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After Irene and Sandy, Climate Change, Yes or No?

This week's Conversation Starter is about the question of whether Irene last year and Sandy this year have persuaded you to give the question of climate change and global warning another look.

Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist at the City University of New York. He appeared for a segment last week on CBS This Morning to discuss the question of global climate change in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which bashed parts of Manhattan, the Jersey Shore and other regions of the country hard on Monday and Tuesday.

Are you a believer? What do you think about the question of whether mankind is having an effect on the global climate? Does the fact that a giant hurricane, Irene, and another one combined with two other weather systems, Sandy, pounded the northeast in just 14 months?

Kaku's basic premise was this: Get used to so-called "100-year storms" and "100-year floods" happening more often. Because the trends that track energy (heat) in the atmosphere, the energy that causes the the kind of weather we saw on the east coast last week—well, those trends are only rising, not falling.

I'm simplifying his point of view. Click the links and hear more.

Beyond that, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made headlines in the midst of the recovery efforts last week when he—a former Republican who now calls himself an independent—endorsed Democrat President Barack Obama.

In a Reuters news report published on the Chicago Tribune last week, Bloomberg expressed his view that Obama has taken steps to reduce carbon consumption and GOP challenger Mitt Romney has not.

"Our climate is changing," said the article, quote Bloomberg's views written in an opinion article for Bloomberg View. "And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be - given this week's devastation - should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."

Kaku told CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose that he was not always a proponent of the idea of global climate change, but he's been persuaded—along with the overwhelming majority of what he referred to as "credible scientists."

What do you think? Should we be taking global climate change seriously? Do the horrible storms, not to mention wicked tornodoes of the recent season, affect your views? Should politicians be taking the issue seriously?

Jackson Thompson November 06, 2012 at 11:43 AM
"I'm simplifying his point of view"? Since when are data and scientific facts a point of view?
Jackson Thompson November 06, 2012 at 11:54 AM
What does the CEO of ExxonMobil say about climate change. Sure we're doing it, deal with it, we have a profit to make. http://www.dailytech.com/ExxonMobil+CEO+Defends+Manmade+Global+Warming+Says+Humans+are+Able+to+Adapt/article25068.htm
Jackson Thompson November 06, 2012 at 12:00 PM
You can listen to the whole speach. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/28/exxonmobil-climate-change-rex-tillerson
James Schumaker November 06, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Jim, the hockey stick chart, as you call it, has not been debunked. It was challenged briefly in the early 2000s by climate-change deniers, but their competing claims were thoroughly discredited by the scientific community. Since then, most scientific studies have validated the the hockey stick chart, although some have pointed out minor problems in the methodology of the study underlying the chart. A good summary of the controversy is at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy .
Roger Hughes November 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Good News. The U.S. will make a huge transition from petroleum oil energy to natural gas by 2030. Its expected to make millions of jobs for workers in our country. This will cut our hydrocarbons by about 40%.

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