially reverse the process and release excess carbon from bygone eras back into the atmosphere.

What Limbaugh is essentially saying is that mankind need not respect God’s design, that he can do as we please without consequence. Does that really sound like something God would say? Actually, it sounds much more like something the snake in the Garden of Eden might say.

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Four Republican EPA Administrators Call For Action on Climate

EPA Administrators for Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II have done us all a great service by writing this powerful article in the New York Times. Their call for following the facts and taking prudent action on climate change is genuinely conservative–and just plain common sense. They are asking us to be good stewards of our life-sustaining atmosphere, and  fellow Republicans everywhere–especially on Capitol Hill–should take their words to heart.

The article is linked below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/opinion/a-republican-case-for-climate-action.html?ref=opinion&_r=1&

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