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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

White House Newsflash: Global Warming VERY LIKELY Caused by Human

Since 1990, every four years the US government has been required to issue a “scientific” report on climate change and its effects on the economy, environment, and public health. In typical George W. Bush cavalier cowboy style, the 2004 deadline for this report was ignored and the government was sued by green groups. Finally, the long awaited report was four years late, and get this:

…most of the recent global warming is very likely due to human generated increases in greenhouse gas concentrations.

Very likely caused by humans-now that’s a definitive statement on climate change! Once again the US government has failed to make a clearcut connection between humans and climate change.

Why do we need our government to make an absolute statement that humans are to blame for climate change?

Without such a strong statement linking the human causes and effects of global warming, we are impotent to pass real legislation and regulations that will drastically curb greenhouse gases now! We can’t wait four more years for the next report to come out to say, “Yea, we are screwed and entirely to blame.” A definitive statement by the US government would end the silly debate about global warming that has distracted us from taking action beyond individual citizens. As Rick Piltz, director of Climate Science Watch at the nonprofit Government Accountability Project, stated, “It’s important the government go on record honestly acknowledging this stuff.”

Why would the US government not want to make the connection between climate change and human actions absolute?

The climate science behind the report is not new, and neither is the White House spin. The “Scientific Assesment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States,” report states:

Finally, climate change is very likely to accentuate the disparities already evident in the American health care system. Many of the expected health effects are likely to fall disproportionately on the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the uninsured.

Yet have no fear Americans! White House associate science director Sharon Hays declined to characterize the findings as bad, in a teleconference with reporters. That’s right, increased heat-related deaths and water shortages are not all bad. So what is not negative in the report: The doubt that humans are solely to blame. Now that’s something to celebrate!

I don’t know why the US government cannot admit human blame for climate change. It reminds me of my six-year-old daughter saying she did not drop ice cream on the floor, when she was the only one eating ice cream. Does the government fear it will get in trouble like my daughter and have to clean it up if it admits blame? Would such an admission open up even more litigation opportunities for the states, as well as for individuals to sue polluting corporations? Well, have no fear Americans, our president won’t even read this report. George Bush has already vowed to veto the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act before the Senate even debates the bill, because it will hurt the US economy. Oh yea, blazing wildfires, pestilence, and famine won’t hurt the economy at all.

It didn’t take Mean Joe Green four years to create a political cartoon on the climate change report). Although I disagree with Joe’s idea that the report is entirely “realistic”, given that it does not take a definitive stance on the human causes of climate change, at least the doom and gloom predictions of severe weather, water shortages, heat waves, etc. ring true. As biologist Thomas Lovejoy says of the climate report, “It basically says the America we’ve known we can no longer count on.” It’s a good thing Republicans live on another planet; they’re going to need it.

Original here

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