Your Opinion: Cartoon reveals misunderstanding
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Political cartoons on global warming are hilarious. It’s amazing how cartoonists can continually demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of, or deliberately refuse to see, the consistent changes in our climate.
First, global warming (also known as climate change), is an overall warming of the planet. It does not mean cold temperatures will automatically disappear. However, it does lead to drought, overall ground water level decline, and reduction of crop production in many areas just to name a few of the issues. This warming is evident from the fact that the minimum ice coverage in the Arctic declined 45 percent since 1979 (National Snow and Ice Center.)
The average temperature of the planet has risen consistently since the late 1930s. Scientists agree a two-degree celsius rise from the norm is too much for decent human existence. We’ve risen nearly one degree since the mid 1970s. See the report from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration here … http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global. These temperature changes coincide directly with the consistent increase in greenhouse gas pollution.
It’s also funny we don’t see global warming cartoons when new heat and drought records are set nearly every summer here and across the globe. Additionally, these comics evidently don’t understand that when there’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, a summer exists in the Southern.
Very recently, as this paper posted cartoons lampooning this very serious problem, Australia was experiencing temps of 122 degrees and 2013 was yet another recent hottest year on record.
The really sad part of this disinformation is that it’s only part of a consistent drive by the fossil fuel industry and its naysayers to mislead a public searching for truthful information. The United States should be leading the way to major fossil fuel reduction to drop the greenhouse pollution, which is driving this temperature increase.
Our government has proven it is not going to do it without pressure from its people. We can make a difference. But we have to take the time to learn, then speak up and act. Read from multiple sources on this issue. Truly seek out both sides of the issue and decide for yourself.
For a start, watch “Do the Math” from 350.org. Read “The Weather Makers” by Tim Flannery.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead