There’s no question in my mind the “Intelligent Design” movement has lost all its arguments with Science. Unfortunately, post Trump-it, that fact is now an irrelevance. With Trump’s appointment of Betsy de Vos as Education Secretary, it looks like religious fundamentalism no longer needs its figleaf. What concerns me much more is that a similar fate awaits climate research if his appointment of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State is any indication of future policy on combating climate change.
The science and politics of Global Warming seem to have roots going back to 1950, the year I was born. Two irrefutable examples of rapid climate change stand out for me. Around then atmospheric was not much more than 250 ppm. Today it is pushing 500 ppm and shows no sign of tailing off. We have ice-core samples showing how atmospheric has changed previously over 800,000 years and present levels and rate of change are unprecedented.
Also the extent of land and sea ice globally appears to be changing rapidly. I can look out of my window now across at les Monts d’Olmes in the Pyrenees, which are almost devoid of snow cover. Glaciation has reduced to 10% of what it was in the Pyrenees at the start of the nineteenth century. The story of retreating glaciers is repeated on every continent.
The Arctic sea ice seems to be on a rapid trend of shrinkage, especially when one looks at volume and not just area. There have been suggestions that the loss at the Arctic was being balanced by increases in sea ice at the Antarctic but latest information suggests this is no longer happening.
Today I see Barry Arrington has posted a “Friday Chuckle” cartoon mocking change as if it were a myth created by scientists. That his attitude is widely shared, even in the US administration, is worrying. One would expect the argument to move to considering whether the undeniable change is caused in whole or in part by human activity and whether changes we make now can help reverse the trend and if that is achievable or desirable. Has electing Trump condemned us to four lost years of denial and inaction?
What do others think?
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