Here's a bit of good news/bad news on climate change. To the good, the commonwealth's secretary of environmental protection, Michael Krancer, said recently that carbon emissions and human activity contribute to global warming. To the bad, he said scientists had no unanimity as to how much or how fast the planet is warming, or how much of a role humans play in it.
About 98 percent of the world's climate scientists agree that the world's atmosphere is warming and that this is due to human activity. Although they cannot predict precisely to the degree how fast the Earth will warm, or exactly to the year when dramatic climate change will take place, they agree that if this warming is not reversed in the next decade, we will see events on the magnitude of biblical apocalypses. Today, ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, deserts expanding and extreme weather events such as droughts, hurricanes and floods are occurring with increasing frequency.
Pennsylvanians are already paying the costs for this in lives -- lost in more and more powerful floods and tornadoes -- in property damage, in disruption of business and economic activity and in higher food prices. We also get to contribute as federal taxpayers to relieve sufferers from disasters such as those flooded out by Superstorm Sandy. Without immediate, direct and effective action, these things are only going to get worse.
It is a tragedy that the state's leader responsible for protecting us from the ravages of this multifaceted environmental crisis refuses to recognize these fundamental scientific realities, let alone do something about them.
Allegheny Group of the Sierra Club