Climate Change Is a Clear and Present Danger, Says Landmark US Report

Climate Change Is a Clear and Present Danger, Says Landmark US Report
May 8, 2014

James H. Rust

James H. Rust is a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, a retired professor of nuclear... (read full bio)
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This is the title of an article in the May 5 Internet edition of The Guardian written by Suzanne Goldenberg, US environmentcorrespondent.  The article is about the release May 6 at the White House of the National Climate Assessment Report (NCA) with a great deal of fanfare.

The article states “Climate change has moved from distant threat to present-day danger and no American will be left unscathed, according to a landmark report due to be unveiled on Tuesday.  The National Climate Assessment, a 1,300-page report compiled by 300 leading scientists and experts, is meant to be the definitive account of the effects of climate change on the US.”

The article further states “Gary Yohe, an economist at Wesleyan University and vice-chair of the NCA advisory committee, said the US report would be unequivocal that the effects of climate change were occurring in real-time and were evident in every region of the country.  ‘One major take-home message is that just about every place in the country has observed that the climate has changed,’ he told the Guardian. ‘It is here and happening, and we are not cherrypicking or fearmongering.’

The draft report notes that average temperature in the US has increased by about 1.5F (0.8C) since 1895, with more than 80% of that rise since 1980. The last decade was the hottest on record in the US.  Temperatures are projected to rise another 2F over the next few decades, the report says. In northern latitudes such as Alaska, temperatures are rising even faster.”

It takes a very astute observer to note climate change is happening in the United States the past hundred years; or for that matter over the 4 billion year existence of the planet.  The country is blessed to have such people working on the NCA.  Surely these individuals will state climate change is the normal state of affairs for the nation.

The U. S. Weather Service and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has been collecting data since the late 19th century on all types of weather events such as temperatures, rain fall, drought, snow fall, wild fires, sea level rise, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.   The data shows little change in event occurrence over times of observation.  If anything there is less frequency of some events the past twenty years when atmospheric carbon dioxide has been at its highest rate of increase.

The graph that follows is the monthly average of all daily high and low temperatures at all NOAA U. S. Historical Climate Network stations.

ScreenHunter_437 Dec. 19 17.16 

It is hard to visualize a continuous rise in U. S. temperatures from 1895 to 2013 in this data.  The planet is in a global warming cycle called the Current Warming Period since about 1850.  So it would be expected to see some warming over this 160-year period.   This warming can’t be attributed to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.  Does the NCA report the pause in global warming since 1998?

Based on The Guardian article, it appears the NCA is another report similar to the latest United Nations 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report forthcoming the past eight months.  To counteract omissions, half-truths, and false statements in these reports, the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) was formed in 2003.  Since 2009, the NIPCC has released six reports that give authoritative, easily-read information about the vast amount of experimental data showing negligible influence of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels on climate, financial losses from mitigation, and proper role of adapting to climate change.

If the material in the NCA contains the information cited in The Guardian, my only comment is aquote from attorney Joseph Welch protesting Joseph McCarthy actions June, 9, 1954, “Have you no sense of decency?”  After Mr. Welch’s statement, Senator McCarthy’s credibility was ruined and he died a lonely man three years later.

Let us hope the NCA will show the illogic reasoning for stopping use of the nation’s abundant, economical fossil fuel resources of coal, oil, and natural gas.  The attempts so far are the reasons for the economic malaise besetting country the past 6 years.  This agony must come to a halt, and the possible illogic NCA will awaken the public about the mass of false reasoning presented the past 25 years.

James H. Rust

James H. Rust is a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, a retired professor of nuclear... (read full bio)