Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NOAA scientist publishes on climate change - and it's worse then we thought!

Of all the times I hope my professional colleagues are wrong - this is one of them. I can't fault Dr. Solomon's science - she really is a climate science "rock star" because she does good work, and has a solid track record of publication. That track record, incidentally, is how you get street cred as a scientist, so when her study is dismissed (as I assume it will be) by many, they will be denying decades of persistent, solid science.

Aside from the obvious challenges in the article - and anyone who thinks massive coastal flooding and drought that lasts for 100's of years isn't a challenge is delusional - there's a more fundamental issue. Read the wrong way, this article points to a future where the changes we make now have had little effect. Such prognoses, while scientifically accurate, feed the many climate change deniers who say "well, if we can't do anything about it, why should I give up my hummer, my vacation house, and all the other things that make my life a wanton display of American consumerism." After all, such single-minded folks will intone, the droughts will not occur until after I am long dead, so why should I care?

Well, if you have kids, you should care. If you like clean water and clean air, you should care. If you have a conscience, you should care. Leaving all that aside, if you value the American capitalist economy you should care. the types of drought, coastal flooding, and resultant population dislocations that Dr. Solomon's work hints at will have impacts on our economy that are far greater then what we see now in our current recession/depression. We wont' be able to sustain our economy if we're fighting this stuff. Building bridges, or bailing out banks will be the least of our worries.

So take steps now. Car pool, ride mass transit, turn out the lights. Turn your thermostat back. It all helps.


Anonymous said...

We're not giving up our way of life, based on the output of the what-if climate models without a fight (er...debate)! The problem is that we have been told we must give up our way of life, that the debate is over, the time for denying is over, shut up and that's that.

This stinks. Here we are told that we must endure the most profound change in our way of life, and that anyone who wants to argue the point is vilified, derided, or be tried for crimes against humanity.

Even if this message was sugar coated, most people will still smell the stink.


Thomas Joseph said...

I can ill afford to completely change my way of life. It'd be simply more expensive than I can handle. However, I have ramped up efforts in regards to conservation where I can. Recycling, cutting down on vampiric energy usage, going electronic whenever I can (in regards to paper bills, manuscripts, etc), lighting, reworking driving routes to conserve gas.

These are things which can be done with minimal upset to your daily routine, but if done by a majority will make a huge net difference.