Texans Believe In Climate Change—It’s Time Our Voices Are Heard

Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its fifth report on where humanity stands on climate change. IPCC brings together thousands of volunteer scientists and other global experts to review humankind’s current scientific understanding of climate change. After these academic experts have come to consensus, officials from nearly 200 U.N. member countries review their results. The latest report shows that we are more certain than ever before that the climate is changing, and if humanity doesn’t act now, we could face devastating warming in the future.

The broad international consensus on climate change stands in stark contrast with what we typically hear from our elected representatives in Texas. Too often, they call climate change “unsettled science,” or claim that some uncertainty around the extent of warming warrants inaction from the state that emits the most carbon dioxide in the nation. The state’s environmental agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), famously censors mentions of climate change from its reports. And even more aggressively, the state has fought the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) permitting process for large sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) tooth and nail.

Texans are tired of hearing the same old talking points casting doubt on climate science. After the all-time record breaking summer of 2011, the worst wild fires in the state’s history and too many years of drought, most Texans understand that climate change is happening. In a Yale University poll released last month, an overwhelming 70 percent of Texans said they believe global warming is happening—and 52 percent said they have personally experienced the effects of global warming. On top of that, 55 percent of Texans believe global warming is caused at least in part by human activity.

The numbers are in. Despite a full-force disinformation campaign waged by some of the most powerful officials in the State of Texas, Texans decidedly agree with the scientists on climate change. And the international consensus on the subject will only grow stronger as climate change intensifies. It’s time for our officials to join the masses and reason with science.

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  1. Mike Haseler
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    The IPCC lost all credibility when after their forecasts failed to predict the pause in global warming and the extreme weather they predicted failed to materialize, they said they were more confident than ever they were right.

    If a baseball player missed the ball once and said they were more confident as a result that they could hit the ball you’d question it. But if they said they were very likely to hit the ball and missed it not once but at every time they swung and then after it was patently obvious they can’t hit the ball they were more confident than ever that they would hit it next time – everyone would just laugh at them.

  2. Elena Craft, PhD Elena Craft
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    Hello Mike,

    Thank you for your comment.

    By trade, I’m a scientist; I’ve come to accept and welcome skepticism as a means to push thought leaders to provide more concrete facts and evidence to support theories. It is my belief that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues to provide more clarity and evidence as to why the Earth is warming and why extreme weather events will intensify in the future. What we can’t do is use statistics to undermine the validity and confidence that climate change is occurring.

    As much as we scientist would like, we cannot predict every event in the future or hit every ball that comes across the plate. The IPCC uses advance models to create projections for the long-term, and events such as the “pause in global warming” are too short-term of an event to foresee.

    What we do know, as evidenced by Hurricane Sandy and the Texas drought, is that weather events will become more extreme in the future unless we curb our carbon emissions. Below is a summary of what the report predicts in the long-run, not to be used as a prediction for the short-term.

    The IPCC report concludes that, in the future, it is virtually certain that there will be more frequent hot and fewer cold temperature extremes. It is very likely that heat waves will occur with a higher frequency and duration. Occasional cold winter extremes will continue to occur. Wet areas will get wetter and dry areas will get drier, although there may be regional exceptions. Extreme rainfall events in the mid-latitudes and over wet tropical regions will very likely become more intense and more frequent.