1.09.2006

Heatup Roundup

I'm with Bill McKibben:

Climate change somehow seems unable to emerge on the world stage for what it really is: the single biggest challenge facing the planet, the equal in every way to the nuclear threat that transfixed us during the past half-century and a threat we haven't even begun to deal with...That lack of preparation and precaution dwarfs even the failure to prepare for the September 11 attacks, and its effects will be with us far longer. It's not, of course, that America could in two decades have prevented global warming. But we could have begun taking the steps to keep it from spinning entirely out of control, steps that grow ever more difficult to take with each passing season.

Though I'm too shy to wring my hands so publicly as McKibben. Nevertheless, because this could possibly turn into a fantastic test of civilization itself -- a test that is almost as interesting to follow as professional hockey -- I've been adding climate blogs to my RSS feed; and, with apologies to Rob McMillin, who does daily baseball-blog-roundups, I thought I'd share some of the highlights from today:
A Change In The Wind concludes its own roundup thusly:
...for those of us who live on the West Coast, the news that the little-known Pacific Decadal Oscillation appears to be speeding up radically could be much bigger news. A study just published in Science finds that the Pacific is warmer than it has been at any point in the last 1400 years. Usha McFarling, a reporter for the LATimes, checked this study out:

Bill Peterson, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, agreed with Field's conclusions of a long-term warming trend. Peterson also said that, for unknown reasons, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation might be speeding up from alternating 20-year cycles to three- or four-year cycles.

"It's not behaving like it used to behave," Peterson said.

Given that the PDO is widely believed in the field to influence El Nino/La Nina, which has huge effects on our weather, this could be big news, and deserves following closely.

Backseat Driving covers "The Prius and the Burger" story that was in the British papers.
• Gary Jones endorses a "Left Popperian" (which I leave to the philosophy majors) view of the debate and recommends a skeptical, adaptative pace rather than going for McKibbenesque radical change.

1 comment:

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