Year 2, Month 11, Day 17: If We Stop Giving Money To The Oil Companies…

The NOAA has more exciting news for connoisseurs of impending doom:

Greenhouse gases are building at a steep rate in the atmosphere, the nation’s top climate agency reported, renewing concern that global warming may be accelerating.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, which indexes the key gases known to trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, rose 1.5% from 2009 to 2010, the agency reported.

The reported rise comes on top of an analysis by the Energy Department last week saying that global emissions of carbon dioxide, a key, long-lived greenhouse gas, had jumped by the biggest increment on record in 2010. The figures showed a 6% increase from the year before, a steeper rise than worst-case scenarios that had been laid out by climate experts four years before.

This started out as a revision of the letter I sent to the Boston Globe a few days ago. It’s always fun to mock Rick Perry a bit, so that wound up as the lede. Sent November 13:

It was just a few days ago that Rick Perry finally — oops! — remembered his intention to defund the Department of Energy — coincidentally, the agency responsible for one of the most alarming recent reports on climate change. Can anyone doubt that every single Republican presidential candidate would enthusiastically endorse a similar response to the NOAA, whose Annual Greenhouse Gas Index is reporting equally bad news?

The NOAA report is terrifying to anyone willing to read the numbers. The consequences of such drastic increases in GHG emissions include devastating storms, droughts, out-of-season precipitation and other forms of extreme weather — all leading inevitably to disrupted agriculture and infrastructure on the regional level. Climate change’s geopolitical effects include resource wars and increased political instability, according to both military and CIA analyses.

In the GOP’s world, bad news disappears when you stop paying for it. If only it were that easy.

Warren Senders

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