Jun 30, 2008
Global warming is here, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in its first comprehensive analysis of weather patterns in North America. Since the record hot year 1998, six of the last 10 years (1998-2007) have had annual average temperatures that fall in the hottest 10% of all years on record for the U.S.
In its report, the NOAA confirmed that increasing temperatures are creating big weather and climate extremes, more severe droughts and excessive heat, along with more severe downpours and intense hurricanes.
Scientists now predict that the severe flooding along the Mississippi River, the persistent drought in the Southwest and Mexico, the heavy rains and severe thunderstorms in the Midwest – all of which we are experiencing today – will become more common and intense, threatening more lives, destroying more crops, and even wiping out whole communities.
Of course, it is one thing for the NOAA, which is a part of the U.S. government’s Commerce Department, to use science to uncover the cause of global warming and describe and predict its consequences. But it is another thing for the U.S. government to take any practical measures to deal with it, for example, measures to force major corporations to rapidly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel global warming. The government has repeatedly shown it will not force U.S. industry to pay to reduce those emissions. That would reduce profits to big business.
Instead, it issues another report, whose conclusions had already been well-documented. Are we supposed to turn it into a paper fan to cool us down?