Thursday, August 04, 2005

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident 

"Our administration will be creative. We're committed to protecting our environment and improving our economy, to acting at home and working in concert with the world. This is an administration that will make commitments we can keep, and keep the commitments that we make."

---George Bush, June 11, 2001 speech
explaining why he won't support the Kyoto Accord or act decisively on global warming.

"Lunn and others are in the midst of a polar bear census in western Hudson Bay. While the work is not yet complete, Lunn says the numbers so far suggest that the population size has fallen since censuses of the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. He says, "We've seen differences. We don't seem to see the same number of adult females and cubs as we used to in denning areas. The adult females and cubs we find tend to be closer to the coast than they used to be, perhaps because there are not as many males near the coast as there used to be. We're not seeing adult males in the same numbers as we used to. There are more problem bears in and around Churchill. Things are changing. It's clear something is going on in the Hudson Bay ecosystem."
What's going on is likely to continue if, as researchers believe, climate change is the driving force behind the changes.
Average air temperatures on Earth are increasing. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800s, global temperatures have risen an average of 0.6°C (1.1°F), according to the report of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment published in 2004. This report was the result of the work of hundreds of scientists from all over the world.
The overwhelming consensus among scientists is that these temperature increases are due primarily to man-made emissions of certain "greenhouse" gases, such as carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases trap the heat of the sun in our atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels is the main way humans add greenhouse gases to the environment. Before the Industrial Revolution, the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere was about 280 parts per million. Today it's between 360 and 380 parts per million. That's a 35 percent increase in about 150 years."

---The Smithsonian reporting for The National Zoo in July/August 2005 on the possible extinction of polar bears resulting from global warming.

"Today, more than 60 leading scientists—including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents—issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking. According to the scientists, the Bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels.
“Across a broad range of issues, the administration has undermined the quality of the scientific advisory system and the morale of the government’s outstanding scientific personnel,” said Dr. Kurt Gottfried, emeritus professor of physics at Cornell University and Chairman of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Whether the issue is lead paint, clean air or climate change, this behavior has serious consequences for all Americans.”"

---February 18, 2004 Statement from The Union of Concerned Scientists on the Bush administration's warping of scientific data, including that on climate change.

"The collapse of a huge ice shelf in Antarctica in 2002 has no precedent in the past 11,000 years, a study that points the finger at global warming says."

---ABC News report
August 4, 2005, on the cause of an unprecedented collapse of a massive Antarctic ice shelf 3 years ago.

"Extraordinary efforts by the White House to scupper Britain's attempts to tackle global warming have been revealed in leaked US government documents obtained by The Observer.
These papers - part of the Bush administration's submission to the G8 action plan for Gleneagles next month - show how the United States, over the past two months, has been secretly undermining Tony Blair's proposals to tackle climate change.
The documents obtained by The Observer represent an attempt by the Bush administration to undermine completely the science of climate change and show that the US position has hardened during the G8 negotiations. They also reveal that the White House has withdrawn from a crucial United Nations commitment to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions. "

---June 19, 2005 Guardian article on the Bush administration's undermining of efforts to address global warming at the G8 meeting in Gleneagles.

Sometimes the words just speak for themselves.

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