Developing a Consensus on Human Induced Climate Change

Reader Contribution by Richard Hilderman and Ph.D.
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Image by Angie Agostino from Pixabay 

The climate on our planet is changing! Over the past several years we have experienced an increase in the number of heat waves, floods, droughts, wildfires and other extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes and tornadoes.   Is this climate change human induced (anthropogenic)?  At a recent Climate Reality Leadership Corp Conference we learned that various organizations, leading scientists along with government leaders are stating that climate change is anthropogenic and that it has become a serious problem.   In this posting I share with you some of their comments.

1. Ninety seven percent of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of anthropogenic climate change outlined in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  I will use an analogy to emphasize the importance of this statement.  Let’s pretend that you are experiencing severe chest pain and you are fortunate to have 100 of the top cardiologists to examine you.  Ninety seven of them say you have a serious problem and must go on medication, exercise and change your diet.  The three other cardiologists tell you it is nothing to worry about and the pain will go away.  Whose advice are you going follow?   

2. Every National Academy of Science of every major country in the world (34 academies including the United States) confirms anthropogenic global warming.  The number of national academies rejecting the science of anthropogenic global warming is ZERO!  Furthermore, a joint statement of the National Academies of Science for the G8 + 5 nations stated in 2009 “The need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.”  

3. Ever major scientific society in the world that has fields related to the study of global warming confirms the consensus that climate change is occurring. 

4. Munich Re one of the two largest reinsurance companies in the world stated in 2010 “The only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change.”  Since the insurance industry is paying out billions of dollars each year for weather-related catastrophes, it is in their best interest to understand what is causing all the weather-related catastrophes. 

5. Richard Somerville a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Climate Change and Meteorology at the University of California, San Diego stated in 2011 “This is no longer something that’s theory or conjecture or something that comes out of computer models.  We’re observing the climate changing – it’s happening, it’s real, it’s a scientific fact.” 

 6. Jim Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space studies stated in 2012 “The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and the catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change.” 

7. Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research stated in 2011 “Global warming is contributing to an increased incidence of extreme weather because the environment in which all storms form has changed from human activities.” 

8. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated in 2010 “Frankly, what is going on with the world’s climate at the moment should incite us all – I mean world leaders and heads of public organizations – to make a more strenuous effort to fight global climate change.”  

9. Former Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stated in 2009 “Brazil is feeling climate changes that are happening in the world, when there is severe drought in areas that don’t drought, when it rains too much in places where it doesn’t rain.” 

10. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin stated in 2011 “We didn’t use to get weather patterns like this in Vermont.  We didn’t get tropical storms….Our storm patterns weren’t like Costa Rica;  they were like Vermont.” 

Shouldn’t the general public heed the advice of these experts and national leaders and start demanding that the American government take action?  Our inaction on the global warming/climate change crisis will leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren of a hostile planet that is very different from what it is today.  While global warming may not have much of an impact on my generation, it will have an impact on our children and grandchildren.  It is morally wrong for us to ignore this crisis and make future generations deal with a crisis that they had no part in creating.  

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