Monday, February 22, 2010

Climate Crisis writings - the Washington Post editorializes

In today's online edition, the Washington Post editorializes on climate change, and the need to act:

THE EARTH is warming. A chief cause is the increase in greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere. Humans are at least in part responsible, because the oil, gas and coal that we burn releases these gases. If current trends persist, it's likely that in coming decades the globe's climate will change with potentially devastating effects for billions of people.

Contrary to what you may have read lately, there are few reputable scientists who would disagree with anything in that first paragraph. Yet suddenly we're hearing that climate change is in doubt and that action to combat it is unlikely. What's going on?

What indeed? The Psot actually makes a series of cogent arguments about why, even wth scientific uncertainty and recent "scandals" regarding sceintific integrity, we as a Nation need to act. While I can't say I'm surprised to see this from the Post (they are, afterall, a "LIBERAL" media outlet - wink wink, nudge nudge), I am surprised that it took SO LONG for the editorial board to write these words.

Here's hoping that D.C.'s paper of record motivates some on Capitol Hill to deal with this crisis in a more realistic, more science based fashion. I also hope that my climate science colleagues will recoginize this editorial for what it is - an open door through which they can walk with a good story that's based on appeals to emotion, instead of slavish defense of facts.

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