A Message From A Republican Meteorologist On Climate Change

Acknowledging Climate Change Doesn’t Make You A Liberal

by Paul Douglas, via neorenaissance

I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real.

I am a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters, I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority:  a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up, long-term. It’s ironic.

The root of the word conservative is “conserve.”  A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.

Weather 2.0. “It’s A New Atmosphere Floating Overhead.”

These are the Dog Days of March. Ham Weather reports 6,895 records in the last week – some towns 30 to 45 degrees warmer than average; off-the-scale, freakishly warm. 13,393 daily records for heat since March 1 – 16 times more warm records than cold records. The scope, intensity and duration of this early heat wave are historic and unprecedented.

And yes, climate change is probably spiking our weather.

“Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.” 129,404 weather records in one year? You can’t point to any one weather extreme and say “that’s climate change”. But a warmer atmosphere loads the dice, increasing the potential for historic spikes in temperature and more frequent and bizarre weather extremes. You can’t prove that any one of Barry Bond’s 762 home runs was sparked by (alleged) steroid use. But it did increase his “base state,” raising the overall odds of hitting a home run. A warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, more fuel for floods, while increased evaporation pushes other regions into drought.

Images courtesy of NOAA. Billion dollar disasters (upper). Percentage of USA in drought/flood (lower)

Here’s what I suspect: the patient is running a slight fever. Symptoms include violent tornado sneezes, severe sniffles of flooding and raging rashes of jaw-dropping warmth. It’s 85 in March. What will July bring? It’s as if Mother Nature seized the weather remote, put America’s seasons on fast-forward, and turned the volume on extreme weather up to a deafening 10. This isn’t even close to being “normal”. Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters put it best. “This is not the atmosphere I grew up with.”

Some TV meteorologists, professionals who are skilled at predicting short-term weather, are still in denial. Why? Some don’t like being upstaged by climate scientists; we’ve all been burned by weather models, and some (mistakenly) apply the same suspicion to climate models. Others haven’t taken the time to dig into the climate science. “It’s all political” one local TV weather-friend told me recently. No, it’s science. But we’ve turned it into a political football, a bizarre litmus test for conservatism. Weather and climate are flip-sides of the same coin; you can’t talk about one without understanding the other.

Acknowledging Climate Science Doesn’t Make You A Liberal

My climate epiphany wasn’t overnight, and it had nothing to do with Al Gore. In the mid-90s I noticed gradual changes in the weather patterns floating over Minnesota. Curious, I began investigating climate science, and, over time, began to see the thumbprint of climate change, along with 97% of published, peer-reviewed PhD’s, who link a 40% spike in greenhouse gases with a warmer, stormier atmosphere.

Bill O’Reilly, whom I respect, talks of a “no-spin zone.” Yet today there’s a very concerted, well-funded effort to spin climate science. Some companies, institutes and think tanks are cherry-picking data, planting dubious seeds of doubt, arming professional deniers, scientists-for-hire and skeptical bloggers with the ammunition necessary to keep climate confusion alive. It’s the “you can’t prove smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer!” argument, times 100, with many of the same players. Amazing.

Schopenhauer said “All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally it is accepted as self-evident.” We are now well into Stage 2. It’s getting bloody out there.  Climate scientists are receiving death threats and many Americans don’t know what to believe. Some turn to talk radio or denial-blogs for their climate information. No wonder they’re confused.

dramatic skies


“Actions Have Consequences.”

Trust your gut – and real experts. We should listen to peer-reviewed climate scientists, who are very competitive by nature. This is not about “insuring more fat government research grants.” I have yet to find a climate scientist in the “1 Percent”, driving a midlife-crisis-red Ferrari into the lab.  I truly hope these scientists turn out to be wrong, but I see no sound, scientific evidence to support that position today.  What I keep coming back to is this: all those dire (alarmist!) warnings from climate scientists 30 years ago? They’re coming true, one after another – and faster than supercomputer models predicted. Data shows 37 years/row of above-average temperatures, worldwide. My state has warmed by at least 3 degrees F. Climate change is either “The Mother of All Coincidences” – or the trends are real.

My father, a devout Republican, who escaped a communist regime in East Germany, always taught me to never take my freedom for granted, and “actions have consequences.”  Carbon that took billions of years to form has been released in a geological blink of an eye. Human emissions have grown significantly over the past 200 years, and now exceed 27 billion tons of carbon dioxide, annually. To pretend this isn’t having any effect  on the 12-mile thin atmosphere overhead is to throw all logic and common sense out the window. It is to believe in scientific superstitions and political fairy tales, about a world where actions have no consequences – where colorless, odorless gases, the effluence of success and growth, can be waved away with a nod and a smirk. No harm, no foul. Keep drilling.

In 2008, before it became fashionable to bash climate science, I had the honor of welcoming Iraqi war veterans back to Minnesota for a banquet. The keynote speaker was my hero, Senator John McCain. At dinner I asked him point blank “is it possible this warm, freakish weather is all one great big, cosmic coincidence?” He rolled his eyes, smiled and said “Paul, I just returned from the Yukon. The Chief Elder of a local village presented me with a 4,000 year old tomahawk that had just melted from the permafrost. The short answer? No.” How did we get from there – to here, with an entire party in perpetual denial? Is it still Al Gore? Fear of a government land-grab? My party needs to step up and become part of the solution, which, this century, will generate far more jobs and GDP than legacy, carbon-based industries.

“You’re obsessing,” my wife of 28 years complained recently. “People don’t like having this rammed down their throats.” Fair enough. I’m genuinely concerned, because I’m in touch with America’s leading climate scientists. They are beyond concerned; bordering on apoplectic. We fiddle while Rome burns.

Biblical Scripture: “We Are Here to Manage God’s Property”

I’m a Christian, and I can’t understand how people who profess to love and follow God roll their eyes when the subject of climate change comes up. Actions have consequences. Were we really put here to plunder the Earth, no questions asked? Isn’t that the definition of greed? In the Bible, Luke 16:2 says, “Man has been appointed as a steward for the management of God’s property, and ultimately he will give account for his stewardship.” Future generations will hold us responsible for today’s decisions.

I understand this: capitalism requires growth. Growth requires energy. Anything that gets in the way of insuring an uninterrupted flow of (carbon-based) energy must be inherently evil. My fellow Republicans have an allergic reaction to regulation, but do we really want to go back to the 60s, a time of choking smog and combustible rivers?  There’s a palpable fear that Big Government will ultimately prevent the energy industry from extracting (and burning) trillions of dollars of carbon still in the ground; the fuel we think we need to keep America competitive, growing and healthy.

U.S. reserves of carbon based fuels are 586 GtCO2, according to the Congressional Research Service.  Think Progress’s Brad Johnson estimates U.S. energy companies have roughly $10 trillion worth of carbon resources still left in the ground (coal, gas and oil). “A cap on carbon emissions designed to limit warming to 2 degrees C. will mean sovereign states and public corporations must strand 80% of their $27 trillion of proven (global) reserves and related assets, a loss exceeding $20 trillion” he said. This is what the fight is about.  Big Energy wants to keep us addicted to carbon-based fuels indefinitely; shareholders want to keep the money-spigot flowing, and lock in future profits. Surprised? Me neither. But in business, as in life, you hedge your bets. We can slowly, methodically, wean ourselves off carbon-based fuels, while investing in carbon-clean alternatives. That doesn’t mean government picks winners. That’s anathema to free enterprise.

Climate Change: The Ultimate Test for Capitalism. Let The Markets Work

I’m an entrepreneur. The eight Minnesota companies I’ve created ultimately employed hundreds of professionals. Where others see chronic problems I see opportunity. One of my companies is Smart Energy, with a new level of wind forecast accuracy for global wind farms. Last summer, in response to the most severe two years since 1816, my partners and I launched a new, national cable weather channel (“WeatherNation Television”) – to keep Americans updated with 24/7 storm reports. “Global Weirding” has arrived. Why bother? Because it’s the right thing to do. And because going green will generate green. As in profits. We won’t drill our way out of this challenge; we’ll innovate our way into a new, lower-carbon energy paradigm. Something we’re pretty good at. Professional skeptics will hold up Solyndra as a reason why this will never work. For the sake of our nation’s future – don’t believe them.

Every Day Is April Fool’s Day In Washington D.C.

Amazingly, America already has the technology and creative minds necessary to ensure future growth and more jobs, without treating Earth like a battered ATM card. We can tackle this problem, like we’ve tackled every other problem in our nation’s history. But do we have the political will? Our political system is broken, utterly incapable of dealing with long-term threats. Compromise is seen as weakness; our natural resources put at risk by political paralysis. Will getting serious about climate change require a third political party: a pro-jobs, pro-clean-energy Common Sense Moderate Middle – to prove that America can move forward and thrive, without trashing the land and air we value?  Perhaps.

stormy pink skies

The climate is warming. The weather is morphing. It’s not your grandfather’s weather anymore. The trends are undeniable. If you don’t want to believe thousands of climate scientists – at least believe your own eyes: winters are warmer & shorter, summers more humid, more extreme weather events, with a 1-in-500 year flood every 2-3 years. For evidence of climate change don’t look at your back yard thermometer. That’s weather. Take another, longer look at your yard. Look at the new flowers, trees, birds, insects and pests showing up outside your kitchen window that weren’t there a generation ago.

This is a moral issue. Because the countries least responsible will bear the brunt of rising seas, spreading drought and climate refugees. Because someday your grandkids will ask what did you know…when…and what did you do to help?  We’ve been binging on carbon for 200 years, and now the inevitable hangover is setting in. Curing our addiction to carbon won’t happen overnight. But creative capitalism can deal with climate change. I’m no fan of big government or over-regulation. Set the bar high. Then stand back and let the markets work. Let Americans do what they do best: innovate.

“The Mother of All Opportunities”: Turning America Into The Silicon Valley of Energy

We can figure this out. Frankly, we won’t have a choice. But I’m a naïve optimist. We can reinvent America, leaving us more competitive in the 21st century, launching thousands of new, carbon-free energy companies – supplementing, and someday surpassing anything we can expeditiously suck out of the ground and burn, accelerating an already-warming planet.  We don’t have to bury our heads in Saudi sand – we’ll never “frack” our way to a sustainable future. It’s time for a New Energy Paradigm. There’s no silver bullet. But there’s plenty of (green) buckshot, if we aim high and point America in the right direction. We need real leadership, and a viable, bipartisan blueprint for inevitable energy independence from President Obama and Congress. Yes, healthcare is important. So is the long-term health of our air, land and water.

There are steps all of us can take today.  I own one hybrid, another on order. I bought a home a mile away from my office, to reduce my carbon footprint (and preserve some sense of sanity). But there’s much more I can do. Let’s challenge ourselves to reinvent our own energy ecosystems.

America 2.0. The Best Way to Predict the Future? Invent It

I don’t pretend to have the answer key. But the same Tenacious, Fast-Forward, Can-Do American Spirit that built the transcontinental railroad, the Internet, lasers and the first artificial heart – sending men sent to the moon in a breathtakingly short period of time – will ultimately figure this out. My youngest son is graduating from the Naval Academy in May, then heading to Pensacola. He’ll be flying choppers or jets; F-18s that can already run on biofuels. The Navy is serious about renewables and alternative fuels. Because it’s the best way forward – protecting our troops, securing supply lines, creating economies of scale that will make biofuels more competitive, leaving the Navy less vulnerable to price shocks in the oil markets. Hedge your bets. Put fewer troops at risk. Think ahead. Only the paranoid survive. In the words of my Eagle Scout brethren “Be Prepared.”  Go Navy. Beat Army.

We don’t have much time. Earth Day is April 22, but every day is Earth Day. Native Americans remind us of the sacred responsibility we have for all those who come next:

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors…we borrow it from our children.”

Paul Douglas is a nationally-respected meteorologist, with 32 years of broadcast television and 36 years of radio experience. He is the founder of several companies and author of two books, “Prairie Skies, the Minnesota Weather Book”, and “Restless Skies, the Ultimate Weather Book.”

103 Responses to A Message From A Republican Meteorologist On Climate Change

  1. EDpeak says:

    And does someone have a reference for his “with a 1-in-500 year flood every 2-3 years.”

    is he talking about the USA, some region of the US, what geographical area, and where’s the reference study? How about globally?

  2. Linda says:

    Thank you for this article. We all live on this planet together. Short term profit is short-sighted. We were given this ‘little blue ball in the sky’ – by God, by chance, or by ancient aliens – when we destroy or mutilate our home, we don’t have another to move into. Time to clean our house or Mother Nature will do it for us.

  3. prokaryotes says:


    After his weekly address from 17th of march, again a strong message about the fact that the taxpayer already pays twice to the oil companies. And that we have to advance clean energies!

  4. TKPGH says:

    Somebody buy that man a beer! A very insightful piece, and one that should get a national attention. It’s people like Douglas that may help us pull our country back together. There is one issue: the slow, methodical approach puts the oceans at risk. We don’t have a ton of time to make the transition to clean energy, if we are to mitigate ocean acidification.

  5. Lollipop says:

    I agree with your assessment, but this is a significant step forward–let’s stop arguing about whether the sky is blue and start figuring out how we can turn it green. Or something like that. Progress.

  6. Peter says:

    Its a start, but he still spouts the usual Calvin Coolidge/Herbert Hoover/GOP 1920s economic and social ideology.

    As long as the GOP stands by ‘the Business of America, is Business’ C02 will keep rising- until like Black Thursday and Tuesday the whole damn rotten structure implodes.

  7. Jay Dee Are says:

    Wow! If this gets around, George Will will have to slap you down, just as he did Jon Huntsman. Don’t you know that George has asserted that there is not enough CO2 to have any effect on temperature? Don’t you remember that those silly climatologists were forecasting global cooling in the 1970s, as George repeatedly points out? Data and science be damned! It’s politcal dogma that matters.

  8. Paul Magnus says:

    “Acknowledging Climate Change Doesn’t Make You A Liberal”

    This is a very simple and accurate mime of why many conservatives are climate skeptics.

  9. Paul Magnus says:

    Its time that plans to rapidly shut coal plants down be formulated also.

  10. MapleLeaf says:

    An excellent and thoughtful essay. Paul Douglas is an inspiration.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    #Climate madness. MT @adamlmorton: VCAT has overturned EPA decision, approved HRL to build 600MW Morwell #coal fuelled plant #springst!/djspratt/status/185165346813132800

  12. GeorgieGirl says:

    I read your article and agree with you whole heartedly! I know the inventor of the Aqus that reuses the water we use to wash our hands or dishes and recycles it as “greywater” for the toilet. And we are aware of the changes that are going on.

    We were just talking about what it costs to buy and install a solar heating system. It seems like there should be some way to lower that cost, to make it more affordable to the general public!

    Thanks for your article. I hope that it sparks some conversation and some motivation!

  13. nvieira says:

    I interpreted him as speaking from a global perspective, but I may be wrong. That’s how I read it though.

  14. nvieira says:

    Excellent article, finally, from a republican. There is one of you with intelligence. Only one comment. You mentioned the army/navy is already using and looking to expand the use of biofuels. Wouldn’t we all be better off if they just stopped their war mongering? I have no doubt the enumerable number of bombs they’re recklessly dropping and have dropped all over the world has a lot to do with the rapid climate change. Funny though, how this is never discussed in a serious manner. At least not by republicans.

  15. james billmaier says:


    Great post! Thank you for writing this. I think there are more of us Green GOPers than we might think.

  16. M Tucker says:

    Sorry Paul, you just have not been reading the WSJ op-ed. Conservatives do not get their science from scientists who actually do work in the fields they deny. You cannot say things like:

    “Carbon that took billions of years to form has been released in a geological blink of an eye.”


    “Big Energy wants to keep us addicted to carbon-based fuels indefinitely; shareholders want to keep the money-spigot flowing, and lock in future profits.”

    OR even mention TR

    and expect Republicans to listen to you. You have become a political dissident to them. Ask your buddy McCain what happened? Ask your buddy McCain if HE wants to cut off the “Big Energy money-spigot” that flows into Republican campaign coffers?

    The Republican wagons are securely circled around the fossil fuel industry and they will do anything to protect them. The “small government” Republicans even insist on subsidizing these corporations with YOUR tax dollars. DOES THAT SOUND LIKE SMALL GOVERNMENT TO YOU?

    TR IS NOT a respected figure in the modern Republican Party. The modern Republican Party is now entirely owned by the fossil fuel corporations. And, if you think that Earth is older than 10 thousand years or that you will not be raptured before Earth is destroyed then you ain’t one of them. Guys like you who investigate the truth by consulting actual experts in their respective fields are dead to the modern Republican Party.

    BTW no coal or oil deposit is “billions of years old”. None is older than half a billion years. Only mentioned it to keep things in the realm of truth.

  17. Frank says:

    You are obviously forgetting about the people who believe that the atmosphere is indeed going through a change, they just believe that it is natural and not caused by humans. But I say, instead of spending millions of dollars researching whether its happening or not, how about we spend that money on alternative energy sources, so that if it is happening we fix it and if its not, the planet is better off in the future anyway.

  18. Dave says:

    That is a breath of fresh air. Thank you, Mr. Douglas.

  19. S Wehr says:

    Thanks for this article. At least not all conservatives deny science. Science will give us the answers if we just have the will to listen and not politicize everything, but sadly that is not the world we live in. I see no change on the (increasingly stormy) horizon.

  20. Barry Saxifrage says:

    Good article from a Republican. It will be interesting to see whether GOP party save themselves via this very clear roadmap, or whether they fade away along with coal, oil and a safe climate.

    Extreme weather is becoming drop dead obvious and we haven’t even warmed 1C yet. Being the party that is single-handedly preventing Americans from protecting their future prosperity against increasing extreme weather is a bye bye strategy.

    Maybe the GOP leadership need to understand the basic statistical phenomenon that a small shift in a standard deviation curve makes the super-extremes vastly more likely. As we slightly increase temperature we are dramatically increasing the occurrence of extreme weather. That is how a 1C warming can cause 1-in-500-year floods to become regular occurrences. Same for extreme heat waves.

    Nowhere to hide. Just going to get worse…especially in the super extremes.

  21. Zimzone says:

    I’m from MN, and have been viewing / reading Mr. Douglas for years.
    He’s as good as we have up here…telling the truth about climate while still giving us accurate weather reports in a zone known to be harsh & extreme.
    THANK YOU, Mr. Douglas!

  22. Umlud says:

    Another problem is the quotation from the Bible:

    In the Bible, Luke 16:2 says, “Man has been appointed as a steward for the management of God’s property, and ultimately he will give account for his stewardship.”

    However, while I agree with the sentiment, one cannot argue that AGW-denialists – chief among the politically connected being Sen. J.M. Inhofe – also quote the Bible as an explanation as to why AGW cannot exist or be a bad thing for us.

    Sen. Inhofe said: “Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.”

    The point is that the Bible (or any other holy book that is sufficiently long enough and commented upon over the years) can be used to argue for and against an issue. However, AGW doesn’t depend how “real” of a Christian (or other religion) you are. At best, it can help justify why one takes an action, and (in the case of even getting to accept AGW) the Bible is being used to justify recognition for action as well as an allowance for not having to worry at all about it (even to the point of denial).

  23. Chelsea says:

    I believe he’s referring to the Red River flooding along the Minnesota/North Dakota border.

  24. Danny Jones says:

    I wish this guy would run for governor of Texas.

  25. Steve says:

    As a moderate Democrat (and on some issues/candidates, a moderate Republican), I agree with much of what Mr. Douglas has to say and applaud him for doing so. This is very much a hard-nosed “get used to it” reality check for both sides of the aisle. I think it would be wise for the Left to listen more often to the Center on these issues, and I don’t mean this as a delay tactic but rather both as a messaging strategy and a broadening of the policy choices… federal, state, local, and individual.

    At some point, the Right might start listening as well….

  26. Mark Shapiro says:

    Thanks, Joe, for introducing us to Mr. Douglas.

    While there may be nothing new here, this may be the single most concise rhetorical piece on AGW that I have ever read.

  27. It really is the mother of all opportunities. If we could manage to get 100 billion or more in investments in wind, solar, and electric vehicles each year. If we could establish a national policy that provides the resources necessary to build that manufacturing base, we could literally transform the world and ensure American prosperity at the same time. The fact that we aren’t doing this, that we’re fighting amongst ourselves at a time of world-wide tragedy, at a time when the call for action couldn’t be louder, is a sign creeping failure. And if we fail to act, if we fail to lead, two things could happen:

    1. Someone else, possibly China, will take that leadership position from us.
    2. No-one will lead and the world will go rapidly into the s*@t can.

    It really is that simple. We need to stop quibbling, tighten our belts, and work together for something good. Whether we like it or not, we’re in an emergency. The more we fail to act, the worse it gets from here on out.

  28. PaddyO says:

    Nice article, and I hate to break this to Mr. Douglas, but if this what he truly believes, then he’s not a Republican…..At least according to the presumed 2012 RNC nominee, or any of the current “conservative” buffoons running for office….And alluding to TR as a “staunch Repulican” is misleading, to say the least…his brand of politics was, I believe, rooted in humility, logic and pragmatism, not the fearful, christofascism of modern day “Republicans”…compared to TR, most Republicans today are “RINO’s”….Hell, compared to Reagan most Republicans today are “RINO’s”….

  29. Charles Riordon says:

    Bravo! So well put. This is the kind of article which needs to be regularly featured in Time, the WSJ, the NYT, the National Post, until such time as North American public opinion matches scientific fact.

    I find it hauntingly shameful that corporate profit-making can lead the sort of denial and fabrication which has plagued our continent for so many years, to the point where these profits are effectively at the expense of the taxpayers.

  30. mike fitzgerald says:

    One of the best things I’ve read about climate change in a long time. It’s both realistic and full of optimism. Indeed, Mr. Douglas’ essay should be required reading in every corporate board room and on the floor of the U.S. House and Senate. Mr. Douglas, thank you for your dose of sanity!

  31. Steve R says:

    The message we need to send to anti-alternative-energy and anti-conservation Republicans: The Arab League loves you. You are Russia’s darling. China is depending on you. Iran wants you.

    We just finally dipped below 50% foreign oil dependency for the first time in 10 years. Is it because we drilled, baby, drilled? No: it’s because we used less fuel. We bought more economical cars. We drove less. We walked and biked more. We need to get off the coal addiction and into other technologies, but we also just need to conserve. With existing, low-tech solutions (better insulation & windows, lowering the thermostat & wearing sweaters, building and buying more efficient cars, driving more slowly) we could cut energy use dramatically, and reduce foreign energy dependence. It’s a matter of marketing these ideas to people who could care less about the climate and the world outside our borders. Appeal to nationalism.

  32. catman306 says:

    I suggest that ‘climate change’ be replaced with the term ‘changing climate’. This acknowledges the problem is happening now and on going, without placing blame. It suggests that preparation is necessary.

    It’s too late to prevent climate change in a world of changing climates.

  33. Schwert says:

    The best I could find from Google quickly were two articles:
    1) ‘With climate change, today’s ‘100-year floods’ may happen every three to 20 years: research’
    A very recent article that looks at flooding along the coast (looks like East) in the US, cites a 500-year flood potential every 25-240 years.

    2) Two 500-Year Floods Within 15 Years: What are the Odds?’
    A news blip from the USGS four years ago that recalled the 1993 Mississippi flood was a 500-year flood and so was the 2008 flooding in the upper Midwest, such as around Cedar Rapids, IA.
    From these and the article, I suggest that he is speaking about the flooding potential across the whole of the US (the article is about the US, not the entire world), however the floods themselves may be only local in nature, e.g. the floods that occurred in Southwest Wisconsin in both 2007 and 2008 were 500-year floods, but were quite local in nature.

    Please note that the 500-year flood label is a statistical shorthand for a flood with a probability of 0.2% of occurrence for any given year, and is thus quite dependent on the historical record, which perhaps extends only from 1880’s to the present in some places. Thus, given a longer historical record, some of these floods may not be 500-year floods. Of course, as these floods happen more frequently, the probability of their occurrence will change, although it isn’t as simple as finding the average number of years between 500-year floods and then calling 500-year floods by that average. Indeed, you could have quite a few 500-year floods in a row, year after year, before the historical record changes enough for them to become something more frequent than 500-year floods.

    In the end, he is saying these very destructive floods appear to be happening more often, and good science suggests this trend will continue into the future.

  34. David F. says:

    Just wanted to echo the general sentiment here, and say thanks to Paul Douglas for this. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and say this. If you read through Stu Ostro’s Powerpoint (as I did), you were probably dismayed to learn of some of the death threats and hate mail he has received. The climate denial industry has been so effective at instilling that climate change is a money-making hoax in the minds of idealogues, that many are willing to use extreme (even violent) language to those who acknowledge climate change. Of course, the denialists will wash their hands of any responsibility for this behavior — but it’s their rhetoric that has created this anti-science atmosphere.

  35. eve harmon says:

    Wow. Wonder if anyone on the RIGHT will listen to him? Good of him to stick his neck out like this.

  36. John Reinert Nash says:

    Here’s a relevant news item:

    In Goffstown, Lynch met with residents such as Nancy Congdon, who rebuilt her home to sit higher after it suffered flood damage last May. The work wasn’t even finished yet; the Piscataquog River had flooded her home again.

    “You don’t expect a 100-year flood again, 11 months and two days from last year. Once in a lifetime is more than enough….”

  37. EDpeak says:

    “The climate denial industry has been so effective at instilling that climate change is a money-making hoax in the minds of idealogues, that many are willing to use extreme (even violent) language to those who acknowledge ”

    There are two reasons at least. One is the one you mentioned: folks have been lied to so this thing this is a hoax by greedy ‘elites’ and scientists.

    But the other factor is the nature of the right-wing mind, which is more violent. Sure, some progressive have suggested violence, but not very many, now compare this:

    Person A is a progressive, they think (correctly) that the Lives of Millions of people will be lost, ecosystems devastated, species die, life more miserable, and, did we mention, millions of people die.

    Person B is a rightwinger who thinks (falsly and incorrectly) that someone might trick the public and get a little more tax revenue out of them

    If all other factors were equal, which would you expect to have a higher percentage (of which of the two populations suggested above) send death threats? Obviously A..but in reality, population B issues tons of death threats.

    If the percent rate was anywhere near as high in population A, the tens of millions of people who realize climate denialists are, literally, helping destroy the planet and literally leading to the killing of millions, then the number of death threats would be huge every single day there were be dozens..

    If condemning the violent minds of rightwinters was by itself productive, the exercises would end here. But we need to be constructive: and address the root causes of that too…an atmosphere of fear, hatred, prejudice, antagonism todays one’s fellow citizens (“lazy/evil are out there!” instead of “we are in this together, even the ones I really really don’t like”), bigotry, and thus more hatred, and a violent culture, all contribute…these are factors we need to change in the US and global culture/media/society/economic system.

  38. Jeff Mccurry says:

    Grant me one assumption, we all agree that in the future oil and gas will cost more.

    So doesn’t that mean that our buried reserves are just like money in the bank earning interest.

    If one day your mom told you to spend all your savings as fast as you could would you ask why.

    Why don’t GOP voters ask their leaders why they want them to spend their savings as fast as they can.

    Aren’t they the ones who try to leave as much in the bank as they can for their own kids.

    Thank you for your honesty.

  39. Stina says:

    THANK YOU! I’m a conservative much like Mr Douglas and his opening argument has been my mantra for years now. When did conservation stop being a conservative value?

    I really hope a few other conservative eyes are opened on this. Not every issue needs to be so politicized. Not every issue is liberal or conservative. Some of these issues are just plain common sense from all sides. We may not ever actually kill the planet (hell asteroids and ice ages didn’t even do that) but we can make it an uninhabitable wasteland for us, our children and our children’s children. I’d rather we be the good stewards we should be.

  40. Erin says:

    Way to go Paul Douglas! Thanks for taking a calm and reasonable approach to this topic, one that is often tainted with extremity. I’m from the Twin Cities, and proud to have this guy as our weatherman!

  41. mandas says:

    In the last three years we have had 2 x 500 yr floods here in Australia.

  42. mandas says:

    The services are not ‘warmongering’. They are just the tools – its politicians who are the wwarmongers.

  43. Patrick C. says:

    This video is almost 10 minutes long, but well worth watching. It reinforces your suggestion that we’d be better off if we took preventive measures NOW, and stopped studying the idea ad infinitum.

  44. mandas says:

    It doesn’t matter what people believe. Science is about evidence, not belief. And the simple fact is that the evidence shows that it is human emmissions that are causing the change in the atmosphere.

  45. Thank you for this article. Not only does what you say apply to our understanding of the weather, it also communicates how radically polarized many of us have become. As a person who grew up in the Eisenhower/Nixon era, I find myself alienated from both the republican and democratic perspectives today. Not only are we commanded by God to care for the earth, we are also commanded to care for each other. While we are to be responsible persons–our responsibility does not end with the borders of our personal life. I find it highly ironic that many right wing extremists who claim to be Christian find it so easy to ignore the command of Jesus to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and even visit those in prison–reminding us that what we do to the least of these we do to Him.

    I also find it interesting that the ideas of our forefathers were actually radically liberal for their time–opposing monarchies and advocating individual freedom. We have forgotten too often that caring for the earth means caring for each other in community.

    I feel like a political orphan in today’s world and cannot seem to find a candidate in either party who represents where I live–as an open minded moderate conservative who has positions on issues that range from conservative to liberal–and see no contradiction in that. I suspect that is actually true for the majority of Americans.

    If we do not learn how to care for each other while being fiscally responsible–we will continue to divide ourselves into opposing camps–and a house divided against itself cannot long endure–as a very famous republican once reminded us.

  46. David F. says:

    I’ve often thought about that myself. That might also explain Michael Crichton’s State of Fear. He was ascribing his own violent, right-wing tendencies on the environmental community.

    Anyways, it’s clear that the manufactured doubt industry doesn’t care one bit about the millions of lives that could be lost from climate change. They proved that with their efforts to confound the public about the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke. And there’s a lot of the same players out there now — libertarian think tanks, “contrarian” scientists like Dick Lindzen, and industry lobbyists. Let’s be frank, these groups have blood on their hands. There is nothing ethical about what they do and how they operate. The only care they have is how much profit can be made. Of course, they like to couch things in terms of populist support for individual liberties, like the right to smoke, the right to drive a Hummer, etc. But the only right they truly care about is the right to make lots of money — be it through Big Oil, Big Tobacco, or Big Anything.

  47. Leif says:

    The Military have a $650+ million budget and they are investing a decent chunk into green tech. “We the people” need them to invest more. At least half and my preference would be 3/4+. It is National Security after all…We are threatened like no time in the past history. By our very own own creation, the Capitalistic, Corpor/People, Industrial complex that supports the military. It is a sticky wicket for the Military for sure…

  48. The Oracle says:

    The CO2 bubble is like the housing bubble during the previous decade. Both inflated by human activity, fueled by greed. Many of the same characters reaping profits behind both. Any people trying to put the brakes on these bubbles ignored or deliberately attacked for bringing up facts and pointing out probable consequences if both bubbles weren’t addressed in a timely manner.

    We already know what happened when the housing bubble finally burst in 2008, what with so much of it based on fraud. A financial catastrophe, and a huge bail-out by American taxpayers, $700 billion through President GW Bush and Congress with another $7.7 trillion through Federal Reserve loans and guarantees. The very characters who’d fraudulently inflated the housing bubble were bailed-out, allowing them to continue their “business as usual” activities, including their denial of global warming.

    The CO2 bubble, although similar, won’t burst in the sense that the housing bubble did, it’ll be worse, because we’re seeing plenty of evidence that CO2 emissions continuing to be pumped into the atmosphere (and not being absorbed) are continuing to raise CO2 concentrations.

    Yes, fluctuations are occurring, but the upward trend is evident, meaning that unless the brakes are put on how much CO2 is being pumped into the atmosphere, from wherever, however it is occurring, weather patterns will become even more severe and extreme. And this rising atmospheric temperature due to heightened CO2 concentrations may just have the cataclysmic effect of melting and releasing methane into the atmosphere, which is 20 to 25 more times more potent as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. If this happens, then the few survivors will be back to primarily “green energy” for their survival, because the collapse of society worldwide will be a thousand times more disastrous than the housing bubble collapse in 2008 was…but who will be left afterward to bail-out whom?

    Sayonara, suckers. (I’m saying this because with people talking about being Christian and believing in what Jesus was teaching, then they must also believe that Spirit is a Reality, that an “after-life” is a certainty, which must mean that Spirit ALWAYS triumphs over whatever seems to happen on this earth, no matter if we decide to sh*t in our own earthly bed with hopes of continuing to lie in it afterward, you know, ego business as usual. Or, as according to Jesus, Spirit always has the last laugh, even if we crucify ourselves and our own children on a global-warming CO2 cross).

  49. the shredder says:

    Binomial Probability Calculator Enter event frequency (e.g. 100 = 100-year event) into C4 and time frame (years) into C5

    INPUT User entry
    Specify Event 500 Year
    Time Frame 30 Years

    Probability of a 500 -year event, p=’ 0.002
    Number of Trials, n = 30
    Number of Occurrences (x) Probability of a 500 year event being exceeded for specified time frame
    1 5.66%
    2 0.16%
    3 0.00%
    4 0.00%
    Total probability (1-4) 5.83%

  50. How nice to see something responsible about climate change from a mainstream Republican! I do think it’s a moral issue to stay in a party that denies basic and damaging scientific realities, though. Good luck with changing their view anytime soon!

  51. Neal J. King says:

    There are some promotions on solar systems. For example, the Center for Biological Diversity has some kind of discount with Sungevity in half a dozen states, worth $750 to the buyer (and also a donation to CBD).

  52. Gingerbaker says:

    What “left”? We have no political left in the U.S., compared to the rest of the civilized world. Your position, as a moderate Democrat, is the political right everywhere else.

    Which is why their standards of living and prospects look a hell of a lot better than ours.

  53. Keith Blomstrom says:

    Thanks for pointing out the facts to the public. You are well respected and have an impact on the public.
    I am The President of The Minnesota Conservation Federation and I lobby in Washington for The National Wildlife Federation on this and other issues.
    I will use your information.

  54. Claudia lee says:

    Thank you, Paul, I hope the people who NEED to read this do and get a clue. I just hope we aren’t on a slippery slope and won’t be able to do enough quickly enough to make a positive change. I feel a sense of urgency and it feels like no one is paying attention.

    Thank you for paying attention!
    Let’s go green!

  55. Thank you Paul Douglas for a very thought provoking article. Well done, sir. Well done. I pray that it helps us all by opening some minds to the truth that we are living. Actions have consequences, indeed.

  56. Dallas says:

    I recently read Daniel Yergin’s “Quest”. In it he proposes there will be a doubling of world energy needs by 2030. Much of the energy needs will be in China and India.Currently between those 2 countries they are building 4 coal fired power plants a week! Pretty hard to compensate for that on this side of the world.
    The real solution is to provide a clean energy solution that is much cheaper than coal.The process would be to promote the heck out of energy innovation (with money) to provide an opportunity for new “game changer” or “disruptive” technology. IMHO

  57. Gaelle Berg says:

    Perhaps Paul Douglas can convince his colleagues who present the television weather programs to the general public to stop sugar-coating their daily messages and weather commentary such as saying it’s a beautiful day when it’s 85 degrees in mid-March in Minnesota! The general message that television media send everyday is that all is fine and beautiful out there because it’s WARM. When the general media promotes a message of denial, that harms us all.

  58. James says:

    One thing that sticks in my mind about all of this is the seeming dismissal of all long-term planning on the part of ours, and other leaders around the world, be they governmental or economic. We see only short-term planning, usually to reap a quick fortune or for an impending real-or-theoretical disaster.
    Are there those somewhere at the top who know IT”S TOO LATE, and see no reason to plan for the future besides “get yours while the getting’s good” and “prepare for chaos”?
    Not to sound paranoid or anything….

  59. Jeff Moses says:

    James — and Paul — please say all this more loudly. We really need some old-style Republicans to retake control of their party — otherwise we Democrats are going to buried in our own biases! I was taught that the reason we had a two-party system was to find solutions, not to try to throw each other under the bus.

  60. Although I like that Paul Douglas can admit that climate change is happening, I think he like many see climate change as the only issue. The bigger issue is what is the real cause. The real cause is that we have an economy that depends on growth to succeed. Climate change is one of many unhealthy symptoms of our growth fueled economy. It seems like Mr. Douglas assumes we can simply substitute other fuels for oil and coal, and keep our big old economy chugging along. Reality is we can’t keep growing as climate change is only one of many warnings signs that we have reached the end of growth.

  61. Mark Nelson says:

    There is only a small degree of separation in any discussion or disagreement. It is usually not worth getting emotional over. People seem to think political left and right extremes need to be established, in order to standout from the noise. Even experts need to scream to be heard. All I hear now is pump more oil because the price at the pump hurts. What did he say? “Forgive them, for they know not what they do…”

  62. Ann Werner says:

    I so respect this man! Thank you Paul for speaking truth! (Man are you going to get it from the GOP, continue to be strong.)

  63. Ringo says:


  64. Bobby says:

    A great article. As a Christian, Paul, never fear. The results of any climate change will not be so severe as to destroy our planet because:

    Genesis 8:22… As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.

  65. M Tucker says:

    His argument had a few “problems” but quoting the Bible to influence conservative evangelicals will not work. They will find their own passages to latch onto and no amount of discussion will influence them.

    But he is completely not in the same ballpark with Republicans if he thinks Theodore Roosevelt was a “staunch conservative.” If he truly admires TR he had better rethink which party he would like to be implicated with. I noticed that all the Republican leaders he referenced were pre-Reagan; a clear indication he has been out of the ideological loop for a while. Since none of the current crop of Republican candidates ‘admires’ science and since Paul went out of his way to mention how much he admires and respects O’Reilly, I am suspicious of how closely he follows what is and has been happening with that lamentable party. O’Reilly is the master of spin and his ‘zone’ turns faster than a carnival ride.

    But, I find it a bit amusing how many Republican scientists and meteorologists have come forward lately to try to convince the party to listen to respected climate scientists. I think this is a Sisyphean challenge that will not be overcome in my lifetime.

  66. JJ says:

    Let’s try to keep on subject.

  67. Andy Hultgren says:

    Born and raised in MN, grew up watching Paul Douglas, and boy do I feel proud of him right now!

    Truly, a very well-written piece. The descriptions drawing on Barry Bonds and the Mother Nature “remote control” are particularly striking.

    Thank you Paul Douglas!

  68. Loved it. Here’s a graphic for people to share on their networks to quickly reach their conservative friends.

  69. In 2010, Nashville got hit with 13 inches of rain, and there was another 100-year flood either the same year or the next, very close to it.

    Here is the first:

  70. I guess the good Lord forgot that he also created the at-sea-level equatorial regions.

  71. RJKL says:

    As a member of a military family myself, may I offer this: I highly doubt this gentleman is a warmonger. We don’t exactly like seeing our loved ones (yes, including those in the Navy) get shipped off to foreign lands (and waters) to serve on questionable missions. But it becomes an unquestioning fact of life. You can’t stop it, you can’t change it, you can only be there when it counts.
    Except for the idiots who bleat on about “protecting our freedoms”, as if this were World War II or something, who see going to war as an “honor worth dying for”, who have such a romanticized view of it. The author doesn’t seem like that type of person, though.

  72. RJKL says:

    The “Master” title goes to Rush Limbaugh. O’Reilly is calm, collected, and rational in comparison to that guy.

  73. Jeanvierre Langley says:

    Well, it gives me hope to discover there is one Republican who can interpret and understand credible science. They are not all crazy and stupid. Good to know.

  74. Jeremy says:

    So Genesis must be right. I ask you – do you kick your wife out of the bed and house during certain times of the month or follow anything Leviticus states? And which version of the 350 currently printed translated english versions do you refer to? This is a real threat. Grow up.

  75. jacquie hanson says:

    Too long for me to finish reading comments, but Paul Douglas is so ‘on’, in my experience and that’s awhile at my age of 77. Lived in rural N.D./MN until wed to a Californian 54 years ago. We spent 2 months in Sitka,AK, where the lake in town, 50 years ago, would freeze solid. They would ship giant chunks of their pure lake water to SFO for ice boxes. Now the lake hardly ever is frozen enough to be safe for ice fishing.
    Yes, there are other factors in play in this earth/universe we live in eg. earthquakes and volcanoes above ground and in the oceans, but we add so much hydrocarbons 24/7 that our air quality is terrible too often. We wonder about autism and neurological changes to our brains…i think it’s the gunk in the air and the toxins we spray as pesticides, etc, that affect us negatively. And that accellerates with the population increase worldwide and the accelerated demand for autos and bigger homes, etc. In college i attended a course called”Smaller is Better”…i so agree.

  76. Susan Morton says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  77. Karl Klint says:

    I hope Mr. Douglas reads these responses, because I have a question for him. Mr. Douglas, you speak of changing weather patterns. Has anyone ever looked at the mountain-top mining (where mountain tops are stripped away and lowered) as a possible cause of weather-pattern shifts? I know these actions occur in the Rockies and along the South-Eastern coast. If a large wall is removed, isn’t it possible the weather patterns would shift, too?

  78. Tom Parrett says:

    Excellent piece and a good sign for all of us. Many have said they hoped the rest of the GOP will follow. Remember when there was a moderate GOP, with only a handful of John Birchers? Something happened during Reagan. Historians have said RWR struck an alliance with the Christian Right, until then a marginal force — and they’ve been pulling the party hard-right ever since. This helps explain why the 21st-century GOP is so anti-science. The Christian Right still thinks the earth is only six millennia old and evolution is a metaphor. But there’s another, more cynical part of the GOP that’s also new, I think: the one that ideologically supports business against government and wealth against any societal or cultural obligation. These were not mutually exclusive until recently, until the rise of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party. That these extremists have been embraced by the GOP has to be short-lived, an expediency. They’ll be cast out when it’s clear they are an aberration with little support beyond their own ranks. Global warming is a growing onslaught that’s simply too empirically verifiable to be danced around, beittled, or ignored much longer. But it make take a bad beating at the polls to get the GOP to wise up.

  79. Todd says:

    I think the last few years in Fargo, ND is a good example of a 500 yr flood every year. But there wasnt flooding this year because it was too warm to snow.

  80. Todd says:

    I think its silly that matters of science are political. Science is science and math is math. If one party says that 2 + 2 = 4 the other party will disagree.

  81. jim says:

    Where? the East coast of Australia, is where

  82. Johnathan Jones says:

    Bio-gasoline is the profitable answer to be able to consume our out of this weather problem. Sewage and natural gas combined into bio gasoline could be a workable feedstock of scale that can produce trillions of Gallons a year. Sundrop Fuel Inc is building a plant that uses Woody biomass and natural gas to make Bio-gasoline, they expect to produce 1 billion gallons by 2020. The technology is maturing at increasing rate and soon uses sewage alone as the feedstock to make profits. And of course sewage is the entire plant foodstuff production of earth making it probably the best biofuel that does not compete with existing food, water and farmlands.

  83. Amy says:

    I have two friends who are glaciologists, who go out on the glaciers every year to take measurements and drill cores. I asked them to tell me what they are seeing and what the data show.

    The glaciers are shrinking and the rate is accelerating. This is most definitely a real phenomena and we are near a tipping point. I fear for my yet-unborn grandchildren and the rest of the world.

  84. Bill says:

    You state the definition of conservative and yet you never mention the fact that we are trying to conserve lives, Ours. You fail to mention the number of those who think there are too many people on the planet. You say you are a Christian and yet you never mention God’s order to “go forth and multiply.” Where does it say in he bible to end life on a scientific or religious belief. You are a fraud

  85. Justin says:

    I live pretty close to there. It was too *dry*, not too warm, to snow. While it was certainly a mild winter, it was hardly too warm for snow. And because it was so occasional, when we did get snow, it would eventually melt when a warm enough day did come along. But if we’d had more snow, we’d have had a cooler winter, local meteorologists claimed. Somehow the ground cover would have kept it colder, longer.

  86. SteveEV says:

    A sign of maturity is to do the right thing even though your parents told you to. I am very disappointed in the behaviour of our elected representatives and media. They seem determined to ignore the greater good of the country in persuit of greed enriching a few.

  87. SAB says:

    In 2011, Vermont had a 100 year flood and 500 year flood within 3-4 months time.

  88. RH factor says:

    Did you notice he said TV meteorologists who are so denialist and carry the broom quickly to sweep every weird extreme storm under the rug in terms of cause and effect. I would likje the media to do a study on just who the denialist’s are, geographically, demographically and spill the beans across the counter for full viewing and illumination. Can the medium police itself doubtful.

  89. Susan says:

    You make me proud to be a Minnesotan, Paul. Nice job, you betcha.

  90. TR says:

    Whether you believe in, disbelieve or are agnostic about global climate change, you can’t deny that we are becoming more and more crowded and the resources are dwindling. Common sense tells us that something has to change.

    I’m with Paul on everything. I don’t feel so alone anymore! I recommend everybody read the book, “That used to be us; How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back” by Friedman and Mandelbaum. But it’s not just climate change and our dependance on fossil fuels, it’s so much more.

    Thanks Paul. I hope people are reading this and starting to get the idea.

  91. Dr.X says:

    We need to let go of the idea of stewardship of the Earth. The Earth can do just fine without us. In geological time scales the Earth can correct for our changes very quickly once we stop making them.

    What we need to think about is the idea of stewardship of Civilization. We have a duty to future generations of humanity, the Earth will be just fine regardless.

  92. John Starkweather says:

    I don’t know. Same old issue, facts being questioned, information available on anything. Sam ol, same ol. Why can’t the issue be framed as ” How far off in la la land do you have to be to think that the things we do on such a huge scale could possibly do anything but damage the planet, and how stupid do you have to be to think this time the damage won’t hurt us?

  93. Pjmd says:

    All excellent thinking, but how to accomplish a monumental transition within the existing system? Answer: use the current economic system’s settings to leverage clean energy. Think of the climate system where small forcings can induce huge changes in the climate. A small forcing of the economic system could have similar impact. Place a steadily rising price on the carbon content of fuel, refund the money to households so they can afford higher prices, and PRESTO, investment shifts, R&D soars, economies of scale kick in and renewables supplant fossil fuels. The whaling industry died before all the whales had been mined. We can do the same for coal and oil. Join Citizens Climate Lobby and help make this happen!

  94. Erith B says:

    Basically a good wake up call to those who need it. However, there were fuzzy facts and a lot of political generalizing. I have been concerned about ‘global warming’ for years, but does that define me as a member of one party or another? Enough name-calling and projection, already, and let’s spend our thinking on what we can do about the problem, if anything. The labeling and generalizing solves nothing and detracts from the believability of anyone who indulges in it.

  95. Geekette says:
    When the world decided that profit, and mainly profit for the 1%, was more important than people and the environment, the path was set. Thirty years later it may be too late. Permafrost is melting at an alarming rate releasing methane gases into the atmosphere. The tilting point of run-away greenhouse effect may have been reached. If it has not already been reached, we would have to immediately and dramatically lower fossil fuels usage. Think the Koch brothers are going to be behind that? Any idea of how much control they have over our politicians? Think production is going to be lowered in China? India? Brace yourselves, we are in for a very bumpy ride-

  96. Sid Abma says:

    Natural Gas. What is it that we wear, feel, eat or drink, live and work in drive or ride in, that has not been touched by natural gas. The more you look at or feel will let you realize that natural gas was a part of it’s process.
    The problem is of most of the natural gas consumed, anywhere from 20 to 65% of this fuel is wasted, blown up chimney’s as HOT exhaust into the atmosphere.
    If we want to do one small part to reduce global warming it should be to use this fuel more efficiently.
    The technology of Condensing Flue Gas Heat Recovery is designed to recover the energy from these exhaust gases, so that this recovered energy can be used for building space heating or to heat the domestic or process, plant washdown or even the swimming pool at the hotel or university.
    Increasing the energy efficiency of these natural gas appliances will put profit into someones pocket, so it can’t be a bad thing. Recovering the energy from these waste exhaust gases will then mean that COOL exhaust will then be vented into the atmosphere.
    Increased energy efficiency will reduce carbon emissions.
    This technology when recovering the energy from these exhaust gases, will at the same time create WATER, and this distilled water can be treated and used in a lot of applications. One day here in America water will be considered as Blue Gold, as it is in some other parts of the world.
    They say today there is a hundred years worth of natural gas. If used efficiently it will last a lot longer.
    Increased energy efficiency is important to our economy, and conserving natural gas needs to be a part of that mix.
    Can you imagine our natural gas fired power plants operating at over 90% energy efficiency, and this recovered energy being utilized to provide jobs growing food. It is so possible.

  97. Paul says:

    The author will now be flayed alive and excommunicated for his unrepentant heresy.

    But there is hope for you, Mr. Douglas, because there are many Americans who have not denigrated, denied and politicized science for narrow, partisan reasons. These Americans are just not Republicans. You can join them and your independent thinking will not be ridiculed or violently opposed.

    We know it will be hard for you to accept that there is no room for you in the Republican Party, but we we are confident that you have the intellectual horsepower to make peace with that situation.

  98. mtnrunner2 says:

    While it’s certainly true that government funding of science will have some skewing influence on the direction of research (and of course there’s the injustice to taxpayers of not being able to choose whether to fund it), fighting the science is not a very good political strategy. You don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the truth.

    It also shows a fundamental weakness in the conservative position, namely: that the conclusions of science still do not justify violating our rights to fix a problem.

    Conservatives should be fighting for our inalienable moral right to live our lives as we choose, not fighting science.

  99. We do have the inalienable moral right to live our lives as we choose, but if not for science, we would not have the proper meds for illnesses, water safety, pollution controls, etc, etc, so let’s rethink where we might be if NOT for science and the gifted people who have given so much of their lives keeping us free of MANY atrocities in this world. We do not need to FIGHT science; rather, we need to educate ourselves to the point of intelligently relating to those who are, I feel, honestly trying to protect life and the earth on which we live. It is our duty to protect what we have been given, and to make it a better place for those who come after us.
    The injustice of taxpayers not having the choice of funding is not a fair point. However, the decision as to whether to put a mark on a ballot is the American manner in which we typically begin a process of long term research in difficult to decide matters. If,once we have made the personal decision to fund the studies, then majority rules, and those who have put a negative mark against such will have to wait and see just as those who made affirmative marks on the ballot whether or not “SCIENCE” is making positive leaps toward improving weather conditions. Why cana’t e work together? I’m optimistic that my grandchildren will be given the right to a healthier environment than the one in which we currently live. We put ourselves in this position. Let’s belly up to the bar and pull ourselves OUT of it before it’s too late for upcoming generations.

  100. martyjg says:

    The terminology I like to use, that speaks volumes, is, ‘King Canute(s)Syndrome’ when referring to those that do not accept reality!

    Your ‘analogy’ is good but will fall on deaf ears.

  101. Tony G says:

    I don’t know what he is referring to specifically, but the town of East Alstead, NH where my friend has a house was almost wiped out in 2004 by a 500 year flood. It happened right before or after Katrina so it received little attention. You would not believe the destruction. When these things happen in small towns they only make the regional news. BTW – 100 year floods are bad enough.

  102. Tony G says:

    BTW – I find some fault with this article as it fails to mention that climate change isn’t only about warming. Some climate models predict that the jet stream will be disrupted which might actually lead to severely colder winters throughout Europe. Many people don’t realize how far north most of Europe is. England for example is as far north as Maine, yet their winters are typically milder due to the jets stream and warmer waters circulating up from the equator. Also he fails to mention the feedback effect of global warming. The warmth puts more water vapor into the atmosphere. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas, so it in turn furthers global warming!

  103. WhyIsProfitMoreImportantThanLife says:

    What are YOU doing, right now, to reduce your contribution to Global Weirding?

    I gave up my car in 2003. I do every errand I can by bicycle. I work for a mass transit company, and I walk two blocks to work. I minimize air travel. I carry in my groceries on foot now, usually, but for years I had them delivered by a truck that is more fuel efficient, per delivery, than my car would have been. I eat less beef than most people, which is very energy (and water) intensive to produce. I try to make sure my HVAC and appliances are energy efficient, and keep my computer configured for power saving modes. And my per-person square footage of living space has not risen appreciably since 1995, even though my income has.