A new poll shows that 23 percent of Americans do not believe in man-made climate change, despite overwhelming science.
The survey, conducted in November and early December 2013, also showed that 63 percent of Americans do believe in global warming, but only 53 percent are worried about the consequences.
The "don't know" category dropped 6 points between April and November 2013 and went to the "not happening" category.
"People who prior said don’t know are increasingly saying they don't believe it," Anthony Leiserowitz, of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, which conducted the poll, told Live Science.
"Media frames can be really important in shaping the way people interpret the news," added Leiserowitz.
There have been numerous reports on Fox News, Drudge Report and other conservative media outlets that global warming could not possibly be happening because there were very cold temperatures this winter.
However, scientists say the cold weather in the US was caused by a "polar vortex," which is when Arctic air shifts from the North Pole downwards. Another polar vortex is expected this month, notes The Washington Post.
Global warming deniers in conservative media also failed to mention the scorching temperatures in Australia where it is currently summer.
According to Mother Jones, tennis matches had to be suspended at the Australian Open where temperatures hit 109 degrees and some players had to be iced down.
Researchers at the University of Toronto discovered a greenhouse gas that contributes more to climate change than any other compound, and "it is not being regulated by any type of climate policy.”
Researchers say the long lifespan of the compound perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA) means it has 7,100 times the effect of carbon dioxide on global warming.
“PFTBA is extremely long-lived in the atmosphere and it has a very high radiative efficiency. The result of this is a very high global warming potential. Calculated over a 100-year timeframe, a single molecule of PFTBA has the equivalent climate impact as 7,100 molecules of CO2,” study co-author Angela Hong said in a release.
The manmade chemical has been in use since the 20th century. While scientists found only small amounts of PFTBA, it can stay in the atmosphere for about 500 years.
"This is a warning to us that this gas could have a very, very large impact on climate change – if there were a lot of it. Since there is not a lot of it now, we don't have to worry about it at present, but we have to make sure it doesn't grow and become a very large contributor to global warming," Dr. Drew Shindell, a climatologist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told the Guardian.
In the Toronto area, PFTBA in the environment was 0.18 parts per trillion, compared to 400 parts per million for carbon dioxide.
"It is so much less than carbon dioxide, but the important thing is on a per molecule basis, it is very very effective in interacting with heat from the Earth," Hong said. "Individually each molecule is able to affect the climate potentially and because its lifetime is so long it also has a long-lasting effect."
"We claim that PFTBA has the highest radiative efficiency of any molecule detected in the atmosphere to date," Hong added.
Other unregulated industrial chemicals could have a similar impact on the environment.
"PFTBA is just one example of an industrial chemical that is produced, but there are no policies that control its production, use or emission," Hong said. "It is not being regulated by any type of climate policy."
There is little doubt that the worlds of science and politics are miles apart, especially with respect to how they make their decisions. Politicians are driven by public opinion or, in rare cases, a sense of activism. Either way, they occupy a space of arguments. Scientists, on the other hand, operate using theories and hypotheses, taking data and then using it to make conclusions. When it comes to something like climate change, the two worlds couldn’t be further apart.
No serious scientist would deny that the planet is undergoing a warming trend, especially given the visible-to-the-naked-eye melting of polar ice. Thus, politicians would argue that what is still up for debate is that global warming is man-made. According to a report by The Guardian, a survey of recent climate studies find that there is a consensus of around 97 percent that human industrialization is responsible for it.
According to The Huffington Post, a new study from the Climate Accountability Institute has identified “90 companies [that] are responsible for almost two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution.” Of those 90 companies, 83 are gas, oil, or coal producers. Also the study determined that the past 25 years has seen the amount of greenhouse gases double.
Still, others think the study unfairly paints energy companies as the villains, such as Andy Revkin of The New York Times, comparing it to blaming gun deaths on gun manufacturers absolving the individuals who pulled the trigger. “I do not mean that gun manufacturers, or fossil fuel companies, have no responsibility in such matters,” he writes, but suggests “discussions of accountability have to go much farther down the chain.” Climate Change advocates suggest that this is a clear indicator that the world should embrace the “carbon budget” idea which means reducing energy production and consumption before global temperature rise higher than two degrees—the international acceptable standard.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will testify before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on Thursday on the proposed expansion of the EPA’s authority over carbon emissions.
Seventy-seven percent of the Republicans members on the committee are climate change deniers.
Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said they would question McCarthy's over the agency's "ever-expanding regulatory agenda.”
Smith and his GOP colleagues on the committee have received $3,418,079 in non-renewable energy contributions, ThinkProgress reported.
“The Science, Space, and Technology Committee has obtained a copy of a proposed rule to expand the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The draft rule redefines ‘waters of the United States’ under the CWA to include all natural and man-made tributary streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands that affect downstream navigable waters,” Smith said in a release. “The proposed rule is so broad that it effectively gives the EPA regulatory control over all man-made and natural bodies of water in the U.S., including those on private property.”
Smith wrote an editorial in May asserting that there is still uncertainly in the scientific community over climate change.
"There is a great amount of uncertainty associated with climate science," he wrote int he Washington Post. "These uncertainties undermine our ability to accurately determine how carbon dioxide has affected the climate in the past."
Commitee vice chairman Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said in August that “global warming is a total fraud” employed by liberals to “create global government.”
“proponents of man-made global warming in Congress will use every opportunity they have to invite witnesses to testify before Congress who only share their point of view. We now have clear evidence of what we knew all along, that there are perhaps thousands of scientists who don’t share these views, and sadly have been the subject of concerted efforts to discourage and suppress their findings from publication.”
Committee member Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, claimed “proponents of man-made global warming in Congress will use every opportunity they have to invite witnesses to testify before Congress who only share their point of view. We now have clear evidence of what we knew all along, that there are perhaps thousands of scientists who don’t share these views, and sadly have been the subject of concerted efforts to discourage and suppress their findings from publication.”
According to NASA, 97 percent of scientists agree "climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities."
A group of climate change skeptics in New Zealand was ordered to pay $80,000 in court costs after it brought a lawsuit against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
The New Zealand Climate Education Trust alleged that NIWA data on climate change in New Zealand was invalid. The group’s website says they are “ensuring that New Zealanders receive balanced scientific opinions that reflect the truth about climate change and the exaggerated claims that have been made about anthropogenic global warming.”
The group sued stating that NIWA unethically, intentionally misinterpreted their data to make people believe climate change is real. They alleged that the methodology for gathering data was flawed.
“We’re not saying that climatic changes are not happening,” said Trust attorney Terry Sissons, “but let’s at least ensure the evidence gathered for the benefit of New Zealanders is accurate and is done properly.”
Appeals Court Justice Forrest Miller ruled that the lawsuit was simply “mounting a crusade against NIWA and was not acting reasonably.”
A High Court ruling back in September 2012 ruled that NIWA had “acted in accordance with internationally recognized and credible scientific methodology.”
New Zealand High Court Justice Geoffrey Vanning ruled it was “unnecessary for this Court to resolve this scientific debate” and that other scientific methodologies would “still have arrived at a similar result which would strengthen the robustness and validity of the previous results.”
“We never doubted the excellence and integrity of our science,” said NIWA Chief Executive John Morgan said in a statement. “Our scientists and have always rigorously defended the robustness and professionalism of our work.”
Televangelist and Potential Texas Senate Candidate David Barton Believes Global Warming Is A Result Of Sinning Americans
Blaming the world’s problems on sinners is typically an act done by extremist evangelists like the Westboro Baptist Church or religious, attention-seeking media personalities, not politicians. Claiming that climate change is occurring because American citizens are having abortions, for instance, is not typically something constituents would like a Congressman to believe, especially when facing votes about environmental issues. That’s exactly, however, what David Barton has said he believes, according to Salon.
Speaking with televangelist Kenneth Copeland on his television program Believer’s Voice Of Victory, Copeland claimed that America’s support of abortion rights “opened the door to the curse” from God that led to national disasters such as floods and tornadoes, which citizens wrongly refer to as global warming.
Copeland, of course, is also a televangelist and religious author, so his statements were not that far from the norm. According to several news publications including Mother Jones, however, Copeland is considering a run for U.S. Senate. Although he has yet to admit his interest in running for the position, Copeland does have a history of associating with and influencing right-wing politicians such as Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
At the urging of fellow right-wing media personalities such as Glen Beck, Copeland may challenge the incumbent Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn. On a recent show, Beck discussed the future Senate race, saying, “Senator David Barton. You should quiver in your boots and hide, John.”
If Barton were elected, conversations about bills relating to environmental issues would quickly become interesting. Barton stated that “we opened a door that lost God’s protection over our environment and that’s our choice," not necessarily the rational thinking required by members of the legislative branch of the United States of America.
Barton also “believes America should be governed by Biblical law,” Mother Jones reports.
"Fox & Friends" reported on President Barack Obama’s executive order to elevate climate change policy and implement a task force to examine federal spending to protect cities from extreme weather events on Saturday morning.
“If you want to do something where the press won’t cover it you do it late at night on a Friday,” said “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Clayton Morris.
The Nov. 1 executive order gives the administration control over climate change policy establishes a "a high-level task force of state and local leaders to offer advice to the federal government."
“That means that the infrastructure related to forest fires, flooding, any sort of big storm is now going to be given over to seven governors, all Democrat by the way, except for one Republican governor from Guam, so all Democratic governors in charge of this, who will now be able to dole out money and force other businesses to change their structure based on climate change," said Morris.
Guam, as a small island, is highly vulnerable to climate change. Rising sea levels is sinking the island and there is no place on their island for refuge.
Co-host Tucker Carlson denied that global warming is actually real stating that he love "when congress pretends to be scientists."
“The truth is the climate hasn’t risen, temperatures have not risen in the past several years, they have gone down," said Carlson. He said "an emerging scientific consensus that we may be in for a period of global cooling caused not by greenhouse gases but by fluctuations in solar energy -- sun spots."
According to NASA there is no dispute among scientists that climate change exists and that human contribute to it.
“Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position,” reports NASA. “The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.”
Carlson said the president’s order is “not rooted in science.”
"What they don't know definitively is the truth,” Carlson said. “And no one wants to admit -- maybe there's some things they don't fully understand. Why not just admit that?"
Climate change poses a threat to the world’s food supply over the next few decades, according to a leaked draft of a report by a United Nations panel.
The draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that rising temperatures could be helpful for producing some crops, but globally climate change will make it difficult for most crops to thrive, the New York Times reported.
Demand for food is expected to increase 14 percent per decade as the world population continues to grow.
Meanwhile, crop production could be reduced by as much as two percent for each decade for the rest of the century.
A 2007 report from the IPCC predicted that any losses due to global warming would be offset by gains in colder areas. Now the panel says that is not the case, and there will be losses across the board as carbon emissions continue to rise.
Crops are more sensitive to heat waves than scientists expected.
They see plants and animals moving to new areas to escape rising temperatures and others threatened with extinction.
While hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent to reduce carbon emissions based on the findings of the IPCC, analysts claim those efforts are inadequate.
Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline could generate $100 billion for billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, according to a progressive think tank called the International Forum on Globalization.
The study found that Koch Industries holds up to 2 million acres of land in Alberta, Canada where the pipeline is meant to start. Koch Exploration Canada would profit from oil development on its land, and Koch Supply and Trading would profit from oil derivatives trading.
An estimated $50 million was donated to members of Congress who pushed for the pipeline to be built, according to the report. The Koch brothers have invested heavily in members of the Tea Party, and have encouraged inactivity in respect to the environment.
Despite these facts, Koch Industry officials have denied any connection to the pipeline in the past.
Environmentalists have feared the development of the pipeline since its conception, arguing that greenhouse gas emissions will increase and that there will be a higher risk of oil spills.
The Keystone is currently waiting for a final decision from the State Department, though it is unlikely one will be made before 2014.
If built, the pipeline will deliver 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries.
Global warming is felt around the world, with average temperatures rising 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the year 1880. But nowhere is getting warmer faster than North America’s own Lake Superior.
The largest lake in North America and, by surface area, the world has heated up by six degrees Fahrenheit in the last 30 years alone.
It’s not all bad news, though. In this case, the short term effects of the sudden hike in water temperature could be a bonanza for the economy around the lake (seen from space in the accompanying photo). Why? Because as lake, which is the coldest of the Great Lakes, gets warmer to becomes more hospitable to new breeds of fish. Specifically, the walleye fish, until recently absent from Lake Superior.
But walleye experienced a population explosion in the lake as its water became warmer. And that means — great fishing!
"There are going to be more people fishing for walleye that are going to spend money buying bait, buying food, staying in hotels, having a beer with the boys after dinner, those kinds of things," said University of Wisconsin Emeritus Professor James Kitchell. "The economic boost of recreational fishery in the Great Lakes has been phenomenal."
The south shores of Lake Superior lap up in Wisconsin and Michigan. Minnesota and Ontario lie on the northern shores.
The reason that lake is getting hotter faster than anywhere else has to do with the decline in the amount of ice on the lake over the past three decades, Kitchell explained to Public Radio International.
"When there’s ice on the lakes, a lot of that solar energy is reflected back into the atmosphere, but in the most recent three decades, the duration of ice on the lake has reduced by as much as 50 percent or more," the scientist said. "The result is that more solar radiation enters and stays in the water column, and the lake warms more quickly."
The bad news about the lake heating up is that more fish in the water means less food to go around. Scientists are already seeing the fish population starting to die out.
SOURCES: Public Radio International, National Geographic, Wikipedia