Date: March 27, 2016
Subject: Extreme Weather and Rising Sea Levels
To: United States Presidential Candidates
Dear Presidential Candidates:
While reading this letter, please put aside your beliefs about human-induced global warming and climate change.
Extreme weather events existed long before the industrial revolution and mankind’s emissions greenhouse gases. That is, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, heat waves, cold spells, floods, droughts and so on are facts of life on this planet and in this country. Regardless of whether you believe our emissions of greenhouse gases are now contributing to or enhancing them, those extreme weather events exist now, and they are not going to disappear at any time in the future.
Another fact of life on this planet: sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age. The estimates of sea level rise range from 300 to 400 feet so far during this interglacial. Why have sea levels risen? Global temperatures have been above the threshold required to melt glaciers and ice sheets for many thousands of years. Sadly, the oceans will continue to invade our shores until global temperatures start to drop and we head toward another ice age. It’s not a matter of if sea levels will continue to rise, it’s how fast. But even the climate model-predicted rates at which sea levels will rise in the future have tremendous uncertainties…with the rises due to best-case scenarios overlapping with worst case. Windmills, solar panels, hybrid cars, climate models, etc. will not stop sea levels from rising.
We continue to pump moneys into climate research even though the summary for policymakers of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is basically the same as the first report. That is, all IPCC reports, from the first report in 1991 to the fifth report in 2013, tell us same very basic things. If we continue to emit greenhouse gases:
- global warming will occur…though the ranges (the uncertainties) of Earth’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide are basically unchanged from the first to the fifth reports,
- droughts, floods and extreme weather events will occur…though they can’t tell us where and when,
- global sea levels will rise…though that’s nothing new…sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age.
In those very basic terms, we’ve received nothing of value for the massive investments in climate change and global warming research over the past decades. The U.S. government continues to throw taxpayer dollars at climate research, which suggests to some voters that the science is not settled.
The U.S. government last December entered into an international agreement to reduce emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases…to make the world a better place for future generations. In fact, President Obama began his December 12, 2015 Statement by the President on the Paris Climate Agreement with (my boldface):
In my first inaugural address, I committed this country to the tireless task of combating climate change and protecting this planet for future generations.
Two weeks ago, in Paris, I said before the world that we needed a strong global agreement to accomplish this goal — an enduring agreement that reduces global carbon pollution and sets the world on a course to a low-carbon future.
But extreme weather events are happening now. U.S. citizens (our children and our grandchildren) are losing their lives, their homes and their livelihoods now to extreme weather events and sea levels, just as they have in the past. We may now have better tools to provide early warning of some catastrophic events, but…
Again, please put aside your beliefs that emissions of greenhouse gases are enhancing global warming and climate change. How are you as the next President of the United States going to help U.S. citizens limit the losses of U.S. lives, property and livelihoods caused by catastrophic weather events and sea levels that are happening now? Setting “…the world on a course to a low-carbon future…” does not address those problems nor do any additional funds spent on speculative research into past and future climate change help to combat those events.
Author of the ebook On Global Warming and the Illusion of Control – Part 1 (700+page, 25MB .pdf).