You’ll hear a lot of claims these days that, in spite of the huge amount of scientific work that appeared to demonstrate that the Earth is warming, and our planet’s climates are changing in dramatic ways, and that these changes are due in large part to human activity, that’s it’s not really happening. It’s all some kind of hoax, they say. The earth is cooling, not warming.
When you show the basic data to people who repeat these stories, all of a sudden, they grow silent. That’s why the results of scientific observations, to be published in the magazine Science today, are important.
Most people who deny that the Earth is warming up haven’t been up to Arctic. Eric Post, a biology professor from Penn State University, has. The biological impacts of climate change Post documents in his new work include devastation of Arctic vegetation as a result of insect infestations surging up from the south, ringed seals losing their pups because of thinning ice, and narwhal populations dwindling.
Post speaks of dramatic change in the Arctic wherever he looks. “The Arctic as we know it may soon be a thing of the past,” he warns.
Yes, it’s true that Massey CEO Don Blankenship at the Verizon-funded pro-coal fest last weekend said that global warming is all a bunch of hooey. Whether you believe Blankenship instead of Post may have to do with whether you think that climate research is best conducted around a corporate conference table instead of out in the field.