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Joined: 8-February 08
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8 Feb 2008
Hello - I am AccuWeather's COO and Senior Vice President, in addition I was involved in operational forecasting for more than 25 years. During that time I appeared daily on many radio stations from coast to coast, including WINS in NYC and KYW in Philly, along with staions in Houston, Atlanta and Charlotte NC. I worked with snowstorms, hurricanes, cold waves and just sunny nice weather. In the role I am in now I still enjoy looking at the current weather and forecasting its effects - but that's not my job - my job is overseeing the operations of AccuWeather. These newly added forums allow me to stray a little from the everyday and give comments and input from time to time. So the first thing I wanted to do that on is Global Warming. I know that it's an important issue. Some people will agree with me and otther will not - so here goes:
My take on Global Warming
The entire natural history of the Earth is that of global warming and global cooling. Climate change is normal for the Earth. At different times vast portions of the Earth were covered with glacial ice. At other times lush vegetation grew in hot zones were now itís too cold for anything more than sparse growth. There have been changes in the Earthís rotation; tremendous volcanic activity has blocked solar warmth and other cataclysmic events have so altered the Earthís climate that if we were transported back in time it would seem as though we were on another planet. In the context of the fullness of time the current global warming issues seem to pale in comparison. But we live in the here and now. While all those other events make our planet what it is today, they have altered plant and animal life in ways that are beyond our comprehension. That potential alteration for us is what scares us today.
We now face our own issues of climate change. They may not be as planet jarring as those of eons ago, but the human race was not around for most of the apocalyptic changes in the past. There is one more important element that not exist on all the other changes to the Earthís climate: the effect of humans. The center of the current debate on global warming is; are humans having an effect on climate change and if so how much. On the one hand given the Earthís violent history of climate change it maybe at the least presumptuous and at the most arrogant to think that humans can have any effect on the climate. On the other hand we just might. How do we know? There has been evidence that the Earth has been warming over the last decades. Is this due to human effects or part of the natural cycle? Looking at all the possible questions the answers maybe somewhere between one extreme or the other. On one end is the the possibility that humans are causing all the current changes, on the other end is that possibility that itís all natural and humans have nothing to do with current climate change. The answer may lie somewhere in between, some human induced effects and some natural. How will we ever know and what do we do? We may never know Ė but that doesnít matter Ė because if humans are the cause there is something that we can do and we must do.
We could spend hundreds of billions of dollars and alter the Earthís economy to no avail, if climate change is not human inducted. However, all of us either have insurance or would like to have it. We need to insure the planet. Insurance for the Earth. We must consider the effects of what we do as individuals, organizations, business and nations to impact the climate. If humans have had little or no effect we have bought an insurance policy and not needed to use it, if on the other hand humans are changing the climate the insurance will be well worth it. If climate change is as serious as some think nothing should be off the table. Rapid work needs to be done on weather related sources of power like wind and solar. Weather, itís impact and predictability are an important component of the climate. Safe nuclear power could be studied, although it needs to be approached much more safely than it is now. We need to look at other alternative energy forms. We need to wean our way off of fossil fuels like oil and coal. There is much that can be done. As individuals and nations the peoples of the Earth need to work together to address these issues, only working cooperatively can we save the planet.
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