Year 2, Month 5, Day 31: Shrill. Shrill. Shrill.

The Myrtle Beach Sun-News runs a column by Michal Hall, who is shrill:

Global warming has become accepted by an estimated 99 percent of all scientists, most religious groups (even 70 percent of evangelicals), both political parties (Bush, McCain and Obama have accepted it) and a constantly growing number of the American people. Still, some doubts remain. For us to honestly address such a life-changing issue, everyone has to be on board. For those who still might have some doubts, here are the facts:

We do need greenhouse gases to blanket the Earth in order to keep it warm enough to sustain life. These gases allow sunlight to enter and warm us. They hold in some of the warmth while also allowing some of it to escape. Without this natural effect, most of the sun’s warmth would escape into space, and the Earth’s surface would be very cold.

But global warming is caused by a build-up in the greenhouse gases (principally carbon dioxide). Scientists have studied the correlation between the earth’s temperature and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations over the last 500,000 years and have clearly seen that when CO2 rises, the temperature rises. Over the past 150 years (when industrialization emerged) we have seen a clear rise in CO2 and a corresponding rise in temperature. When the greenhouse gases thicken, heat cannot escape, and heat rises.

Figured I’d get Michal’s back on this one, as he’s getting hammered by Kochbot trolls in the comments section. Sent May 19:

Yes, indeed — it’s time to face the facts: the climatic consequences of a century’s worth of wasteful consumption of fossil fuels are going to be far more drastic than anyone imagined. We were warned: climate scientists have been predicting the disastrous consequences of the atmospheric greenhouse effect for over fifty years, warning us with ever-increasing specificity to change our ways if we wished to avoid catastrophe. While humans are indeed a “resilient species,” we won’t have a chance to demonstrate our resourcefulness if we don’t stop hiding from reality. Americans were once known for optimism, inventiveness and a “can-do” spirit that was admired throughout the world – yet now we ignore the genuine threat looming on the horizon while focusing our attention on trivialities. While our media and politicians are complicit in this collective denial of global climate change, the responsibility for concerted action is ultimately ours. Let’s get to work.

Warren Senders

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