The US is in the grip of the hottest summer on record, which fueled the storm that hammered seven states last weekend. Ed Schultz talks to Eugene Robinson, MSNBC Political Analyst, and Associate Editor And Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post about why politicians still deny climate change exists.
Meteorologists and climate specialists from NASA to NOAA to The Weather Channel say we’re having the hottest summer on record.
But the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee says we can’t call it “global warming.” Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe says that’s a “scare tactic.” But it’s getting harder and harder for Republicans to wiggle out of the scientific argument.
Critics say it’s always hot in the summertime. But The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson wrote “NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which monitors global surface temperatures, reports that nine of the warmest 10 years on record have occurred since 2000. The warmest of all was 2010; last year was only the ninth-warmest, but global temperatures were still almost a full degree warmer than they were during the middle of the 20th century.”
One of the most stunning side effects of this warmer-than-average trend is the storm we had Sunday. Meteorologists call it a “super-derecho.”
We get “derechos” every summer. But the experts say the one we had Sunday was unusual. This storm packed 91 mph winds covering a 450 mile area. NOAA posted some amazing maps showing the size of this storm.
How often do you see a storm that can sustain hurricane-force winds from Indiana to Pennsylvania and West Virginia all at once?
This wasn’t a storm system that moved through those states over several hours’ time. It hit 5 states at once. Derechos are extremely dangerous storms. This one killed 22 people and knocked out power to more than 2 million households. Meteorologists at NOAA, NASA and The Weather Channel all say the heat is to blame for fueling this super storm.
The only response from Republicans about this storm has been from Sen. Inhofe saying it’s a “scare tactic” if we blame global warming. But if we don’t say the heat wave, the storms and the wildfires out West are indicators of global warming, what should we call it?
These weather patterns are abnormal. The Christian Science Monitor reports we’ve broken 40,000 daily heat records so far this year. That’s twice the number of daily heat records broken at this time last year, when we had the ninth-warmest summer on record.
By definition, the heat wave is not “normal.” It’s hotter than it’s been since we started keeping records around the time of the Civil War. This is not just another hot summer. The science and the thermometer are pointing to a serious problem. As Eugene Robinson told Ed tonight, “This is what the rest of our lives looks like.”