Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I'm melting, melting. Ohhhhh, what a world, what a world..

Global warming is back in the news today in a big way. One of the most comprehensive studies ever done has just been released and the results are bad news, especially if you live along a coastline.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scientists say changes in the earth's climate from human influences are occurring particularly intensely in the Arctic region, evidenced by widespread melting of glaciers, thinning sea ice and rising permafrost temperatures.
A study released Monday said the annual average amount of sea ice in the Arctic has decreased by about 8 percent in the past 30 years, resulting in the loss of 386,100 square miles of sea ice - an area bigger than Texas and Arizona combined....

Did you catch that? An area bigger than Texas gone in 30 years.

...Pointing to the report as a clear signal that global warming is real, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said Monday the "dire consequences" of warming in the Arctic underscore the need for their proposal to require U.S. cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases. President Bush has rejected that approach.

So what approach does Bush not object to? I couldn’t find it in any of the wire stories I saw, but the Express-News conveniently inserted this paragraph into their version in what I guess was some editors attempt at “balance.”

James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the Bush administration is spending $10 billion yearly on research into climate change and related issues.
“The president’s strategy on climate change is quite detailed,” he said.

Quite detailed, he says, without offering any details. But $10 billion annually on climate research!!?? I find that kind of hard to believe. But since this quote is only in the E-N version of the story and is not on their web site I’m having trouble verifying it. Still, I find it rather outrageous that a 4-year comprehensive study comes out and the Bush administration’s response is to say that we are going to spend more money conducting more research before we do anything about it. I guess they will just keep repeating their studies over and over again until they get a result that they like.

And here is more good news from Reuters:

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Global warming is melting the Arctic ice faster than expected, and the world's oceans could rise by about a meter (3 feet) by 2100, swamping homes from Bangladesh to Florida, the head of a study said on Tuesday.
Robert Corell, chairman of the eight-nation Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), also told a news conference there were some hints of greater willingness by the United States, the world's top polluter, to take firmer action to slow climate change.

No wonder most of the coastal states voted for Kerry! Oh, and that hint of greater willingness by the “world’s top polluter” was a reference to the McCain-Lieberman legislation that Bush opposes. So much for that.

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