Year 4, Month 4, Day 19: Turn On Your Lovelight

The Missoulian reports on Steven Bunning’s recent speech:

Montanans need to look no farther than their own state to see the effects of global warming, a University of Montana professor said Thursday.

Steven Running is the Regents professor of ecology at UM and was on a United Nations climate change panel that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

For the past 30 years at UM, Running has used satellites to study the global environment and measure its health.

Running spoke to students and faculty members at Rocky Mountain College on Thursday and will make similar climate change presentations at Montana State University Billings on Friday.

Not only is climate change real and mostly caused by human activity, global warming also hits close to home, he said.

Global mean temperatures are rising at an accelerating rate, and the earth no longer has cooling cycles as it once did.

Signs of that trend are everywhere, but none is more dramatic than the fact that the polar ice cap around the North Pole has receded more than 40 percent since 1979.

That melt is expected to continue and “by 2040 or 2050, the Arctic Ocean may be open water,” Running said.

Closer to home, all glaciers in Glacier National Park could be gone by 2020 if current trends continue.

Al Gore is fat. Also. April 5:

At this late date, a newspaper headline announcing that climate change is real forms excellent evidence of the corporate corruption of our public discourse.

Of course climate change is real. The scientific evidence is overwhelming; climatologists’ predictions have been confirmed with ever-increasing precision, and by now the consequences of runaway global warming are showing up all around us: more fires, more droughts, more extreme precipitation, more weird weather everywhere.

An article on outer space no longer needs to acknowledge those who believe the Earth is flat; an article on medicine would be irresponsible if it referenced the medieval theory of humors. On no other subject has the hard and irrefutable evidence of science been subjected to so much unwarranted obloquy; climate scientists routinely find themselves subject to legal harassment along with death threats and public campaigns of intimidation. Why? Their research has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt the reality of the greenhouse effect, of increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2, and of the likely consequences to human civilization of allowing this state of affairs to continue.

The simple answer is that fossil fuel corporations cannot stand hindrance or interruption in their continued pursuit of record profits, and a few impressive-sounding “think tanks” and heavily-degreed spokespersons are a good investment if they can help delay the robust policies needed to address the crisis.

Warren Senders

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