Now that the presidential election is over and the deniers have been been given a wakeup call by Hurricane Sandy maybe we can get serious about our addiction to fossil fuels and address the problem of Global warming. It was encouraging that President Obama mentioned climate change and our oil addiction twice in his victory speech last night. The fact that natural gas, due to new recovery methods, is in the process of replacing coal for electric power production will give us the opportunity to dial back the emission of CO2, which is our major greenhouse gas, as well as reduce our reliance on imported oil. We didn’t hear much about pipelines or oil sands in the campaign, likely due in part to the fact that we don’t stand to benefit much from them. Most of it is going to the world markets and will not benefit us here at home except for the few jobs it might create in refineries.
Can We Stand Four Years of Un-controlled Climate Change?
Two years in a row we have experienced severe storms causing flooding of the east coast, property damage in the millions of dollars and loss of life. Climate scientists predicted this and we will likely not have seen the end of it. In fact predictions are that these storms will get worse. Hardly anyone except for political right wingers who are elected by oil companies believe that Global Warming is not real. Ask those living in the states devastated by Hurricane Sandy what they think of Global Warming. We have never seen devastation like this in the recorded history of the United States.
The upcoming presidential election is in two days. If president Obama is re-elected perhaps the radical right can be persuaded to embrace policies designed to help alleviate the pollution caused by fossil fuels and begin to reverse their effect on climate change, not to mention reversing our dependence on foreign energy sources making us energy independent.
If Mitt Romney is elected it is doubtful that his policies will change our dependence on fossil fuels or help slow Global Warming. In Romney’s acceptance of the Republican nomination he mentioned that President OBama said he would slow the rising oceans with his policies while rolling his eyes in an obvious attempt to cast aspersions on such an idea. If we are to believe anything that Mr. Romneys says, a doubtful happenstance, he will do nothing but roll his eyes for the next four years. The country, and the world, can’t afford Mr. Romneys’ idea that Global Warming is a hoax. If we continue the obstructionism of the past four years we may come to a point of no return in which climate change may not be reversed for hundreds of years to come resulting in more and more severe storms and disasters causing untold damage, costing many lives and wrecking the country’s economy.
Back in 2009 when I wrote Running on Empty I suggested that Global Warming could be a serious threat to the country and the world due to a variety of reasons, one of which was rising seas and what it means to those living near the shore line. The past week Hurricane Sandy, coupled with another storm coming to join with Sandy, caused a disaster whose magnitude was unprecided in the history of the country. So far 97 deaths have been attributed to Sandy and many millions of people have lost their homes and jobs as well as loved ones. Images of the aftermath look very much like the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami that created utter destruction on land at FUkushimia.
Mitt Romney proved tonight that he cares nothing about the world we live in and what kind of a world we will leave our children and grand children. In discussing his energy plan it consisted entirely of drilling for more oil, fracking to produce more natural gas and stretching pipelines across America no matter what endangered wetlands and streams it would cross. He never mentioned climate change except to indicate he felt it was a hoax while rolling his eyes. He ignored the facts which virtually every climate scientist now believe are true and many deniers have come to change their mind on .His plan? Let the economy go to hell and let climate disasters continue into the future. If you like wildfires and floods and drought you'll love the future under Romney.
Richard Muller, professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, a MacArthur Fellow and co founder of the Earth Surface Temperature project, and a long time denier of global warming, announced that he is now convinced that global warming is real and that greenhouse gasses produced by humans are almost entirely the cause. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, along with hundreds of other Climatologists, came to this conclusion years ago.