Thursday, November 18, 2010

Congressional Hearing on Climate Change: Do we now have to negotiate with Republican majority come January?

The argument against climate change is hardly convincing: Republicans want us to believe that it makes little difference and are working hard to bring before congress men who will take up their position or do their dirty job. As congress goes into hearing this week, there are evidence that information to be shared with committees will only bolster the argument that there is nothing like climate change; and, if there is, the cost to change direction is too high at this time for the nation. Talks of the health of the economy being impacted by solutions to correct climate change influences are disconcerting as some well known politicians are advancing the argument: do no harm in a period of economic slump!

Climate change is real and there is preponderance of scientific evidence to prove that, even though there is this acrimony regarding tainted data from University of East Anglia, England. Ocean seafarer will inform you of the dwindling marine fisheries and other ocean resources due to changes in Ocean current, a problem that can only occur from changes in currents and climatic imbalance or inconsistencies. The changes in the climate have impacted marine biodiversity, species of animals and plants that were easily harvested in the past; the fishes and shrimps are no longer here. Until recent decades, it was still possible to harvest huge tonnage of seafood at depths that are not as high as what fishermen have to contend with nowadays. Given the complicated issue of environmental pollution from oil spill and its probable impact on the ocean currents, it is still possible to convince many people in the marine business, that the movement of offshore waters and current is due largely to the problem of climate change. Justifying every nit-picky argument from skeptics of climate change may not be entirely possible, but it is safe to say that from what mariners and seafarers are experiencing at sea, it is not just the same as in the past; and, hardly can you convince these marine gofers that other reasons may be adduced to the new experience. Mariners know the sea and understand the climate and how it can impact their operations and exploits!

No one should under estimate the challenges that climate change is already creating and will continue to create in the future on the balance of sea, ocean, land, air and ozone layer stability. The uniqueness of the Arctic Circle and ocean floor currents have shown some convincing evidence that the challenge that climate change may create will be more costly, if we do nothing. We cannot wait for the doomsday before reacting. Mariners and gofers want something done, even if the public are still dragging their feet. Take it this way: if indeed there is no need for alarm, or to worry about the impact of climate change, and the nation still puts in place some corrective measures, we have very little to lose. Now, if we disregard the scientific evidence showing there is cost to bear for doing nothing about climate change, and we actually refuse to do something, then there is probably hell to be paid.

Since Republicans are now in the majority, we understand where the direction of the debate over climate change is heading. The Republicans maintain an askance attitude towards the argument of evidence of climate change. Leading scientists in the field of climatology have indicated that there is evidence there is climate change and the nation needs to address this concern. Some scientists are apprehensive of giving in to the argument that climate change is generally not good for the economy, the environment and weather. The latter group argues that nature takes its course to make corrections during imbalances and data collected over the years indicate that there are some corrective measures that set in whenever there is an imbalance in the whole world climate. The problem with that argument though, is that, in the absence of mans effort to chart its future, nature will automatically take control, and accommodate the zillions of industrial and chemical pollution that is being pumped into the air through human activities. Sadly enough, the advanced economies of the world, contribute more to the ozone layer pollution than the developing countries. Thus, to refrain from taking action is tantamount to accepting failure or that man cannot correct for his errors or mistakes.

When it comes to designing public policies to correct for the problems of climate change, there is clear disconnect between what Republicans profess and what they actually do. While a few of them are open to conviction that there are real problems with climate change, many are rigid, totally against any effort to correct for probable problems that climate change may wroth on the people and the economy. The rigidity of not accepting that there is need to work on corrective measure(s)to address climate change effect has prevented any movement in public policy to explore the “what ifs” dimension in the argument of climate change. If still apprehensive, take it from a mariner, the global ocean space is changing, ocean resources aren’t where they used to be and we aren’t waiting for no politician to tell us what experience has shown to be true!

How can those of us convinced that there is need to address the problem of climate change at this time, rather than wait any longer? How can Democrats in congress advance argument un-behalf of convicted climate change gurus? The integrity of scientists presenting data in support of climate change is hardly in doubt; what is in doubt, is the conviction of Republicans who are skeptical about the whole idea of climate change and would rather gloss over its impending problems. The task this morning is how, do we negotiate with Republicans in congress, assuming negotiations are appropriate to afford for inching steps in congress to put in place public policies that will begin to address problems that many scientists agree is a potential nightmare for the nation’s weather and economy and probably, the world.

The first and the most obvious question for the congressional hearings this week on climate change is whether there is a need to address the potential impact of climate change on the nation's economy; and, if it is appropriate to start looking at workable solutions during an economic slump? Scientists want us to set aside our political affiliations or nuances and take decisive steps to address the potential problems of climate change and the difficulty it may create, even for the economy as we speak. Mariners want congress to take steps to critically evaluate what is being said. The distinction between what is supposedly to be true and what is beholden to Republican majority are not the same. If it appears that the current argument that climate change is now on us and it is impacting many things around us, including the ocean current, weather systems and other known issues at sea, it appears rational that something has to be done to implement corrective measures, else the doubts will precipitates into fears surrounding what climate change can wroth on our seafood source. The difference between political ideology and the reality around us may be difficult to decipher, but men and women at sea, see things that inhabitant of land try to rationalize away!

Rather than debating climate change on the basis of ideology and political affiliation or the fear of what corrective actions may have on the slow economy, why don’t we let thinkers and scientists lead us in the right path on what obviously many politicians are ignorant about. After all, it is science and scientific thinkers that have brought our nation this far and will do in the future. There have been very few politicians that are scientists; and vice versa. Moreover, many scientists shy away from politics because they often see things, including the issue of climate change, objectively from what concrete data is telling them. Many scientists and the public at large are frustrated from the ideological argument from politicians that we must not do anything now regarding climate change. No one is contending that our economy is still in the dumps; however, solution to climate change from the heavy pollution and destruction of the environment, including untenable ideological fights by Republicans are generally not in the interest of the nation.

Thus as congress debate the issue of climate change this week, may representation not be ideologically inspired! Please let those scientists who understand what they are saying lead the nation in finding solution to climate change. The multifaceted argument that climate change is hardly an issue when our economy is tethering is radically inspired. Let the real world data, experiences from seafarers and demonstrated changes at sea that many mariners can attest to, help the politicians see the light. Although politicians tend to portray themselves as knowing what is good for the public in public policy formation, with respect to climate change mariners are saying: something ain’t right at sea and we know our waters are warmer than in the past; and, we want our representatives to do something about it!

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