That didn't take long. Local weather guru Paul Douglas, who has spoken out frequently about climate change in other venues, has taken refreshing shot at deniers and conspiracy theorists in his new column at the Star Tribune. His insistence on using hard data and mainstream scientific research should quickly land him in hot water with all honest and decent American patriots -- and the South Dakota Legislature -- who think the planet isn't warming up because it snowed in Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago.
2009 tied for the second warmest year worldwide, but over the southern hemisphere it was the warmest year observed since 1880. This coming after NASA reported that the decade from 2000 to 2009 was the warmest ever recorded for the planet. I know - another conspiracy. And all those moon-shots were staged at a backlot outside Phoenix. Shame on me for believing in this radical, left-leaning organization of hippies and Al-Gore-Lovers. Yes, NASA is reporting that global warming is real, folks, and they've set up a site to make their case.
Here's a chart from those evil conspirators at NASA:
About a year ago, Don Shelby asked Douglas if this pesky habit of living in the real world was based on a political agenda:
"I don't pretend to be an expert on climate, but I am following the Ph.D., the thousands of Ph.D. scientists who publish and who follow this every day, this is their livelihood," said Douglas, "And I trust them. When a vast majority of them say this is not a fluke, it's a trend. It's not a fad it's not an aberration."
Just to review, here's a straightforward primer. Turn down Rush Limbaugh and give it a read:
- Human activities are changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times are well-documented and understood.
- The atmospheric buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is largely the result of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.
- An "unequivocal" warming trend of about 1.0 to 1.7°F occurred from 1906-2005. Warming occurred in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and over the oceans (IPCC, 2007).
- The major greenhouse gases emitted by human activities remain in the atmosphere for periods ranging from decades to centuries. It is therefore virtually certain that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will continue to rise over the next few decades.
- Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations tend to warm the planet.
Science be damned, of course. Here's Stephen Colbert:
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