One of the best examples of media climate change hysteria has got to be Seth Borenstein‘s the-sky-is-falling editorial.
He starts off with the counter-factual assertion that recent years have been the hottest, proceeds to quote experts (including Al Gore) predicting imminent disaster, and caps it all off with the completely unsubstantiated contention that colder weather, too, proves that global warming is underway. What can his editor possibly be thinking to let this kind of obvious stupidity into print?
When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can’t avoid.
Since Clinton’s inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton’s second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it.
“The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over,” he said on Tuesday after meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. “We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way.” …
Scientists are increasingly anxious, talking more often and more urgently about exceeding “tipping points.”
“We’re out of time,” Stanford University biologist Terry Root said. “Things are going extinct.”
U.S. emissions have increased by 20 percent since 1992. China has more than doubled its carbon dioxide pollution in that time. World carbon dioxide emissions have grown faster than scientists’ worst-case scenarios. Methane, the next most potent greenhouse gas, suddenly is on the rise again and scientists fear that vast amounts of the trapped gas will escape from thawing Arctic permafrost.
The amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has already pushed past what some scientists say is the safe level.
In the early 1990s, many scientists figured that the world was about a century away from a truly dangerous amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, said Mike MacCracken, who was a top climate scientist in the Clinton administration. But as they studied the greenhouse effect further, scientists realized that harmful changes kick in at far lower levels of carbon dioxide than they thought. Now some scientists, but not all, say the safe carbon dioxide level for Earth is about 10 percent below what it is now.
Gore called the situation “the equivalent of a five-alarm fire that has to be addressed immediately.”
Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it’s thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming.