balmy January days
I know this isn't the nicest way to start a blog post, but I'm completely disgusted by an news item that appeared online today.
This morning, I read an article on msnbc.com about the warm temperatures that have been happening all over North America and Europe: People golfing in January, almost hitting black bears on the highways (because it's too warm for them to hibernate), ice shelfs breaking off in the Arctic circle, etc., are all signs of global warming, yet some people (ie. government officials in the USA) refuse to believe that global warming exists.
"it's climate change"
"we're in El Nino"
"look at Denver - huge snowstorms there, so it must mean that everything's okay!"
Yes, snow in Denver means that thousand year old ice shelves will suddenly freeze themselves back together, we'll see regular winter temperatures in Canada again, and that flowers will stop blooming in January. I have a friend who lives in Yellowknife, a place where the temperature would drop to -60 degrees celsius during January. When we talked over the holidays, she mentioned how much warmer it's been up there, with the coldest days being more like -30 degrees instead. When we were growing up in Northern Ontario, it was completely normal to get down to -30 during January. Now that's unheard of, and this year they don't have any snow, and there is hardly any ice on the lake that we used to snowmobiling on this time of year.
But there's no such thing as global warming.
The summers for the last two years have been ridiculously hot - the hottest on record, yet the governments keep saying that it's a "warming trend" that is part of some cycle. Britain had the hottest summer ever in 2006, and back home in Canada, my parents were still swimming in our lake at the end of September.
But there's no such thing as global warming.
"Is it really a broadly based area that's seeing particular change? The answer is yes," says Ted Scambos, a glaciologist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. "From Europe, the East Coast, north to the Arctic and across to Siberia, there's a very large swath of the Northern Hemisphere for the months of September, October and November that [were] exceedingly warm . . . "
So it's bad. Except for one thing. What you might call, at the moment, the Denver factor.
Denver got four feet of snow in December. The third big storm blew in Friday. Snowdrifts of 10 feet! An automobile-snuffing avalanche in a mountain pass west of town! In Denver, January is still January.
Dennis Feltgen, a National Weather Service meteorologist, says climate change isn't the culprit. It's El Niño. Warm water in the tropical Pacific, changed wind patterns, lots of balmy air blowing our way from the southern United States.
"We're in an El Niño, which has absolutely nothing to do with global warming," Feltgen says. "It keeps a lot of the cold air locked up in Canada, and makes the West Coast of the United States stormy, which we've seen, and makes the southern one-third of the country wetter than normal."
Anybody in Canada want to comment on all of the "cold air" that's been locked up in our country? Has any city in the Great White North (soon to be the Great Green North) experienced a regular winter so far this year?
So let's review.
On the side of "No Such Thing as Global Warming", we have:
* Crazy snowstorms in Denver
* El Nino
On the side of Global Warming, we have:
* highest recorded temperatures in North America and Europe
* polar ice caps breaking
* no snow at Christmas in areas where there used to be snow
* flowers blooming in January
* ski resorts in Europe are struggling to open
* warmer ocean temperatures
* plant and animal species facing extinction - including polar bears
* dozens more things listed on various websites
The scary part of this is that little countries like Britain are doing all they can to decrease carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, but places like the USA refuse to even acknowledge or discuss the problem:
When asked about the Arctic climate policy report, Claussen said the U.S. government does not want to see strong policy recommendations. "They prefer to stick with their own policies," she said, and she doesn't expect any major changes in the Bush administration's policies on global warming.
Source: Wired.com news
I know it's an over-generalization to say "the USA" doesn't care about global warming, since there most definitely are people in their country who do care and are trying to help fight the problem. The difficulty with this situation is that the people who have the power to change things are refusing to put in the time and money to fix things.
If I could make a wish for the world, it would be that the world will still be here for our children and grandchildren and THEIR grandchildren and... well, you get the idea.
I'll also go to sleep tonight listening to the wind through the trees and being glad that even in a huge city like London, you can still find nature. Even if it might not be there forever...