On July 19, NASA reported: “Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880 … The six-month period from January to June was also the planet’s warmest half-year on record” – with the increased temperatures largely caused by the burning of fossil fuels. This, of course, is worrisome for all who monitor the melting of huge masses of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica, and Asia’s Tibetan Plateau, which, along with increasing heat absorbed by the oceans, add to the relentless rise in global sea levels.
More positively, there is an apparent increase in concern about climate change as evidenced in joint polling this year by George Mason University and Yale, which indicated 45 percent of respondents were either “alarmed” or “concerned” and 21 percent were “doubtful” or “dismissive.” (The 27 percent who were “cautious” and the 7 percent who were “disengaged,” have mostly been shifting to the alarmed or concerned categories.)
As worry about climate change increases, policy makers – especially in the U.S. Congress – will shift their allegiance away from their funders and to the voters who hired them. Voters are encouraged to exercise their right to work now to make this happen.