By Drs. Robert & Sonia Vogl
President and Vice President, Illinois Renewable Energy Association
Our friend Jay Friberg told us that when teaching his botany course at Rock Valley College, he came across six plants in bloom that were not listed as spring wild flowers in Fassett’s book, one of his texts. Another friend, Bob Piros, found a plant blooming a month early this spring. Chicago-area plant expert Gerould Wilhelm told us recently that blooming dates, established after years of recording observations, in his and Floyd Swink’s Plants of the Chicago Region are now all incorrect.
Some western hummingbirds, including the broad-tailed, are missing their connection with food plants, which now bloom 2-1/2 weeks before historic blooming dates.
Based on simple observations that can be made locally, climate change is happening.
While critics have spent years trying to discredit global warming theories, according to a New York Times article, 97 percent of climate scientists now assert that strong evidence proves global warming to be a fact.
Leading dissenter and meteorology professor Richard Linden has placed his hopes on the cloud theory, which claims cloud activity can counter climate change effects. Other scientists criticize his work, asserting that clouds would need to have a more powerful cooling effect than they do.
Some politicians support Linden and other contrarians, elevating their argument in the public’s mind. Supporting this theory allows them to avoid action, including lifestyle changes that would counter the trend.
The Heartland Institute eagerly supports Linden’s theory, which University of Washington atmospheric researcher Christopher Bretherton states, “it’s wrong science … I don’t think it’s intellectually honest at all.”
Energy Bulletin reports that Heartland also funded a billboard with Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s face and the words “I still believe in global warming. Do you?”
When Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner threatened to boycott their conference, they pulled the ad, complaining that they “had been subjected to the most ‘uncivil name-calling and disparagement you can possibly imagine from climate alarmists,’ which was both a little rich … but also a little pathetic.”
The Guardian reports that 28 U.S. companies, most of which claimed to support climate change policy, spend heavily to block it. Two major oil companies lead the attack since climate change benefits them by facilitating drilling for more oil.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently visited the Arctic to see firsthand the effects of global warming. After her visit, she commented that “many of the predictions about warming in the Arctic are being surpassed by the actual data. That was not necessarily surprising, but sobering.” Global warming is opening up 18,000 square miles of the Arctic for oil exploration and trade routes. Five countries — Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the United States — have Arctic coastlines, which gives them exclusive economic rights to it.
An anticipated new book, Climate Change Policy Failures: Why conventional mitigation approaches cannot succeed, authored by Howard Latin, Rutgers University law professor and 2010 Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair keynoter, is now available. Yale Law School Professor E. Donald Elliott states: “Howard Latin is one of the world’s most provocative and creative environmental experts. His new book challenges the conventional consensus about climate change. It is vintage Howard Latin, and will definitely make you think about alternative mitigation approaches.”
Professor Latin’s book can be found at www.ecovitality.org.
Attend this year’s Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair Aug. 11-12 at Ogle County Fairgrounds in Oregon, Ill.
Drs. Robert and Sonia Vogl are founders and officers of the Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA) and coordinate the annual Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the June 13-19, 2012, issue