This month marks the 35th anniversary of the phrase that has defined our era. Published in Science magazine, in a paper titled “Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” Wally Broecker wrote: “The exponential rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content … by early in the next century will have driven the mean planetary temperature beyond the limits experienced during the last 1,000 years.”
How did we become such a big deaf dummy, eh? To quote Neil Young, Auntie Ruth “can’t begin to say.” Bill McKibben blogged recently:
“According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the planet has just come through the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months, and the warmest April, May, and June on record. … Nine nations have so far set their all-time temperature records in 2010, including Russia (111 degrees), Niger (118), Sudan (121), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (126 apiece), and Pakistan, which also set the new all-time Asia record in May: a hair under 130 degrees.”
Enter Meg Whitman, who has promised from the beginning of her gubernatorial campaign to gut Assembly Bill 32, which requires greenhouse-gas emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020.
Time magazine—hardly an arbiter of environmental thinking over the years—took aim at Her EcoNotness earlier this month, observing that “Whitman spends nearly as much per day (an average of $531,378 over the past six weeks) as Jerry Brown has spent all year—$633,205. Yet the cagey and frugal Brown leads the free-spending billionaire in the latest poll 37 percent to 34 percent.”
Brown’s new weapon? Time opines that it is his opposition to Proposition 23, the dim-witted assault on A.B. 32. A new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that 66 percent of residents support A.B. 32. Forty-five percent of the public believes A.B. 32 will create jobs, while only 23 percent believe it will kill jobs. Independents are opposed to Proposition 23 by 53 percent to 29 percent.
Time, of course, will tell. But none other than the Kremlin, long quiet on the subject, can post Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the official website, “Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions. … This means that we need to change the way we work, change the methods that we used in the past.”
Can Whitman be far behind? Evidentially. Oh my.