11 February 2010

Record snowfalls do not disprove global warming

Here in the Philadelphia area, and throughout the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., we are in the process of recovering from record-breaking snowstorms. And my Republican neighbor has been using this opportunity to lecture the neighborhood on his theory (no doubt inspired by Rush Limbaugh) that all this snow is proof that global warming is a stinking-liberal-pinko-commie myth.

That, dear reader, is nonsense.

In fact, according to the National Wildlife Federation, this extreme weather is obvious proof of how climate change disrupts long-standing weather patterns:
"Oddball winter weather is yet another sign of how uncontrolled carbon pollution amounts to an unchecked experiment on people and nature," said Dr. Amanda Staudt, climate scientist, National Wildlife Federation. "While global warming means shorter, milder winters on average, some snowbelt areas will see more heavy snowfall events. Disruptions to tourism and recreation economies will become increasingly common - for example to skiing and ice fishing that depend on predictable conditions."
So perhaps the more common term "global warming" is better described in more general terms as "climate change". At least that would partially disarm the naysayers

Still, some just won't accept it no matter what you call it. They would rather let the oil companies and other polluting industries continue to run amok unregulated, because that, to them, is "free enterprise". But how free can that enterprise be if it eventually (and purposely) leads to the destruction of the very planet on which we do business? That, to me, is not entrepreneurial freedom. It is criminal negligence.

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