Tragicomedy with headlines

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

There were two articles in the Arizona Daily Star today which should have been juxtaposed together on the same page for the full tragicomedy effect, but were not.

The headlines read:

2010 to rank as one of 3 hottest years on record, UN climate experts report

and

House GOP to kill panel on global warming

You can't make this stuff up.

For those of us who are proud members of the reality-based community who believe in observable facts and empirical scientific evidence, the first headline is an indication that just maybe we ought to be seriously paying attention to climate change. 2010 to rank as one of 3 hottest years on record, UN climate experts report:

2010 [is] on track to be one of the three hottest years on record, U.N. experts said Thursday.

The data from the World Meteorological Organization show that the last decade was the warmest ever, part of a trend that scientists attribute to man-made pollution trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Europeans and some Americans may think it was chilly this year, but their unusually cold winters were more than balanced by searing temperatures from Canada to Africa and India, said Michel Jarraud, organization's secretary-general.

Parts of Greenland, where glaciers are threatened with summer melt, had an annual average temperature of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, said the WMO's preliminary report, released on the sidelines of a 193-nation U.N. conference on climate change.

Moscow had 33 consecutive days when the thermometer topped 86 degrees and one day when it cracked 100, a new record. Russian officials ascribed 11,000 excess deaths to the heat wave and the peat fires that raged on the capital's outskirts.

The WMO said the same extreme weather event that affected Russia also caused the floods that submerged a fifth of Pakistan, killing 1,700 people and displacing 20 million. The year also witnessed heavy rains that lashed Australia and Indonesia, flooding in Thailand and Vietnam, and drought in the Amazon basin and southwest China.

"The year 2010 is almost certain to rank in the top three warmest years since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850," the WMO said.

* * *

[T]he long-term trend leaves little doubt the Earth is warming in ways that cannot be explained by nature and is almost certainly caused by man-made pollution that traps heat, he said.

"If you don't include the human emissions you cannot reproduce what you observe," he said. "That's why we feel that we can attribute a significant part of what we observe to man-made emissions."

But the anti-intellectual, anti-science, climate change deniers of movement conservatism who believe that the Flintstones is an animated documentary of man's 6,000 years history on Earth dismiss any empirical scientific evidence of climate change. Kentucky creationism theme park set to open in 2014 will “include dinosaurs” « Climate Progress.

Movement conservatism's tendency to reduce everything to a conspiracy theory (see their conspiracy clearinghouse, WorldNetDaily.com) leads climate change deniers to dismiss scientific empirical evidence because it is compiled by the "one world order" United Nations (for years the John Birch Society had billboards in Southern Arizona that simply said "Get U.S. out of U.N.") House GOP to kill panel on global warming:

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, in line to be speaker in the new Congress, said disbanding the panel is part of the Republican pledge to cut waste in government.

"The global-warming committee doesn't need to be a separate committee," Boehner said. "We believe the Science Committee is more than capable of handling this issue, and in the process we'll save several million dollars."

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican who was in line to become chairman, announced the committee's fate at a hearing Wednesday. Sensenbrenner had urged the committee's preservation so Republicans could use it to rein in the Obama administration's efforts to curb global warming.

A spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who created the panel three years ago to highlight climate-change issues, called the decision "very disappointing."

The panel's chairman, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., was an architect of cap-and-trade legislation to limit carbon emissions.

I'm not sure whether we owe the TanMan a debt of gratitude for taking this committee away from a nut like Jim Sensenbrenner who wanted to use his committee chairmanship to conduct a modern-day Inquisition of climate change science "heresy."

This reminds me of the legend of Galileo, the famous “Eppur si muove” (“And yet it does move!”) disclaimer which Galileo reputedly delivered at his Inquisition in a sotto voce semantic after his compulsory denial of his "heresy" that the Earth moved around the sun. (There is no historical record that confirms the legend, but it makes for a great story nonetheless.)

Climate change deniers like Jim Sensenbrenner can deny that the Earth is warming and its climate changing, "And yet it does warm!"

Galileo_facing_the_Roman_Inquisition
Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition, painting by Cristiano Banti (1857)

0 responses to “Tragicomedy with headlines

  1. The problem is not a lack of funds as the Governor claims. The problem is misplaced priorities. Look at what she is spending on her pet projects, Centennial Way in Phoenix and the Arizona Centennial Museum.