Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We Can't Ignore The Data!...

I was unaware of a UV Index (ultraviolet light radiation) of anything more than 10 until today.  When I checked my phone’s weather application I noticed the UV Index at 11.  It’s been hot; in fact, it’s been so hot that we can’t work outside from about 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Temperatures don’t go below 95° Fahrenheit until around 7:00 in the evening.  A few days ago the temperature went up to 109° F with a Heat Index of 112° F.  Add to that a high UV index throughout the day and there is always a risk of heat prostration and dangerous sunburn.  But a UV Index of 11 suggests the potential for life-threatening skin damage.  Here’s the EPAs official wording on a UV Index of 11.  A UV Index reading of 11 or higher means extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Try to avoid sun exposure during midday hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 liberally every 2 hours.  Take all precautions. Unprotected skin can burn in minutes. Beachgoers should know that white sand and other bright surfaces reflect UV and will increase UV exposure.  Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Seek shade, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen.”

I heard about two people who suffered from heat stroke within the last month.  Neither has fully recovered and I was told that it may take several months before they are back to normal.  People with blue or green eyes are particularly sensitive to intense sunlight.  It becomes painful walking around without dark sunglasses in such extreme brightness.  I know of three people who had cataract surgery within the last year as a result of sun damage to their eyes.  An ophthalmologist told me that there are increasing numbers of cataract cases as a result of current climate changes. Statistics also show the amounts of skin cancers are on the rise.  The alarming data indicates that skin cancers are up for people under 30 and this is something new.  I am beginning to wonder if this is not the beginning of some sort of end.  Is this a preview of life in a world of worsening global warming?  Perhaps it’s time we face those who for whatever reasons, be they greed or stupidity, deny the data indicating global warming is real.  In the past few months even more facts and figures have been gathered proving that global warming is not only a genuine phenomenon but is being caused by humans.  Perhaps the most damning (and embarrassing) was the research conducted by a group of scientists that were funded by a couple of billionaires who have spent millions trying to debunk the reality of global warming.  Contrary to the wishes of these billionaires the researchers concluded that global warming is factual and is being caused by human activity.

I wonder about the minds of those who go to such lengths, who stop at nothing, who will distort and falsify without remorse, guilt or anxiety and will propagate falsehoods and bribe elected officials.  For what else do you call a political donation from people like those two billionaires…and what would you call any politician who cow tows to those types?

And yet those naysayers and propagandists are out there and they have the money to promote their deceits.  But then what should we say of those who buy into those sorts of deceptions?  What sort of mechanism is at work in those who are so quick to ignore the data, who bray and bark when more evidence emerges that global warming is being caused by humans?