Everyone is focused on the hot topics in DC, but look at this graphic from Climate Progress. So far 2007 is shaping up to be as hot as 1998, so far the hottest on record. The temperature in Siberia is 5 degrees C above normal, but I'm looking at some of the other big red dots on that map--the ones in California, Nevada and Arizona. The article notes that
Perhaps this is related to the story in the morning paper about rapid declines in populations of 20 common birds, such as Meadowlarks and Evening grosbeaks, species whose numbers are now half what they were 40 years ago.
Even more ominously, the Climate Progress article notes that During the past century, global surface temperatures have increased at a rate near 0.11°F (0.06°C) per decade, but the rate of increase has been three times larger since 1976, or 0.32°F (0.18°C) per decade, with some of the largest temperature increases occurring in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
These figures are not from Al Gore or some enviro group, but the National Climatic Data Center.
Time truly is running out to mitigate the damage. We have lost so much as a result of profit-based and faith-based politics from the Republican Party and its corporate masters and fundamentalist base. Last year over 100 people died from heat-related causes in California in July. Here it is already 83 degrees indoors in the shade at 10:30 am, in an area supposedly cooled by the winds off San Francisco Bay.
Those who will live to see even hotter temperatures in another 20-30 years, if not well before, will not look kindly on the generation who fiddled while the world began to burn, enjoying the last of the good life.
Here's hoping the Dems can find the will to balance future health and well-being with the needs of energy-producing and auto-producing regions today. This is the first big test of what looks like a very hot summer.