Urgency In Copenhagen

This week’s climate change conference in Copenhagen takes on a new urgency in the wake of scientific findings that the first decade of this century will probably be the warmest in recorded history:

The decade of the 2000s is very likely the warmest decade in the modern record, dating back 150 years, according to a provisional summary of climate conditions near the end of 2009, the [World Meteorological Organization] said.

The period from 2000 through 2009 has been “warmer than the 1990s, which were warmer than the 1980s and so on,” said Michel Jarraud, the secretary general of the international weather agency, speaking at a news conference at the climate talks in Copenhagen.

The international assessment largely meshes with interim analysis by the National Climatic Data Center and NASA in the United States, both of which independently estimate global and regional temperature and other weather trends.

Mr. Jarraud also said that 2009, with some uncertainty because several weeks remain, appears to be the fifth warmest year on record.

This news comes just one day after the Environmental Protection agency officially declared carbon dioxide a public danger.

And despite the right-wing hullabaloo over those stolen emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, there are a multitude of separate, independent analyses all providing significant, incontrovertible evidence that human-caused global warming exists.

From the article above:

Addressing questions raised about the reliability of climate data after the unauthorized release of e-mail messages and files from a British climate research unit that provides data to the global weather group, he said there was no evidence that the various independent estimates showing a warming world were in doubt.


After eight years of dithering and denial by the Bush administration it’s extremely heartening to see the United States finally taking a leading role in addressing climate change.

In that vein, the Obama administration should make green energy technologies our new national frontier. Not only would they reduce our carbon emissions and foster our independence from foreign oil (and all oil in general), but a significant investment in researching, developing and implementing clean energy technologies nationwide would create jobs and boost our burgeoning economy.

Energy-generating windmills, high-capacity solar cell arrays and a national biodiesel network should compose a three-pronged attack on both our dependence on foreign oil and the climate crisis in general.  I just hope that the Obama administration will walk away from Copenhagen with a newfound sense of urgency and the resolve to fight global warming.

[All emphasis mine]