Monday, October 29, 2012

The US ignores climate change, but climate change does not ignore the US

Only 42% of Americans believe that climate change is caused by human activities that release carbon emissions into the air. (Despite every single science academy in the world agreeing on this). And climate change wasn't mentioned once in any of the 3 presidential debates between President Obama & Mitt Romney.

Meanwhile, A massive tropical cyclone, after bringing death & destruction to many parts of the Caribbean, has brought a record-breaking storm surge to New York City, with numerous streets and tunnels flooded in Lower Manhattan and other areas of the city. 50 Americans are dead & millions are without power.

An American preacher, John McTernan has claimed that Hurricane Sandy is God's way of punishing America for Obama & Romney being 'pro-homosexual' as well as Obama being in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood 'which has vowed to destroy Israel'. (

Now I don't believe in any God, be it Yahweh, Allah, Zeus or Krishna, I instead turn to science to explain where we came from (evolution) & also for why extreme climate events occur. And I believe that this 'Frankinstorm' is due in part to climate change.  

Of  course extreme weather events have happened long before man started burning fossil fuels & therefore warming the planet by 0.8°C since the industrial revolution, ( but scientists tell us that they will be made worse due to climate change. This is because as the Earth warms, the oceans warm & warmer oceans create stronger hurricanes. (

The IPCC has reported that it was “likely” that tropical cyclones would get stronger, with faster winds and heavier rainfall, as the world warms. (

This was also a year of record breaking temperatures in the US, record drought conditions in the country's corn belt. Drought is another example of an extreme weather event that climate change makes worse. So whilst the threat of climate change may seem distant to even those that believe in it, that is far from true- the truth it is it is negatively affecting the US economy & therefore the people now. 

My hopes go out to the people of New York, & other affected areas that Hurricane Sandy leaves in his wake. David Attenborough mentioned this week that "It would take a terrible example of extreme weather to wake people up to the dangers of global warming ." I hope too that if some good can come of this it will be that Obama, Romney & politicians in the US will start to have a serious debate about climate change- accept the fact that combating global warming now will ensure we do not leave the world in a far worse place than when we arrived in it. To paraphrase George H G Bush, "it's time for the White House Effect to stop the Greenhouse Effect."

If you wish to read more about this subject, here are some good links:

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