The past few weeks have shown that world weather conditions are becoming more and more chaotic. This is happening because temperatures are rising in specific ways and specific areas that are consistent with global warming. It will continue to happen, and in the process powerful storms, changes in ocean and air circulation and extensive fires will also continue.

Unfortunately, the United States, which should be leading the world, is now managed by an administration that pretends that the problem doesn’t exist at all. Amazingly, the US president has even claimed that it is a Chinese conspiracy. The latest internet meme is that it is caused by some sort of  weather control by a fictional “deep state.”

All of this is fantasy and nonsense. The truth is very straightforward: the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere causes it to retain heat. This results in arctic melt and the release of methane from liquefying permafrost, which causes even more heat retention.

And yet you can also find fake science on the internet that claims that carbon dioxide doesn’t cause heat retention.

This is an atrocious and extremely dangerous situation. People are left confused, afraid and angry. Worse, the entire issue, instead of being something that is looked at squarely and objectively from the political center, is now the object of an ideological war between the far left and the far right, neither of which have anything very useful to say about it.

The right attempts to misinform the public into believing either that nothing is wrong or nothing can be done, or both, while the left uses scare tactics to try to extend intrusive regulation not only to industries, but individual lives.

Sadly, no president in history has been an effective leader when it comes to this issue, and the current one, Donald Trump, is not just indifferent to it as most of the others have been, he is an aggressively bad leader and the rest of his party is no better.

They deny climate change out of greed, because they foolishly believe that doing anything about it means regulating the industries that provide them with funding, and they don’t want to do that. Ironically, weather chaos is going to cause their preferred industries far more than they can ever hope to save by blocking efforts to reduce global warming.

In fact, the very marketplace that they treasure is doing a large part of the work weaning mankind off of fossil fuels. Around the world, even in the US, solar and wind power are replacing coal, oil and gas. This is not being done for environmental reasons but because new energy resources are getting cheaper than the old ones. This is why, India, for example, is scrapping one coal-fired power plant after another in favor of building solar farms, and why solar is now the leading new energy resource in China.

In the US by contrast, President Trump is doing everything he can to interrupt this market process. He is, for example, exploring placing tariffs on imports of solar panels from China, in an effort to drive the solar industry out of business here. Right now, this thriving industry employs nearly 200,000 workers in the US, while the coal industry he seeks to protect employs just over 50,000. He wants to help the smaller industry by destroying the larger. That is very poor leadership indeed.

The recent seasonal wave train of Atlantic storms, which generally organize off the Cape Verde Islands, has produced an unusually rapid development of storms so far, and one of them has become exceptionally large. This is happening  because ocean waters are too warm, and that is a direct consequence of global warming.

Hurricane Harvey is also an example of the kind of storm that is going to become more common as the global warming regime develops. This storm developed quickly and grew extremely large because of excessively warm ocean waters, in this case in the Gulf of Mexico. Warm oceans are storm food.

In the case of Harvey, however, another factor was at play, which was slow air circulation. This, also, is a direct result of global warming. What is happening is that the northern latitudes jet stream is weakening due to the fact that the temperature difference between high and mid latitudes is getting less because the high latitudes are warming too much. This is also causing the Gulf Stream to slow down, further retarding both ocean and air circulation.

The public is not stupid. People can see with their own eyes what’s happening. But they will jump at any nonsensical conspiracy theory, any lie, that enables them to deny a problem that terrifies them and that they have been tricked into believing cannot be solved.

There are practical steps that can be taken that will retard warming and also harden coastal areas against permanent inundations, which are certainly coming if we do nothing.  Among other things, we can create a new Manhattan Project to improve our understanding of how to draw carbon out of the atmosphere. This is a natural process that can certainly be amplified by technological means. But there is no national initiative, of course.

Just these two things would significantly improve the situation, but without leadership they cannot happen. Neither of them is ideologically significant, in the sense that they don’t further regulation or interrupt free market activity.

Global warming is no longer an issue we can pass down to the children and grandchildren. It is with us in the here and now,, and it is up to us to find moderate, thoughtful leaders from the center of the political spectrum who can protect this country and help protect this world.  For it has come down to that. Either we do this and continue the wonderful expansion of prosperity and promise that we have enjoyed for so long, or we don’t do it and see not only our children’s futures destroyed, but also our own lives, now.

32 Comments

  1. I have argued with the
    I have argued with the contrarians, although its not really an argument, several times. The public isn’t stupid but they are lazy and unfortunately not very educated in how science works. Its amazing that we can communicate in a myriad of ways today but still don’t trust fundamental science. One of the craziest arguments is that the real greenhouse gas is water, therefore its driving warming and we can’t do anything about it. I often tell people that this doesn’t require people’s belief and isn’t decided by elections. I’m also hopeful that technology will ease our burden, but it does require investment and ultimately peoples votes. Keep driving this message home Whitley, I’m one of those with young children that will see the sins of the father visited upon the son.

  2. I have argued with the
    I have argued with the contrarians, although its not really an argument, several times. The public isn’t stupid but they are lazy and unfortunately not very educated in how science works. Its amazing that we can communicate in a myriad of ways today but still don’t trust fundamental science. One of the craziest arguments is that the real greenhouse gas is water, therefore its driving warming and we can’t do anything about it. I often tell people that this doesn’t require people’s belief and isn’t decided by elections. I’m also hopeful that technology will ease our burden, but it does require investment and ultimately peoples votes. Keep driving this message home Whitley, I’m one of those with young children that will see the sins of the father visited upon the son.

  3. Thanks, Nats, I intend to.

    Thanks, Nats, I intend to. We are in urgent need of real leadership, not the posturing comedians and lunatics who get all the media attention. The media, though, also needs to take a look at itself. There are good people on both sides of the aisle in Washington. But try getting a rational, moderate Republican or Democrat five minutes on Fox or CNN. Forget it.

    We need articulate, consistent and well informed leadership that is also loud. But articulate, consistent and well-informed people tend tend to be quiet types.

    Somebody has got to really step up, say what needs to be done, get us all to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

  4. Thanks, Nats, I intend to.

    Thanks, Nats, I intend to. We are in urgent need of real leadership, not the posturing comedians and lunatics who get all the media attention. The media, though, also needs to take a look at itself. There are good people on both sides of the aisle in Washington. But try getting a rational, moderate Republican or Democrat five minutes on Fox or CNN. Forget it.

    We need articulate, consistent and well informed leadership that is also loud. But articulate, consistent and well-informed people tend tend to be quiet types.

    Somebody has got to really step up, say what needs to be done, get us all to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

  5. I advocate a three-pronged
    I advocate a three-pronged approach to solving this crisis: 1) switching to renewables and ending fossil fuel dependence. But we don’t have time to do a gradual phase-in. And this tactic certainly is not the end-all be-all. We are going to have to develop, (2), a zero-emission technology to draw out all greenhouse gasses. Finally, (3), we need to re-engineer the planet back to a more stable, ecologically balanced system.

    As for leadership, no one is going to step up until WE put him/her into that position. The leaders today, on both sides, are controlled by powerful monied interests. That might sound hackneyed, but it is the truth. Same thing with media.

  6. I advocate a three-pronged
    I advocate a three-pronged approach to solving this crisis: 1) switching to renewables and ending fossil fuel dependence. But we don’t have time to do a gradual phase-in. And this tactic certainly is not the end-all be-all. We are going to have to develop, (2), a zero-emission technology to draw out all greenhouse gasses. Finally, (3), we need to re-engineer the planet back to a more stable, ecologically balanced system.

    As for leadership, no one is going to step up until WE put him/her into that position. The leaders today, on both sides, are controlled by powerful monied interests. That might sound hackneyed, but it is the truth. Same thing with media.

  7. I don’t want to be a cynic,
    I don’t want to be a cynic, but I think we are past the point of no return. The process will continue to accelerate until there is a fraction of human beings left on this planet. A massive failure of systems.

    1. I agree with John. Ever
      I agree with John. Ever tried to stop a fast moving boat from hitting a dock?

      Once inertia happens it will take twice as long to stop.

  8. I don’t want to be a cynic,
    I don’t want to be a cynic, but I think we are past the point of no return. The process will continue to accelerate until there is a fraction of human beings left on this planet. A massive failure of systems.

    1. I agree with John. Ever
      I agree with John. Ever tried to stop a fast moving boat from hitting a dock?

      Once inertia happens it will take twice as long to stop.

  9. Whitley, it is already too
    Whitley, it is already too late. The choice to change has been taken from us by our own inaction. The die is cast.

  10. Whitley, it is already too
    Whitley, it is already too late. The choice to change has been taken from us by our own inaction. The die is cast.

  11. The too late comments are a
    The too late comments are a bit puzzling to me. Adaptation although hard will happen. Humans are the ultimate generalists in the evolution scheme, we will adapt and ultimately manipulate our environment. Short of an asteroid incinerating all life on the surface humans will be here. Too late for life as we know it persisting into the future, maybe. I’m as pissed off and angry about this as anyone and hate the thought of our children dealing with this burden. That said, I do believe that sequestering carbon if given political incentive as demanded by the public could work. Lots of education by special people will be needed.

  12. The too late comments are a
    The too late comments are a bit puzzling to me. Adaptation although hard will happen. Humans are the ultimate generalists in the evolution scheme, we will adapt and ultimately manipulate our environment. Short of an asteroid incinerating all life on the surface humans will be here. Too late for life as we know it persisting into the future, maybe. I’m as pissed off and angry about this as anyone and hate the thought of our children dealing with this burden. That said, I do believe that sequestering carbon if given political incentive as demanded by the public could work. Lots of education by special people will be needed.

  13. Whitley – I agree with
    Whitley – I agree with John1967. I’m not sure it’s a cynical view, it’s just a logical conclusion from looking around us. And…….Those evil illuminati are not the slightest bit interested in “controlling us”. That’s a naive, paranoid idea. They’re planning a secret migration to a new home. They’ve already got the spaceships. The rest of us are left behind. That’s my guess, anyway. Can’t say I blame them. Human’s main activity is tribal warfare.

  14. Whitley – I agree with
    Whitley – I agree with John1967. I’m not sure it’s a cynical view, it’s just a logical conclusion from looking around us. And…….Those evil illuminati are not the slightest bit interested in “controlling us”. That’s a naive, paranoid idea. They’re planning a secret migration to a new home. They’ve already got the spaceships. The rest of us are left behind. That’s my guess, anyway. Can’t say I blame them. Human’s main activity is tribal warfare.

  15. Whitley as always you manage
    Whitley as always you manage to distill the demagoguery of the extreme right and left.
    I’ve always found it disingenuous to the extreme when folks claim 125 plus years of intense industrial activity have zero effect on weather. In the first few years after WWII SW Arkansas suffered extra hot, terribly dry summers with unusual wildfires. My mother contended it was the effect on the atmosphere of all the cities around the world burning during the war and the unbridled nuke tests. Maybe….
    I think there are common sense questions such as why more severe hurricanes in the Gulf Of Mexico in the past and why was there no human distress during the relatively recent period when Greenland was green and Eastern Canada was named Vinland by the Vikings that could be answered in a more direct way if possible.
    Jimmy Carter tried to warn us and move toward solar in the late 70s. I have much admiration for Reagan but this was one of his blind spots. I was in oil and gas for many years and my direct observations tell me peak oil is real. For several years I thought it was too late simply because it takes too many barrels of oil to make a solar panel. But I think this is wrong and you are right Whitley. We DO have time to move to alternatives but not much. And almost 100 percent of the people I know, from the highly educated to the less so, have equal measures of ignorance regarding the effect of fresh cool water inundations into the Gulf Stream and the Carrington Event.

  16. Whitley as always you manage
    Whitley as always you manage to distill the demagoguery of the extreme right and left.
    I’ve always found it disingenuous to the extreme when folks claim 125 plus years of intense industrial activity have zero effect on weather. In the first few years after WWII SW Arkansas suffered extra hot, terribly dry summers with unusual wildfires. My mother contended it was the effect on the atmosphere of all the cities around the world burning during the war and the unbridled nuke tests. Maybe….
    I think there are common sense questions such as why more severe hurricanes in the Gulf Of Mexico in the past and why was there no human distress during the relatively recent period when Greenland was green and Eastern Canada was named Vinland by the Vikings that could be answered in a more direct way if possible.
    Jimmy Carter tried to warn us and move toward solar in the late 70s. I have much admiration for Reagan but this was one of his blind spots. I was in oil and gas for many years and my direct observations tell me peak oil is real. For several years I thought it was too late simply because it takes too many barrels of oil to make a solar panel. But I think this is wrong and you are right Whitley. We DO have time to move to alternatives but not much. And almost 100 percent of the people I know, from the highly educated to the less so, have equal measures of ignorance regarding the effect of fresh cool water inundations into the Gulf Stream and the Carrington Event.

  17. Now that the storms have

    Now that the storms have cooled the ocean surface, hopefully we won’t see any more wild Atlantic and Gulf weather for a while.

    It is not too late to do anything about global warming. We have barely scratched the surface regarding carbon sequestration. There might be some very efficient means of doing at least enough of this to give us more time. But there is little research budget for it. Pitifully little. And as far as hardening infrastructure against ocean level rise, Europe is already working on this. The Netherlands has no intention of drowning and neither should we. But we put ideology before practicality every time.

    Last night, for example, on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis was expressing anger at the pope getting into “pollitics” because of his recent statements about global warming. It’s not a political issue, but a natural event. The fact that it is being politicized in the US is crazy.

  18. Now that the storms have

    Now that the storms have cooled the ocean surface, hopefully we won’t see any more wild Atlantic and Gulf weather for a while.

    It is not too late to do anything about global warming. We have barely scratched the surface regarding carbon sequestration. There might be some very efficient means of doing at least enough of this to give us more time. But there is little research budget for it. Pitifully little. And as far as hardening infrastructure against ocean level rise, Europe is already working on this. The Netherlands has no intention of drowning and neither should we. But we put ideology before practicality every time.

    Last night, for example, on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis was expressing anger at the pope getting into “pollitics” because of his recent statements about global warming. It’s not a political issue, but a natural event. The fact that it is being politicized in the US is crazy.

  19. Apparently Maria didn’t care
    Apparently Maria didn’t care about the prior hurricanes spoiling the water. Another hit, even lesser, would damage our already wounded economy. Harvey and Irma are projected to drop our GDP a full percentage point.

    Clyde Lewis is the one of the worst shock jocks out there, I can’t listen to him any longer than it takes to change the station. Getting really sick of the “Its all natural” and “Its in god’s hand” mentality.

  20. Apparently Maria didn’t care
    Apparently Maria didn’t care about the prior hurricanes spoiling the water. Another hit, even lesser, would damage our already wounded economy. Harvey and Irma are projected to drop our GDP a full percentage point.

    Clyde Lewis is the one of the worst shock jocks out there, I can’t listen to him any longer than it takes to change the station. Getting really sick of the “Its all natural” and “Its in god’s hand” mentality.

  21. I agree that urgency is
    I agree that urgency is needed. I disagree that there is any equivalency between right and left on climate change. The threats of climate change are real, and only a few on the left present scenarios anywhere close to as scary as a global superstorm. Those that do overly hype are on the fringe and typically chastised for being unscientific, which only sows more doubt for deniers.

    Dramatic action will not be possible without regulation. I’m pretty sure that regulations were required to ramp up war industries in WWII. Serious regulations proposed to date pertain to things like cap and trade, CAFE, emissions, and carbon taxes. These are not serious threats to freedom, especially when we have people pushing divisive red herring issues like respect for the flag.

  22. I agree that urgency is
    I agree that urgency is needed. I disagree that there is any equivalency between right and left on climate change. The threats of climate change are real, and only a few on the left present scenarios anywhere close to as scary as a global superstorm. Those that do overly hype are on the fringe and typically chastised for being unscientific, which only sows more doubt for deniers.

    Dramatic action will not be possible without regulation. I’m pretty sure that regulations were required to ramp up war industries in WWII. Serious regulations proposed to date pertain to things like cap and trade, CAFE, emissions, and carbon taxes. These are not serious threats to freedom, especially when we have people pushing divisive red herring issues like respect for the flag.

  23. We need regulation, yes, but

    We need regulation, yes, but we also need research and to respect the fact that the market can work if it is allowed to. For example, as renewables become cheaper, the world is literally racing away from fossil fuels. It’s not only because of environmental concerns, but because they are cheaper.

    In the US Trump is planning to destroy the solar power industry by slapping huge tariffs on imported solar panels, and many states, led by Florida, are passing laws to inhibit solar. Did you know, for example, that it was ILLEGAL to switch on your solar system after Irma when you didn’t have power? This is to prevent people from using energy from the sun, which should be free, without also engaging the power grid. Evil and insane.

  24. We need regulation, yes, but

    We need regulation, yes, but we also need research and to respect the fact that the market can work if it is allowed to. For example, as renewables become cheaper, the world is literally racing away from fossil fuels. It’s not only because of environmental concerns, but because they are cheaper.

    In the US Trump is planning to destroy the solar power industry by slapping huge tariffs on imported solar panels, and many states, led by Florida, are passing laws to inhibit solar. Did you know, for example, that it was ILLEGAL to switch on your solar system after Irma when you didn’t have power? This is to prevent people from using energy from the sun, which should be free, without also engaging the power grid. Evil and insane.

  25. The left is not perfect, but
    The left is not perfect, but it has supported markets. Markets and government work best together. For example, computers and the internet have benefited from government funded R+D, along with private sector investment and innovation. The left knows this and continues to support public investment and private enterprise. We realize that it sometimes fails too, as with Solyndra, but that is not a reason to demonize the government.

    The growth of renewables is one of the reasons that I am optimistic about our future. Still,we have a long way to go. I don’ t want our waste to force future generations to have negative C budgets in order to survive.

    Renewables are one area where left and right appear to be converging. TX and CA, for example, are leaders. AFAIK, regulations to saddle renewables come from conservatives more than progressives. It could be more related to industry funding and lobbying than party.

    I am not an expert on the FL laws, but I did read how not allowing people to turn their solar power on could be to protect utility workers trying to reconnect the grid and dealing with downed power lines. It seems like homes could have switches that would disconnect personal power from the grid, but that would get into battery supplies and regulations. Perhaps if FL had more regulations favoring buried cables, then this would be less of an issue.

    1. tw, apparently its hard to go
      tw, apparently its hard to go off grid in Florida because of regulation, not sure how that has anything to do with the safety of workers. If Florida Power and Light hadn’t lobbied against solar panels so aggressively in the past I’d be a little forgiving.

      I agree with you on the left being more supportive of alternatives, without their undying support we wouldn’t see the success we have today, it would be at best a fringe cottage industry.

  26. The left is not perfect, but
    The left is not perfect, but it has supported markets. Markets and government work best together. For example, computers and the internet have benefited from government funded R+D, along with private sector investment and innovation. The left knows this and continues to support public investment and private enterprise. We realize that it sometimes fails too, as with Solyndra, but that is not a reason to demonize the government.

    The growth of renewables is one of the reasons that I am optimistic about our future. Still,we have a long way to go. I don’ t want our waste to force future generations to have negative C budgets in order to survive.

    Renewables are one area where left and right appear to be converging. TX and CA, for example, are leaders. AFAIK, regulations to saddle renewables come from conservatives more than progressives. It could be more related to industry funding and lobbying than party.

    I am not an expert on the FL laws, but I did read how not allowing people to turn their solar power on could be to protect utility workers trying to reconnect the grid and dealing with downed power lines. It seems like homes could have switches that would disconnect personal power from the grid, but that would get into battery supplies and regulations. Perhaps if FL had more regulations favoring buried cables, then this would be less of an issue.

    1. tw, apparently its hard to go
      tw, apparently its hard to go off grid in Florida because of regulation, not sure how that has anything to do with the safety of workers. If Florida Power and Light hadn’t lobbied against solar panels so aggressively in the past I’d be a little forgiving.

      I agree with you on the left being more supportive of alternatives, without their undying support we wouldn’t see the success we have today, it would be at best a fringe cottage industry.

  27. Ok I know this is off topic,
    Ok I know this is off topic, but funny stuff is going on as many are seeing. There is suppression of the Tom Delonge info. I’m totally floored that this might be true. Is there anywhere else this is being discussed that isn’t being suppressed?

  28. Ok I know this is off topic,
    Ok I know this is off topic, but funny stuff is going on as many are seeing. There is suppression of the Tom Delonge info. I’m totally floored that this might be true. Is there anywhere else this is being discussed that isn’t being suppressed?

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