08/27/2012 Leave a comment
Hurricane warnings lead to flight and train cancellations, evacuations, and shut-downs of oil and gas output.
Hurricane warnings remind us of the need for another kind of preventive measure.
A dish of water on a windowsill evaporates faster on a sunny day than on a cool day. Higher temperatures mean more evaporation. More water vapor in air makes the air heavier, so when the air starts whirling, it packs a larger punch. That is why hurricanes, this year, with temperatures averaging 1.5oF higher, are likely to be, on the average, more powerful, more destructive, than hurricanes 100 years in the past.
Scientists with NASA, the same agency that landed the rover Curiosity on Mars, tell us, with “high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gasses produced by human activities.” And they “forecast a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees F over the next century. http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/
To keep the temperature rise at the low end of the predictions and reduce damage to our homes and businesses, we need to phase out the burning of fossil fuels. There is profit in the alternatives, which are now scaling up with new investment, $257 billion worldwide last year. Renewable power capacity increased by 8% and the cost of PV cells dropped by over 50% last year, and according to a REN21 report.
If the billions invested in fossil fuel capacity, $302 billion last year, were invested in renewables instead, we could speed up expansion of cheaper energy and prevent of some of worst effects of global warming.