Yesterday, the EPA released its modeling of the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill. A lot of the coverage focused on the agency's conclusion that the cap-and-trade program would be quite affordable—costing families less than a dollar a day. But I'd say the most salient part of the analysis was the section Brad Johnson highlighted: If the United States passes something like the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill and helps negotiate an international agreement on carbon emissions, we'll have a 75 percent chance of keeping temperature rises below the danger zone of 2°C. But if we do nothing, our chances of meeting that goal are roughly 1 percent.
That's the difference between barreling headlong toward catastrophe and staying safe. And half-measures won't cut it. If the president can't make that case in a major prime-time address in the midst of the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history, then who can? A speech, in itself, can't force the Senate to act, but Obama can at the very least lay out the situation plainly. Over at the main site today I have a piece arguing that the confused, tepid reaction to the oil spill doesn't bode well for our ability to fend off (or cope with) other major ecological crises. Obama's address last night gave little reason to think otherwise.
The Reid Carbon Tax thread has sort of gone in a weird direction, and I actually thought that was something worth discussing anyway.
Among climate scientists, AGW really isn't a controversial topic. I'd say an overwhelming would agree that 1.) global temperatures have risen over the past 200 years, and 2.) humans have a significant impact on global temperatures.
That said, it's certainly a divisive topic politically. Whenever you see Americans surveyed, it seems like the country's split 50/50 among people who believe in AGW and the climate change skeptics/deniers.
What's the deal with that? Inadequate media coverage? Blind partisanship? Do people just believe what they want to believe? Have there been legitimate
studies done in the last couple years refuting the idea that humans have an significant effect on global temperatures, and I just haven't heard of them? Someone help me understand what exactly is going on here.