Several stories on the science and politics of global warming caught our attention this week:
Recent polls show public support for global warming is declining but British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is denouncing warming deniers calling them “anti-science, flat-earth climate skeptics.” Brown will co-chair the United Nations High Level Advisory group on Climate Change Financing. The group aims to raise cash to halt deforestation, encourage low-carbon development and adapt to rising sea levels, extreme weather events and higher temperatures.
President Obama wants to develop a new government agency that would focus specifically on Climate Change. During his campaign, he promised the American people he would devote a good portion of his administration’s time to fighting global warming. Obama announced that in an effort to live up to that promise, he was ordering the creation of a new organization. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Service will actually be a branch of the existing NOAA but will have its own director and specific agenda.
For the next couple weeks, Olympic hopefuls will adorn their colors and put their boots into bindings in the mountains overlooking Vancouver. And they’ll be racing and jumping towards medals in mostly man-made snow. January of 2010 was the warmest January on record in Vancouver, with temperatures averaging 44.8 degrees. This is in stark contrast to recent snow storms on the east coast of the United States, which have fueled the fire for global warming skeptics. Scholars of climate science argue that neither example is proof of anything. Instead they would point to longer term trends showing a gradual warming of the whole earth over the last thirty years.