During President Obama's recent inauguration speech, the president zeroed in on a clear threat to humanity by declaring, "We will respond to the threat of climate change." Not mincing any words Obama went on to say, "knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."
With the presidents stand on climate change finally coming out loud and clear after a deafening silence during the debates, it's clear that the tide of public opinion is now shifting towards an informed public now questioning why there has been such a long debate about climate change.
With the reality of our changing climate beginning to take effect, millions of people across the globe have been affected by extreme weather events.
With the U.S. in a record drought and the hottest years on record in the last several years, changes are happening so dramatically and so quickly that even predictions made just years ago are happening decades ahead of scheduled times, alarming climate scientists. The Pentagon is also concerned and its recent study cites climate change as a "national security threat."
At the recent AGU (American Geophysical Union) conference held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco in December 2012, a top NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) adviser said, "The changes and the surprises are coming so fast in the Arctic it sends chills up your spine."
With record ice loss, the threat of a massive amount of methane gas being released from melting permafrost in the Arctic has scientists concerned. Methane gas is twenty times more powerful than carbon dioxide and tons of methane hydrates lay locked in frozen ice stores around the world.
Loss of Arctic sea ice can cause methane hydrates to thaw and be released into the Earths atmosphere as methane gas, contributing to an even faster warming cycle. The threat of methane gas is so alarming that groups like the Arctic Methane Emergency Group are closely following the state of the Arctic and reporting on recent Arctic news, including the implications of the melting methane.
In a recent report in Nature it was disclosed, "Using seismic data combined with thermal models, we show that recent changes in intermediate-depth ocean temperature associated with the Gulf Stream are rapidly destabilizing methane hydrate along a broad swathe of the North American margin. The area of active hydrate destabilization covers at least 10,000 square kilometers of the United States eastern margin, and occurs in a region prone to kilometer-scale slope failures."
Recent reports have emerged of a massive climate change cover-up funded by high profile individuals and companies, who were set to profit from the continued use of fossil fuels, one of them being oil billionaire Charles Koch.
Just days ago The Independent revealed that a fund operated by the Koch family has given millions of dollars to climate-skeptic organisations though a financial intermediary “donor advised fund” called The Donors Trust.
Dr Robert Brulle, a sociologist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, has estimated that over the past decade about $500 million has been given to organisations devoted to undermining the science of climate change, with much of the money donated anonymously through third parties.
As more reports of a decades long climate change dis-info smear campaign become public, no doubt investigations will follow. Professor Michael Mann, renowned climatologist and author of the "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars" has been one of many scientists whose research has been under attack for several years by those associated with the funded climate dis-info groups.
Professor Mann stated that the skeptic organisations have, “single-handedly sought to poison the public discourse over human-caused climate change. In the process they have potentially mortgaged the futures of our children and grandchildren. You couldn't invent villains like this if you tried.”
Professor Mann and his colleagues have even received death threats related to their climate change research.
With President Obama finally on board to address the climate change threat, no doubt more investigations will follow into the many years of climate cover-up. Disinformation campaigns in the past aimed at targeting and confusing the public, leading many to believe that climate change was not a problem and that "global warming" did not exist.
Recent polls show that over 70% of the American public now believe in climate change. Many are questioning what's happening with our climate after witnessing and experiencing extreme storms, hurricanes, record floods, record heat, record cold, droughts and super weather events like Hurricane Katrina and Super-storm Sandy.