Sep 22, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
My latest entry at
Power, Plugs and People
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Sept. 22, 2005: Hurricanes and global warming: some starting points
We don't yet have an unshakeable proven connection. But we're all looking at each other and wondering: What are we in for next? The uninflected phrase, "extreme weather events" sounds to me much like when a doctor says "you may experience some discomfort."
Here are some pointers I've been paying attention to.
- Al Gore's speeches on global warming. He knows what he's talking about (he studied with the man who first tracked atmospheric CO2 buildup). I heard his stem-winder at World Environment Day in June in San Francisco. He's giving this speech often recently -- many people say that it's the most powerful presentation on global warming they'd ever seen. I hope someone can provide a pointer to a source for a DVD or online streaming version of the full-length speech. For now, you can read the text of a shorter version he delivered at the Sierra Summit in September.
- He referenced, as have many others, the recent MIT report by atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel linking a doubling in the intensity of hurricanes in the past 30 years to increases in ocean temperature. Here are links to reports in Science News and New Scientist.
- A report in the UK Independent on September 16, reprinted at Common Dreams, with the bleak assessment that melting of the Arctic icepack may have passed the point of no return.
- My "Kyoto and Beyond" article from last February, where I described a different way to think about the urgency of the crisis. Versions at Alternet and CalCars.
- The CalCars Global Warming Page-In-Development with the links I most often tell people about. Most important, I'd say: Elizabeth Kolbert's New Yorker series for the facts and Pacala and Socolow's Wedge Strategy for what to do about it.