Wednesday, May 24, 2006

climate change -- a skeptic converts

Ok, climate change skeptics. Professional skeptic and climate change scoffer Gregg Easterbrook writes today in the New York Times to say he has been convinced -- human-caused climate change is real, and it is a threat. Easterbrook says that earlier, the evidence was ambiguous, but NOW he agrees it is nearly unanimous. As he wrote, the "research is now in, and it shows a strong scientific consensus that an artificially warming world is a real phenomenon posing real danger..."

Easterbrook flags my biggest concern -- not rising sea levels (which certainly will suck for many people), but the threat to the global food supply:
The greatest worry is that climate change will harm the agricultural system on which civilization is based. Suppose climate change shifted precipitation away from breadbasket regions, sending rain clouds instead to the world's deserts. Over generations, society would adjust — but years of global food shortages might occur during the adjustment, likely causing chaos in poor countries and armies of desperate refugees at the borders of wealthy nations.
Easterbrook is optimistic that we can meet this challenge, pointing out how environmental initiatives helped reduce acid rain and smog and reversed the deteroriation of the ozone layer by banning CFCs. But none of those things would have happened if today's moronic science-doubting oilman President and corrupt, supine Congress had been around then.

Tim Flannery (The Weather Makers) thinks we can save the planet if we begin to act soon. I hope Easterbrook throws himself into the debate with the zeal of a convert. His skeptical voice added to the side of reason can only help.