March 19, 2016

Meanwhile Outside...(Climate Science And Who Agrees With It)

This past week, NOAA released the latest in it's ongoing "State of the Climate" reports.

It's not pretty:
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for February 2016 was the highest for February in the 137-year period of record, at 1.21°C (2.18°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F). This not only was the highest for February in the 1880–2016 record—surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.33°C / 0.59°F—but it surpassed the all-time monthly record set just two months ago in December 2015 by 0.09°C (0.16°F). Overall, the six highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred in the past six months. February 2016 also marks the 10th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken.
So we all know (or at least we should know) it's happening, it's bad and it's undeniable.

But it's election season, right?  So let's go see what our elected officials and their opponents have said about climate change.

Let's start with the Senate race.  Where does Senator Pat Toomey stand?

We wrote about this sometime ago.  According to his Senate votes, Pat does not believe that climate change is a hoax, does believe that each of the last 3 decades have gotten successively warmer and that increases in greenhouse gas concentrations and global temperatures are caused by human activities.

He just doesn't believe that human beings have made a significant contribution to climate change.

And in 2010 he said this:
My view is, I think the data is pretty clear. I think there has been an increase in the surface temperature of the planet over the course of the last hundred years or so. I think it’s clear that that has happened. The extent to which that has been caused by human activity, I think, is not as clear. I think that is still very much disputed, and it’s been debated.
And that's enough to place him, if only ever so gently, onto that steamy, warm and sweaty pile of climate science deniers.  True, he's not using snowballs on the Senate floor as "evidence" against the science, but he's not agreeing with the science either.

So how about his opponents?

John Fetterman:
Climate change is real, and we need to work on a comprehensive approach. We eliminated sulfur dioxide in the air, and got rid of acid rain. We got rid of lead in gasoline. You can achieve these things when the private and public sectors work together.
Katie McGinty:
Climate change presents a serious global threat to our health, economic well-being and national security. In the Senate, I will lead the way to a healthier and safer environment by working to pass commonsense climate protections with investments in energy efficiency and clean energy.
Joe Sestak:
Admiral Joe Sestak believes there is no greater long-term strategic livable challenge to the quality of future generations’ livelihoods than climate change. the Democrats are on the right side of the science and Pat Toomey is a climate science denier. Got it.

Next, onto the Presidential Race.

First, the Republicans.

Donald Trump:
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
Granted, he said he was joking with this tweet, but he did it with this quotation at the Business Insider:
"I think that climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change," Trump said. "I've received many environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China — obviously I joke — but this done for the benefit of China."
So he's not joking?  In any event, the Business Insider has a whole mess of other Trump Climate errors.  Go see for yinzelves.

Ted Cruz:
Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up. In particular, satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years, there’s been zero warming.
Neither is, in fact, true.

Then there's John Kasich:
“I am a believer — my goodness I am a Republican — I happen to believe there is a problem with climate change. I don’t want to overreact to it, I can’t measure it all, but I respect the creation that the Lord has given us and I want to make sure we protect it,” Kasich said at a Columbus, Ohio, energy conference hosted by The Hill.

“But we can’t overreact to it and make things up, but it is something we have to recognize is a problem,” Kasich said.
He's better than Toomey, at least.  But does anyone think that Kasich has any chance at winning the GOP nomination?

And the Democrats?

Hillary Clinton:
Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time.
Bernie Sanders:
Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet.
Ok, so all of these Democrats are on board with the science and all but one (maybe) of the Republicans aren't.

Meanwhile, it's still getting warmer outside (regardless of what the GOP believes).

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