A Perfect Storm Descends on the Nation's Capital
By Bill Blakemore, ABC News
The massive downpours this morning shorting out government buildings with flooded basements, seizing up legislative communications, snarling traffic access to white columned buildings, fit exactly the pattern predicted decades ago as a consequence of global warming.
It's a simple fourth grade science lesson: the warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold.
Winds suck up more water vapor from oceans and farmlands — leaving more agricultural drought behind — and when they finally do dump that moisture out as rain, the downpours are much heavier.
Not just in the United States. Worldwide, such downpours have been increasing markedly over recent decades — exactly as predicted by scientists.
In the 1980's, leading American climatologists stood in front of Congress, trying to get across the reality of this planetary threat.
One of the world's most respected climatologists, NASA's James Hansen, even used a dice metaphor to make it clear.
If you paint one side of the die red, you'll roll red about one in six times. Paint four red, and you'll roll red on average four in six times.
Manmade greenhouse gas emissions, Hansen explained, were loading the dice so that we'd have such extreme weather far more frequently. And, exactly as predicted, we and the world have — well above what the frequency of any natural weather cycles can explain.
"I have said consistently," answered Bush, "that global warming is a serious problem. There's a debate over whether it's manmade or naturally caused. We ought to get beyond that debate and start implementing the technologies necessary … to be good stewards of the environment, become less dependent on foreign sources of oil…"
[Blog Ed.: This from the man who assaulted the environment with legislation named – ironically – “The Healthy Forests Act" (which deforests pubic lands) and the "Clear Skies Initiative" (which allows even more pollution in our skies).]
The President — as far as the extensive and repeated researches of this and many other professional journalists, as well as all scientists credible on this subject, can find — is wrong on one crucial and no doubt explosive issue. When he said — as he also did a few weeks ago — that "There's a debate over whether it's manmade or naturally caused" … well, there really is no such debate.
At least none above what is proverbially called "the flat earth society level."
Not one scientist of any credibility on this subject has presented any evidence for some years now that counters the massive and repeated evidence — gathered over decades and come at in dozens of ways by all kinds of professional scientists around the world — that the burning of fossil fuels is raising the world's average temperature.
Or that counters the findings that the burning of these fuels is doing so in a way that is very dangerous for mankind, that will almost certainly bring increasingly devastating effects in the coming decades.
Meteorologists predict more heavy rain this week along the mid-Atlantic seaboard.
Climatologists predict much the same for the coming decades.