Climate Change is settled – just get over it or get out of the way. Perhaps the deniers could do us all a favor and set up and stay in the Creationism Museum? Bill Richardson - (CNN) -- "Nothing poses a bigger threat to our water, our livelihood and our quality of life than a warming climate." Those are my words from 2006 upon the signing of an executive order on climate change for New Mexico when I was governor.
Almost a decade later, this statement still holds true. But now we have even more information about climate change, both the risks and solutions.
The just-released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a collection of more than 800 leading climate scientists, reaffirms that climate impacts are already occurring and having a dramatic impact on society. Climate change is driven by our dependence on fossil fuels and is expected to get worse. In order to shift directions, we need nothing less than to rethink how we power our country.
Here's what we know:
The climate science is settled. The IPCC report is the latest addition to a staggering body of scientific research connecting our energy choices to costly climate disruption. The report is consistent with several other authorities -- such as the National Academy of Sciences, U.S. Global Change Research Program, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- that bring stronger language and greater certainty about climate change and its risks. Just as we know that smoking causes cancer, we understand that human activity causes climate change.
Climate change is happening now and we are all feeling the effects. Earlier this month, the American Association of Advancement of Science reminded us that "climate change is happening here and now."
We are now witnessing how it is changing our world: The past winter was the eighth-warmest on record. For 348 consecutive months -- 29 years -- global temperatures have been above average.
The latest IPCC report finds that impacts from climate change are "widespread and consequential" and they are being felt on every continent and in our oceans. The world last year experienced 41 weather-related disasters that caused damages totaling at least $1 billion. Over the past decade, the western United States experienced seven times more large-scale wildfires than it did in the 1970s. Climate change has made it much more likely that we will suffer severe droughts like the one that recently swept across Texas and my home state of New Mexico.
Finally, without action, things will get a lot worse. As climate impacts mount, they will bring more damage to our economy and communities. Even 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of global temperature rise could cut yields of crops like wheat, rice and corn, driving up food prices. Unless greenhouse gases are reined in, many more people will be at risk from devastating flooding, similar to what residents faced in Boulder, Colorado, last year. Overall, economic losses from climate change will cause a significant blow to the global economy, even at the lower end of climate projections.
So what can we do in the face of a changing climate?
Fortunately, local leaders, including mayors and governors, are responding to climate impacts and building more resilient communities. For example, city officials from Chicago to Miami are taking steps to reduce urban flooding with permeable pavement, dampen extreme heat with green roofs, and redesign levies to withstand stronger storm surges.
At the federal level, the Obama administration has called for additional funding for climate resilience and just unveiled a climate data initiative to arm communities with better information about climate change.
Opinion: Climate change could cost more than $100 billion a year
But, it's clear that we need to do more. According to the IPCC, by significantly reducing emissions we can avoid the worst consequences of climate change and cut economic damages by half.
We're making progress already. Americans are embracing clean energy, buying solar panels at a record pace as the price has plummeted by 80% in just four years. Many large companies, like Apple, Google and Walmart, are investing heavily in renewable energy. Even ExxonMobil is among dozens of U.S. businesses now operating with an internal price on carbon.
And important new emissions standards are coming. Under the U.S. Climate Action Plan the president announced last year, the Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with standards to reduce carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants -- the largest source of U.S. emissions. These rules are the most significant opportunity to cut U.S. emissions in the near term and will help the country play a leadership role in the run-up to a universal climate agreement in 2015.
The science tells us that much deeper reductions are needed in the decades ahead. Ultimately, a national price on carbon would be the most effective way to expedite a transition to a safer, low-carbon future.
The evidence is overwhelming: Further inaction guarantees disaster. Alternately, we can re-balance our energy mix and rise to the challenge of the 21st century. Let's hope that a decade from now we will look back with confidence that we stood up to the global climate crisis.
Acehole......here is some info for you. From your favorite and 'balanced' network Fox News (read it and weep):
As President Obama’s signature health care law turns four years old, most people say they understand how the law will affect them -- and a majority continues to oppose it. At the same time, the number favoring the law sits at its all-time high, according to the latest Fox News poll.
The new poll, released Thursday, finds 40 percent of voters favor the health care law, while 56 percent oppose it.
"feel" - that is the key word. Lot's of misinformation that the Repubs have put forth. Dems have done a horrid job of explaining and selling the points. They need to explain it with the same vigor that Repubs have in their misinformation campaign. Cleary a fail on the Dems part for once again letting Repubs dictate the content of the conversation.
not constitutionally protected to force your believes on someone else
Flash - you have most of your money in speculative stocks, that is not investing, that is gambling. Not being offensive, just something you should think about. Investing is being in solid firms that pay dividends.....speculative plays are just that, speculative. You should only 'invest' into ACTC what you can walk away from tomorrow without crying. Sincerely meant as friendly, albeit, unsolicited advice. Good luck.
Dickw - you are starting to sound delirious. Couple quick points for the paranoid among us; "...and nobody vets him". - OK, ... hum....really? I think Fox has done a fantastic job of digging up any and all insignificant pieces and twisting them into their own reality of failure. Why not interview the people he went to school with, see his record in office, interview the people he worked with in Gov. Sounds like some lazy people among us.....oh, and before go even think of letting the delusion carry you into the; "they were all paid off" over the top paranoia....think about what that would take.
Comes out of nowhere? OK, if the U.S. Senate is "out of nowhere", then sure.....he was hiding in plain sight. Starting to see how you appear to some that you are losing it?
The simplistic anecdotes from the mind of a five year old. Never in doubt, always wrong. BTW - who really is dysfunctional and continually unhappy? Look in the mirror Loony Pole.
Not an apology Dickw - if you dig a little deeper you'd see that we are extremely aggressive nation and other easily view us as a deeper threat than Russia. What right do we have to dictate world affairs? Everything we do is for our commerce and has nothing to do with spreading democracy or freedom. This does mean that I agree or condone what Russia has done. Things are not as black or white as the talking heads on TV make it seem.
Doc - first, glad you are doing better, made mental note, no hip surgery. Second, please feel free to compare and contrast the invasion of Iraq and then Russia's take over of Crimea. Please take all the time you need. Do you see the parallels and differences?
OR watching a brilliant person in full survival mode show his true colors. No ownership or responsibility of the mess he created. Don't the RWNJs want and demand ownership of everything that happened under Obama....yet here, they give Donut boy a full pass.
"So you are the impersonator...ya fell for the old impersonator "flush out trick", eh? - Fraud Man, I don't think anyone outside of your diseased mind understands you. Wait, I may stand corrected, there is this guy Loony Pole........
Again....my oversight to mention the Porsche emblem glued on the front and wire basket to hold the daily supply of donuts.
FP - it is healthy to laugh!
from a conversation on this MB about old age.....reading glasses and all.
"Look at FP, he is making the best of it. He has red wings painted on the sides of his scooter, a red scarf and a WWI era leather flying cap with goggles........"
I did, however, neglect to mention the Snoopy Dog doll on his lap to complement the ensemble. My apologies.
rdot - we have less people by % than ever before......yup...those wiley communists just keep on keeping on and before you know it, the GOP will run Putin for the next Presidency.
Look at FP, he is making the best of it. He has red wings painted on the sides of his scooter, a red scarf and a WWI era leather flying cap with goggles........