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Meltdown


Dan Lashof, NRDC, Washington DC
Posted on Thursday 15th July 2010

Today I am speaking at an event on Capitol Hill to unveil a giant ice sculpture. The globe symbolizes our melting planet – due to man-made climate change. The words “climate deniers” are also melting away-- just like their baseless attacks on climate scientists.

The message is simple: The time for denial and delay is over. We are facing our last best chance to prevent a meltdown of the environmental systems that sustain us all.

The Senate is preparing to take action in the coming days on a clean energy and climate bill – and they need to act based on sound science.

Last winter we witnessed the ridiculous spectacle of climate deniers claiming that a snowstorm disproved global warming. Well guess what. There has been an incredible warming trend since January -- 45 degrees in just six months. At this rate the temperature in Washington will exceed Venus’s by 2020.

That claim makes just as much sense as the arguments of the climate deniers.

Enough is enough. Let’s look at the real science.

It’s a fact that the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than it has been in millions of years.

It’s a fact that the last decade was the hottest decade on record.

It’s a fact that the last twelve months was the hottest twelve month period on record.

It’s a fact that unless we steadily reduce global warming pollution these trends will continue with devastating consequences.

It’s a fact that the only hoax about global warming was the manufactured so-called Climategate so-called scandal.

Five independent panels have cleared the scientists whose emails were stolen.

The most recent report, the Muir Russell report, declared that their “rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.”

Two additional recent panels at Penn State University exonerated Professor Michael Mann. The panel concluded that Prof. Mann “did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community...”

In recent weeks, a string of additional authoritative reports have also reaffirmed the science. The most comprehensive and authoritative is from The National Academy of Sciences, which declared:

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and natural systems.

The reports are in, the science is clear and the evidence is sound. There is nothing left of Climategate but a puddle of melted delusions.

It is time to have real leaders stand up in Washington and address our national climate and energy challenges.

It is time for us to get serious on real solutions to this very real issue. We need real action on climate and energy now… before this opportunity melts away.

This post originally appeared on NRDC's Switchboard.

Dan Lashof is Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center in Washington DC. NRDC is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the environment, people and animals. It was founded in 1970 and is comprised of more than 300 lawyers, scientists and policy experts, with more than one million members and e-activists.

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