Global warming is real and it’s getting worse

Every once in a while somebody pops up with a breathless claim that global warming isn’t happening, that the trend has turned around, that we now have global cooling instead.

This kind of claptrap comes from a band of climate change deniers, many of them directly connected to the fossil fuel industry. Their purpose is to sow doubt about warming and undermine efforts to protect us all from frying in our own grease.

It ain’t true. Global warming and attendant climate change are proceeding unhampered by effective countermeasures.

Last year was the hottest year on record, and 2013 is headed in the same direction. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which really is on top of the warming issue, is predicting that resulting extreme weather next year will include more serious hurricanes. We are amid the worst fire season ever, with unmanageable blazes gnawing at cherished national parks and forcing firefighters to choose between protecting woodland homes and the forests in which they were built.

There’s no free lunch. If you want freedom from natural disasters, if you want to protect your kids and grandkids from a climate gone wild, you’ve got to make it more expensive to burn carbon, stop spewing carbon dioxide into the air and hurry up about it. There is no other way.

Byron W. Baker