A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists claims Exxon Mobiladopted the tobacco industry'sdisinformation tactics to cloud the scientific understanding of climate change and delay action on the issue.
According to the report, between 1998 and 2005, Exxon Mobil funneled nearly $16 million to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that try to confuse the public on global warming science.Â Â
"Exxon Mobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer," says Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientistsâ€™ Director of Strategy & Policy. "A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years."ÂWhere did Whitley and Art get the information that forms the basis for their groundbreaking book about global warming, which was made into the hit film The Day After Tomorrow? Only those in the know have the Key to this secret. Don't count on the government to prevent global warmingâ€”there are many important things that YOU can do. To learn some of them, click here and scroll down. YOU can also fight climate change by showing your support for those of us who get the news out about what's REALLY going on. Â For more information, click here.
04-Jan-2007: Another Case of Drowning
27-Dec-2006: First Victims of Global Warming
26-Dec-2006: Too Hot to Hibernate: Head for the Hills!
14-Dec-2006: Melting Lakes May Release Dangerous Flu
13-Dec-2006: Arctic Ice Will Soon Disappear
08-Dec-2006: Rare Tornado in London
07-Dec-2006: Good News About Global Warming
06-Dec-2006: Why a Hungry Nation Needs to Fight Global Warming
06-Dec-2006: Global Warming: Can We Shade the Sun?
04-Dec-2006: Sea Levels May Rise Suddenly
2007 predicted to be world's warmest yearÂ
An article from Reuters by Jeremy Lovell predicts that 2007 will be the hottest on record worldwide due to global warming and the El Nino weather phenomenon according to Britain's Meteorological Office. The combination of factors would likely push average temperatures this year above the record set in 1998.Â
"This new information represents another warning that climate change is happening around the world," said Met Office scientist Katie Hopkins.Â
The world's 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1994 in a temperature record dating back a century and a half, according to the United Nations' weather agency. Britain's Met Office makes a global forecast every January with the University of East Anglia, and said it expected the world's average temperature to be 0.54 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 long-term average of 14.0 degrees.Â
There is a 60 percent probability that 2007 will be as warm or warmer than the current warmest year, 1998, which itself was 0.52 degrees above the long-term average it said in a statement.
Most scientists agree that temperatures will rise by between two and six degrees Celsius this century, due mainly to carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels for power and transport. They say this will cause melting at the polar ice caps, sea levels to rise and weather patterns to change bringing floods, famines and violent storms, putting millions of lives at risk.Â
The Kyoto Protocol is the only global action plan to curb carbon emissions, but it expires in 2012, is rejected by the world's biggest polluter â€” the United States â€” and does not bind booming economies like China and India.Â
Germany, which has an active climate change agenda, has taken over the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union and the year-long presidency of the Group of Eight industrialized nations. Backed by Britain, which has pushed climate change high up the world agenda, pressure is building for the G8 summit in Germany in early June to set out a framework for discussions to take global action beyond Kyoto.Â
Unfortunately, many animal and plant species are already suffering and some may become extinct. Polar bears are now on the threatened species list due to melting Arctic sea ice. In total, experts estimate there are now 15,589 species of plants and animals threatened by extinction. Bear in mind that there are about 1.5 million animal and plant species that have been identified and named, with a likelihood that there are between 5 and 15 million in total.
This list of most endangered includes one in four mammals, one in every eight birds, half of all tortoises and freshwater turtles, and amphibians, such as frogs, toads, newts and salamanders. Up to 2,000 species of amphibians are now classified as endangered. Here too, one has to remember that some species are stronger survivors and can more easily adapt to changing environmental conditions. For instance, one scientist has calculated that the lifetime of a typical bird or mammal species is now about 10,000 years. We donâ€™t need to be helping them along!Â
While extinctions do occur over billions of years, (there have been five of them according to fossil records) scientists now calculate that we are losing species at a rate of between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than normal. And no mass extinction in the past has been directly due to human behavior.
But why should we be concerned about loosing some species? The reason is that all species together create a specific order of things. If one part is removed, it throws the entire chain of nature out of whack. Secondly, we need plant species because they provide our oxygen. We lose too many of them and we lose our lives too.
Jim Hansen, who was one of the first scientists to warn of climate change in scientific testimony to the U.S. Congress in 1988, said back then that the continued increase in man-made, carbon dioxide emissions of greenhouse gases were radically changing the face of our planet. At the time, he predicted 10 years, before global warming would be out of control.Â
Dr. Hansen, who is director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University now says the Bush administration has â€œtried to gag him by limiting his access to the media.â€ While he now feels free to speak up about global warming, he said many other scientists do not.Â
â€œWe just cannot burn all the fossil fuels in the ground,â€ he said. â€œIf we do, we will end up with a different planet. I mean a planet with no ice in the Arctic, and a planet where warming is so large that itâ€™s going to have a large effect in terms of sea level rises and the extinction of species.â€Â
Dr. Hansen explained that the loss of sea ice means less sunlight and heat is reflected back into space, which makes the Arctic even warmer. As well, the frozen tundra releases methane gas, which is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
"If we go another 10 years, by 2015, at the current rate of growth of CO2 emissions, which is about 2 per cent per year, the emissions in 2015 will be 35 per cent larger than they were in 2000. But if we want to get on a scenario that keeps global temperature in the range that it's been in for the last million years, we would need to decrease the emissions by something of the order of 25 per cent by the middle of the century, and by something like 75 per cent by the end of the century."
He predicted that at the current rate, the ice sheets on both Greenland and the west Antarctic would eventually collapse causing a â€œcatastrophicâ€ rise in sea levels. He also noted that half the worldâ€™s people live in or near major cities within 15 miles of a coastline.
"If we follow business as usual and we don't get off this course where year by year we're getting larger and larger emissions of CO2, then we'll have large sea-level rises this century and I think that will become more apparent over the next decade or two," Dr Hansen said.
"The last time it was 3C warmer, sea levels were 25 meters higher, plus or minus 10 meters. You'd not get that in one century, but you could get several meters in one century."
If youâ€™d like to explore this topic further, try The Inconvenient Truth:Â Â