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  • Monday, February 6, 2017

    Yet Another Try At Denial

    Republicans Try a New Tack on Climate Change

    Justin Gillis, February 2, 2017 (NY Times)

    “…[After] the public began to notice the heat waves and the torrential rains and the tidal flooding…[climate deniers shifted from denying to] fending off climate questions…[That formula.met with ridicule and now the strategy is to question climate scientists’] ability to measure with precision the extent of that impact…Anybody who did not know better might come away thinking there is room to doubt whether humans are the main cause of global warming…[Experts insist] the public should not be fooled. The deep consensus among climate scientists, arrived at through decades of research, is that human activity is the cause of most of the planetary warming of recent decades, and probably all of it…For starters, an unassailable body of physics tells us that if you add carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, they will trap extra heat near the surface of the planet, a prediction so basic it was first made in the 19th century…

    Emissions have soared in the modern era, and as predicted, the Earth is heating up…[Natural factors could in principle be causing the climate to change but we have satellites keeping a close eye on them and researchers have ruled out] everything we know that works on long time scales that has ever affected climate in the past…The most important uncertainties are not really about the cause of global warming — we are the cause — but in trying to forecast how big the coming changes will be...If emissions continue at a high level but the Earth turns out to be less sensitive to greenhouse gases than currently believed, that would give humanity a few extra decades…But it is not a get-out-of-jail-free card: If we keep burning fossil fuels in that time, scientists say the planet will still undergo profound, threatening changes…” click here for more

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