Thursday, June 24, 2010

101 Degrees Of No Fun

WRAL is predicting a high temperature of 101°F (39°C) for the Raleigh, North Carolina area today, including where I live. They report: "...we will probably see the warmest day so far in this heat wave, the warmest so far this year and the warmest since June 10, 2008, when we saw 101 degrees at RDU." (RDU is Raleigh-Durham International Airport.) It's also very humid. The air quality is not good today, with high ozone levels. I am feeling it in the forum of sinus issues typical of my seasonal allergies and a raw, sore throat. I do need to make a quick run to the market but otherwise, fortunately, can work from my nicely air conditioned home.

Pardon me if I wax political... A heat wave like this is not evidence of global warming. We've always had heat waves and there have always been unusually hot days. What is evidence, indeed proof, of global warming is a sustained increase in the average temperature of the planet over a number of years and a continued warming trend. We have that data and yet there are those, for political reasons or out of plain old greed, continue to deny that global warming exists or that it is a problem despite all of the scientific evidence.

The worst part is that these naysayers, those who ignore science for profit or simply because they just don't want to pay a bit more for energy in the short term, are having their way. Here in the U.S. our Congress is poised to ignore the President's energy proposals and do precisely nothing about global warming or our dependence on oil, even in the wake of the worst oil spill in history.

I really, truly believe our children and grandchildren will curse us for leaving them a decidedly unpleasant planet to live on. They will call us greedy and stupid and they will do so with plenty of justification. Indeed, if things continue to go unchecked I expect that our grandchildren and great grandchildren will have a very difficult time indeed. Of course that can still be avoided if enough people demand action.