“Imagine a giant asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth. That is the equivalent of what we face now [with climate change]. Yet we dither, taking no action to divert the asteroid, even though the longer we wait the more difficult and expensive it becomes.” — Former NASA Scientist James Hansen
The Case for Asteroid Status
Worldwide, each of the last three decades has been warmer than the one before it, with 2012 the warmest year in history in the United States by a full 1 degree (a much larger than average year-to-year increase; globally 2012 was the 9th or 10th hottest on record, 2005 and 2010 were the two hottest years). The current levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – directly correlated with global temperature fluctuations – are 38% higher now than the natural variations that occurred at any time in the last 400,000 years. Although there are differences in opinion about the rate of warming, if the vast majority of scientists are correct, adaptions required to our lifestyle to reverse the temperature and CO2 level rise grow increasingly more extreme and expensive each year we fail to address this threat.
28 straight years of warmer average temperatures: Global temperatures have not dipped below long-term averages since 1985 here.
Looking just at the U.S. climate, January-October 2012 were the warmest first 10 months of any year in U.S. history, with temperatures 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 55 degrees – here.
Even before Hurricane Sandy, billion-dollar weather disasters in the U.S. have tripled since the 1980s, here.
Scientific American: Seven Answers to Climate Contrarian Nonsense, by John Rennie
Advancing the Science of Climate Change (National Academy of Sciences), a report ordered by Congress.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman
Information is Beautiful infographic: Climate change deniers vs. Consensus
The Great Story.org: Science-Rich Education Videos on Climate Change
Carbon Dioxide levels; correlation of CO2 levels with global temperatures and global temperature variation over hundreds of thousands of years. Source: James Balog at TED.com
FRONTLINE explores the massive shift in public opinion on climate change, and the campaign behind it. Click here to watch the video. (Be sure to watch at 17:30 to see the monkeying with data scientists call “going down the up elevator.”
New York Times Dot Earth blog: A Closer Look at Moderating Views of Climate Sensitivity
Video: The Story of Cap & Trade, a critique from the left – and a fairly good explanation.