Our Senators Saw the Melting Glaciers, So What Will They Do About It?

“Imagine flying in a helicopter and seeing this massive glacier that’s five miles wide and 500 miles long…following it as it’s crashing into the sea.”

Well, our great Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Courageous) didn’t have to imagine. She was there, in Greenland, to see the melting glaciers. Oh yes, and so were several other Senators, and Dena Bunis of The Register was also there to report it all.

So what happened? Hopefully, they recognized that they must do something NOW about the coming climate catastrophe. So what can be done about it? There are several bills (including Senator Boxer’s own bill) being considered in the Senate right now.

OK, so why isn’t something being done about climate change NOW? The glaciers are melting in Greenland. The snow is disappearing off Mt. Kilamanjaro in Tanzania. Brutal heat waves have wreaked havoc throughout Europe over the last few years. And of course, massive hurricanes have struck Florida and the Gulf Coast. We know climate change is hurting us already, but most Republicans on Capitol Hill have yet to wake up and smell the climate crisis.

I wonder what it will take before we finally see national action on climate change. How many more glaciers must melt? How many more Hurricane Katrinas must strike New Orleans? How many more people must die from heat waves hitting everywhere from California to New York? How much more meterological mayhem must occur before we all wake up and take action?

Maybe Barbara Boxer needs to arrange more trips to Greenland.

  10 comments for “Our Senators Saw the Melting Glaciers, So What Will They Do About It?

  1. RHackett
    July 29, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Greenhut’s commentary today is on the topic of the environmental movement and how wrong it is to interfere in his la la land of the ‘free market.’

    I would like him or any other conservative to point me to examples where industry has taken the lead on environmental issues. Or worker’s safety issues.

    In fact just the opposite can be argued that pollution is a market failure. Usually, dumping pollution is cheaper than treating it. But businesses conduct slick advertising campaigns to convince the public that they are stalwart defenders of the environment.

    Every time an issue of worker’s safety is raised business starts whining about its potential job killing effects. Something we’ve been hearing since Child Labor laws were enacted.

  2. Andrew Davey
    July 29, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    Oh gawd! When will Steven Greenhut wake up and smell the crisis at our doorstep?! And doesn’t he understand that businesses aren’t around to do what’s best for society? Businesses look out for what’s best for next quarter’s profits!

    And you know what? That’s how it’s supposed to be. Businesses look after themselves, and NOT after us. That’s where government comes in. Government is supposed to provide a strong regulatory system in order to ensure a fair marketplace for all people and businesses.

    That’s why we need GOVERNMENT to play an active role in solving the crimate crisis. Sure, private companies should be part of the solution. However, we need government to ENFORCE regulations that ensure that we emit fewer and fewer of the greenhouse gases causing this climate crisis, until we ultimately emit none of them. Without any government regulations, none of that would ever happen.

  3. July 29, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    OMG! Boxer saw a glacier! Globle warmings is reel!

    Has Boxer seen a glacier (any glacier) in person before now? Has she seen this particular one five, ten, or thirty years ago? If not, then what difference does this trip make, other than to draw publicity?

  4. Andrew Davey
    July 29, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Maybe Barbara Boxer hasn’t been to this glacier before, but dedicated scientists have. And you know what? THEY’VE NOTICED THAT THE GLACIERS ARE SLOWLY DISAPPEARING.

    Oh yes, and it isn’t just the glaciers. It’s the snow disappearing off Kilimanjaro. It’s Hurricane Katrina striking New Orleans. It’s the terrifying heatwaves that keep striking Europe again and again. It’s climate change, and NEARLY ALL SCIENTISTS AGREE THAT WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO STOP THIS CATASTROPHE THAT WE’VE STARTED.

    So what will it take before we all take action to stop the coming climate catastrophe? How much more damage must be done before we do something? How much more must the planet suffer before we do something to save it (and ourselves)?

  5. July 29, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Andrew: They’re also finding that ice sheets on Antarctica are thickening.

    I’m wondering what all of you global warming/climate change/whatever-you’re-calling-it-nowadays folks are going to do if it turns out — as a growing number of scientists seem to think — climate change is a function of solar activity? You know — the Earth’s climate changes as the Sun gets comparatively warmer and cooler?

    What then? Find a way to blame that on human economic activity? Make the Sun sign the Kyoto Treaty?

  6. Andrew Davey
    July 29, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Sorry, Matt, but when it comes to such important issues like climate change, I like to draw my conclusions from FACTS, and NOT far-right spin. So what are the facts? I think the nonpartisan Pew Center on Climate Change is a good place to start.

    http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-basics/facts_and_figures/

    See, when you deal with the FACTS, reality becomes much more obvious. Oh yes, and so do solutions to this HUGE problem. Denial won’t do anything to solve this problem. If even some REPUBLICANS on Capitol Hill are admitting that something needs to be done on climate change, why must a few extremists bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry stop us from doing something?

  7. July 29, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Wow — you mean I can find out EVERY FACT IN THE WORLD about climate change at a single website?

    Here’s a scientific paper “Solar Activity: A Dominant Factor in Climate Dynamics”

    Here’s one from a Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog this month:

    http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/environment/archives/117816.asp

    …in which the author cites a UK National Academy of Sciences paper “concluding that while the Earth’s temperatures have gone up in recent decades, solar activity has decreased” (although the blogger fails to priovide a link to the paper.

    I also found this from a June 2002 article in International Science News:

    http://www.unisci.com/stories/20022/0613022.htm

    It says that scientists found evidence that solar activity influences climate change — “but volcanic eruptions can completely reverse those influences.”

    It is the first time that volcanic eruptions have been identified as the atmospheric event responsible for the sudden and baffling reversals that scientists have seen in correlations between sunspots and climate.

    My point is there is still much to be learned about the extent of any climate change, if the impact is good or bad, and even the reliability of the computer models used to predict the effects of climate change. They’ve run known climate data from the past decade through these computer models, and they can’t even accurately predict weather that’s already happened.

    Until then, perhaps the Environmental Left can ratchet down the doomsday rhetoric and accompanying impulse to cede more and more liberty to government to forestall doomsday.

  8. Andrew Davey
    July 29, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    No, I just meant that the Pew Center is a good place to start. I think a known and trusted institute devoted to nonpartisan research is a better place to go than some pundit with a partisan axe to grind, a la the deniers.

    Oh, so where’s another good place to go? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a clearinghouse for truly accurate information on the climate:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/

    Just trying to be helpful in providing some reality-based information on a VERY REAL CRISIS in need of action. :-)

  9. July 29, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    I’m not denying climate change exists, Andrew. That would be like denying “weather change” exists. Using “Climate change” as a tool to beat the drums for more governmental action (i.e. control) is brilliant, because “change” encompasses anything that happens with the climate.

    I am skeptical that this is a crisis and that we have to “do something” — anything!

    Here’s some food for thought for you:
    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/science_policy_general/000318chris_landsea_leaves.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/23/dt2301.xml#head1

    And sorry about leaving open-ended italic HTML in an earlier post. Perhaps Mike Lawson can fix it.

  10. Andrew Davey
    July 30, 2007 at 10:32 am

    No, you’re just denying that humans are causing the climate crisis. Sorry, Matt, but if even the US government had to admit it in 2002…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2023835.stm

    … Then I think the debate has mostly settled on what’s causing this. We now must work on SOLUTIONS to the problem. That’s why I’m ready to move on from the closed debate on whether or not it’s happening and what;s causing this, and move on to find solution to the problem. If the rest of the world is already doing something about it, then we need to catch up and do something.

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