30 Dec 2010

Blizzards and climate change – stop trying to connect those dots

Written by Jim Pierobon

The harder climate change believers try to blame blizzards such as this week’s Nor’easter on global warming or climate change, the more muddied the debate becomes and more difficult it is to make a case for action.

"Thundersnow" is what some observers called the Dec. 27. 2010 assault on New York City. This 1 a.m. satellite image is courtesy of NASA via WashingtonPost.com.

While there appears to be a very long-term connection between the severity of weather events and climate change, rather than trying to blame individual heat spells, hurricanes and blizzards on climate change amid the hyper-partisan debate, it makes more sense to focus on the tangible, very real, very painful costs of mankind’s dependence on fossil fuels and the heavy government subsidies that foster it — not the least of which are the human lives lost around the world.

THOSE costs are not debatable.

A dead sea turtle lies on the beach in Pass Christian, Miss. after the Gulf oil rig explosion. Photo via PeoplesWorld.org, courtesy of the Associated Press/Dave Martin.

Closing out 2010 should prompt all of us to revisit the lives lost to the production of energy around the world. May the 29 lives lost due to  the Massey Energy mine explosion in West Virginia and the 11 workers burned alive during the BP / Transocean / Halliburton oil rig debacle in the Gulf of Mexico — both close the the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Earth Day — raise our collective consciousness for practical steps that reduce these risks and punish those who do not manage them prudently.  All the more reason to move more aggressively toward cleaner, much less risky energy solutions.

May 2011 be cleaner, healthier and safer for energy producers and users around the world.

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