Today we learned that 2006 was one of the hottest years in recorded history — just like every year for the past decade. The global warming alarm bells should be going off.
The Met Office, part of the UK’s Department of Defence, announced that 2006 will probably be the sixth warmest year since global records began in 1850. And the 10 hottest years all occurred in the past 12 years. In Britain, 2006 sees “the higest average temperature recorded since the Central England Temperature series began in 1659.”
It is no coincidence that 2006 was also a record-breaking season for wildfires in the American West. Like Katrina last year, this is just a glimpse of a world with global warming run amuck, a world of wildfires and floods — “Hell and High Water” — and a world that is our fate unless we finally take this challenge seriously.
The failure to take action on global warming really is a “War on White Christmas” — since, on our current path, most of the United States will be 10°F warmer (or more) by century’s end, making late December snowfall a distant memory for most Americans. Global Warming Deniers deserve a lump of coal in their stockings for their ongoing efforts to spread misinformation and delay action.
To quote a classic Christmas movie, I Triple Dog-Dare any of the global warming Deniers and Delayers to take comfort in today’s announcement. Early next year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is going to put out its latest consensus declaration on the state of the science, and some are already working feverishly to spin it as anything other than the world’s strongest statement yet that global warming is real and it is our fault. Today’s announcement is just one more reason we should be worried.
The fact is that the IPCC is a best case scenario, and its impacts — scary as they are! — reflect only the most conservative assumptions. The cutting-edge stuff is much scarier: IPCC won’t include some of the world’s most serious feedback effects, such as the melting of the Siberian tundra and the release of enormous quantities of the super-potent greenhouse gas methane.
So as I report from a balmy Washington, DC with temperatures in the 60s, I urge you all to enjoy the few remaining White Christmas’s — The Deniers want to take it all away from you.