The United Nations came out with a climate change report Sunday that Secretary of State John Kerry ominously declared to be “another canary in the coal mine.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that greenhouse gases causing global warming are “higher than ever.”
“The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen,” the report said. “It is very likely that heat waves will occur more often and last longer, and that extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent in many regions.”
“Greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are higher than ever, and we’re seeing more and more extreme weather and climate events, whether it’s storm surges, devastating heat waves, and torrential rain, across the globe. It’s not a coincidence. With this report, we have yet another round of authoritative, peer-reviewed science to prove it,” Kerry said in a statement.
“The bottom line is that our planet is warming due to human actions, the damage is already visible, and the challenge requires ambitious, decisive and immediate action,” he said.
“We can’t prevent a large-scale disaster if we don’t heed this kind of hard science. The longer we are stuck in a debate over ideology and politics, the more the costs of inaction grow and grow. Those who choose to ignore or dispute the science so clearly laid out in this report do so at great risk for all of us and for our kids and grandkids.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said “the scientific community across the world is sounding the alarm.”
“Climate change is real and it will have devastating consequences around the globe unless we act boldly and decisively,” Sanders said. “Many Republicans now respond to the crisis of climate change by saying they are not scientists and therefore have no opinion. Well, most of them are not doctors but they respect doctors’ opinions on cancer and heart disease. Most of them are not generals but they respect the opinions of our military leaders. It’s time for them to respect the views of the scientific community on climate change.”
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said the UN report actually “says nothing new.”
“Similar to previous reports, the latest findings appear more political than scientific. People are tired of the re-packaged rhetoric. It’s time to stop fear mongering and focus on an honest dialogue about real options,” Smith said.
“It also appears that the U.N. is once more attempting to provide cover for costly new regulations and energy rationing. Yet the EPA has admitted that electricity regulations will have no discernible impact on the global temperature. America cannot afford to drive its economy over a cliff with the hopes that the rest of the world will make the same mistake.”