The Great Debate UK
from Environment Forum:
Climate doesn't change by magic.
Just ask Mark Serreze, director of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. On a conference call with other scientists and reporters, Serreze and others linked climate change to the last two harsh winters over much of the United States and Europe. And they squarely blamed human-caused greenhouse gas emissions for the rise in world temperatures that got the process going.
"Climate doesn't change all by itself," Serreze said. "It's not like the Harry Potter theory of climate, where he flicks his magic wand and the climate suddenly changes. Climate only changes for a reason."
He crossed off other possible drivers for climate change one by one.
"Could it be that the Sun is shining more brightly than it was? No, that doesn't work. We've been monitoring energy coming from the Sun and apart from the 11-year sunspot cycle, there's not much happening.
"Is it that the warming is coming from the oceans -- the oceans are releasing heat into the atmosphere? ... Well, if that were the case, we'd have to observe that the oceans are cooling ... but oceans are not cooling, the oceans are warming like the atmosphere.
Ahead of a U.N. summit in Copenhagen next month, scepticism is growing that an agreement will be reached on a global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012.
The protocol set targets aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are believed to be responsible for the gradual rise in the Earth’s average temperature. Many scientists say that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is key to preventing climate change.
from The Great Debate:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s proposed findings on greenhouse gas emissions were a carefully worded attempt to appease climate-change activists while containing hostility from business and energy organizations or Congress.
The "endangerment" and "contribute" findings, that greenhouse gases posed a danger to human health, were designed to provide clear signs of progress on a signature issue for the administration while preserving maximum flexibility.
from The Great Debate:
Senior U.S. administration officials have indicated that if Congress does not pass comprehensive legislation providing for a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions they will press ahead unilaterally with proposals using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s existing authority under the Clean Air Act.
This is an attempt to gain political leverage after deep divisions within the Democratic Party appeared when 26 Democratic senators rebelled earlier this month and voted for an amendment to the budget resolution barring cap-and-trade being considered as part of the budget.