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Dear Texas, Covering Your Ears Won’t Make Climate Change Any Less Real

Dear Texas, Covering Your Ears Won’t Make Climate Change Any Less Real

This is a guest post from the Environmental Defense Fund

Last week, a coalition of environmental groups presented U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and other Texas politicians with “awards” for their persistent denial of basic climate science. In fact, climate change denial is all too common among Texas lawmakers. Governor Rick Perry, for example, callsáclimate change “a theory that has not been proven.”

In contrast, the international scientific community almost unanimously agrees that greenhouse gases associated with human activity are responsible for the global warming pattern we’ve seen since the mid-20 century. Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual State of the Climate report. The report brings together leading scientists and academics to assess the state of the Earth’s climate. The 2012 report, which included contributions from 384 authors from 52 countries, is the most authoritative analysis of climate change and its globaláeffects.

The Climate Change Consensus

NOAA’s comprehensive assessment stands as a rebuke to what we hear from many Texas lawmakers. Four major independent datasets agree that, globally, 2012 was among the ten warmest years on record (ranking either 8 or 9 depending on the dataset used). It was also the warmest year in American history. All that heat plunged the country into a billion-dollar drought, with 61.8% of the contiguous U.S. in drought conditions by July. While Texas fared betteráthan the central U.S. in 2012, the all-time record-breaking summer of 2011 is still fresh in the memory of most Texans. The extreme temperatures and associatedádrought contributed to the most destructive wildfires in Texas history. The La Ni˝a-related heat wave that prompted 2011′s extremes was made 20 times more likely by climate change.

Overall, the 2012 report showed that, “carbon levels are climbing, sea levels are rising, Arctic sea ice is melting, and our planet as a whole is becoming a warmer place,” said Kathryn D. Sullivan, acting NOAA Administrator.

Many Americans, looking at the extreme weather of recent years, understand there is a connection between human activity, emissions andáthe climate. A majority of Americans accept the science of climate change and the reality of global warming.

State and federal leaders from all over the U.S. are now stepping up to present solutions. In June, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg acted on lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and outlined a $20 billion plan to protect New Yorkers from the next superstorm. Later that month, President Obama presented his Climate Action Plan to the nation. The plan includes state-by-state reports to help Americans from every corner of the nation understand the impacts of climate change and potential solutions. Earlier this month, theáCalifornia Environmental Protection Agency released a report diagnosing how climate change is affecting California. Governor Jerry Brown said of the report, “Whether you live in California, Texas or Timbuktu, climate
change is real, and it’s long past time for action.”

However, even as mainstream American society searches for the best ways to cope with a changing climate, our leaders in Texas still have their heads in the sand. In fact, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has removed mention of climate change from state-commissioned reports, calling itá”unsettled science, in our opinion.”

This article originally appeared on the EDF Voices blog and is reprinted with permission.

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Photo Credit: Environmental Defense Fund

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112 comments

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9:52AM PDT on Sep 13, 2013

climate change denial>>>another sad and foolish human failing.

5:10AM PDT on Sep 13, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

9:50PM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

Thanks Dan B....yes, I have even slipped on the odd occasion..but always big enough to apologise...as for David F..just love his posts..offensive or not..as I've said on many occasions he is the "voice of America" that resonates around the world..understand him and you understand American politics.

6:06AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

Ros,
I did not find his last comment offense at all, but I got the feeling from Mary's post that there have been some others in the past. If you glance at some of the other posts, you will find other people who have been much more insulting and vulgar. I really have little tolerance for people who slur insults at others, in an attempt to degrade them and their opinions. In my opinion, this is the last resort of someone who cannot defend their personal beliefs with facts or logic.

5:38AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

Thank you Dan B...sorry, but I don't think that David F's language is offensive..simple,plain, or as we describe in Australia "bogan" but that is just telling it as they see it...there's no WTF or anything like that ...just plain English...is he the majority or are you??

4:36AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

noted

4:02AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

Ros,
It wasnot David F.'s opinion to which Mary B. was objecting, but rather his language. Several others here use objectionable and insulting language also. To me, they add very little to the discussion, and appear to be instigaters of anger, rather than understanding. There is no reason that people cannot post reasonable responses, regardless of their opinion or stance on the issue.

1:41AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

Many thanks for your comment Mary B..I actually enjoy hearing David F's opinion..to me he is the voice of America..living in Australia we receive mixed messages from the US so we need ALL...not just the converted. Although I must admit - he never replies to my reponses but will comment on others- so I do question his motives. "In God we trust" shame the same can't be said about the USofA.

8:54PM PDT on Sep 11, 2013

It's not like this debate is winnable. If the deniers are 'right', we'll have to listen to their childish "na na na na na, told you so " , and if the dooms day people are right, we'll all loose everything. Do we really want to waste any more time talking about this? Look around your own area. Do what you can, clean it up, conserve what ever resources are there. Plant trees, shrubs, gardens, potted plants, anything that grows that can use the carbon. The deeper the roots the more water can be wicked up, the larger the canopy, the more air can be cleaned.The more diversity of plants, the greater the diversity of wild life to inhabit it. WE don't know how this will all turn out, but we must do what is within our range of ability and stop this stupid egotistic bickering. And David F. you ought to be kicked off this site for deliberatly instigating insults designed to cause anger. That's not free speech, that's taunting and bullying. Go talk to yourself in the mirror and see what you look like.

12:28AM PDT on Sep 11, 2013

The world needs to change. We need to get out of cars, build cycle paths.

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