October 4th, 2013 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on Climate Change: We’re Responsible.
Last Friday, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on climate change. The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. More than 2,000 scientists from around the world worked on this report, which has been reviewed by government, industry, and environmental groups. It is one of the most scrutinized documents on the planet. The report’s authors analyzed “9,200 peer-reviewed studies and represents the most comprehensive and authoritative synthesis of scientific knowledge about global climate change generated.
And what this group of scientists found is that they are 95-99% certain that humans are causing the world to heat up. To put that into context, that’s the same level of certainty scientists have that cigarettes cause cancer. It’s also equivalent to the current certainty among physicists that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. That’s what scientists call “unequivocal”. So, why not 100% certainty the skeptics ask? Uncertainty is inherent in every scientific judgment,” said Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist Thomas Burke. “Will the sun come up in the morning?” Scientists know the answer is yes, but they can’t really say so with 100 percent certainty because there are so many factors out there that are not quite understood or under control.
The debate on the basics of climate science is over. It’s happening and we’re significantly contributing to it.
Every major country around the world has been taking climate change and climate science very seriously over the past 10 years as the earth continues to warm . . . every country that is, save the United States. It’s both difficult and sad to write, but in the United States, our primary climate conversation (at least amongst our leaders in the Halls of Congress) is about whether or not climate change is really an issue in these times. Scientists clearly are not ambivalent. They’re not asking for more time or more information to make an informed decision. They are very clear – climate change is happening and human activity and involvement is accelerating the problem. Full stop.
So, why do some of our political leaders and some out there who have a pretty hefty microphone continue to spread information that is not backed up by science? Do they know something that scientists don’t? And if so, where do they get their information from… because it’s not from scientists (who by the way, have no political agenda, but are simply trying to understand facts and data and report them as such). It would be helpful to know their sources and if they’re actually correct, then hooray, that would be superb news. But to date, as far as actual data and facts go, their voices are just creating confusion and getting in the way of what at this point, we can comfortably proclaim as truth.
With this report, it’s time for their voices to be silenced. This not about ideology – it’s about science. It’s about facts. The politicians who are voting to deregulate pollution standards and give big payouts to oil and fossil fuel companies, are clearly choosing the profitability of super wealthy companies over the well being of people. Understand that this is not politics. This is not a partisan statement or view. It’s backed by science, and if we are going to take the necessary steps to insure that we mitigate the impending impact of climate change (which climate scientists are asserting will have a devastating impact on many regions throughout the world) then we must accept the data; take the data seriously; and act with unprecedented clarity and immediacy.
Please vote in the 2014 elections for the House and Senate races. I understand it’s still a year away, but that is how we can change the conversation. Let’s have our representatives represent our best interests. Find out where they stand on the issue of climate change. You now have a year to do this research – and remember, it’s not about a difference in opinion or ideology. It’s about facts. Let’s change the climate conversation in this country! Make a difference. Show up and VOTE in 2014!