In truth, there are several reasons why I decided to purchase that June 6, 2000 issue of Weekly World News, which was setting in its rack, begging to be held, right by the grocery checkout line.
As I suspected (and one should always trust one’s first instincts), neither Muir nor Chapman were among those interviewed in the article.
To sum up the article’s predictions: Don’t plan on living past the summer of 2000. Doom and gloom will soon arrive at your doorstep. As the second headline states, “Deadliest weather ever will bring America to its knees!”
However, when it comes to global warming, information reported in other sources does seem to be getting a little fuzzy.
The Detroit News and Free Press article notes that this summer, the White House is expected to release a high-profile report on the effects of global warming in the United States, “predicting droughts, floods, and extreme weather region by region.”
Reporter David Mastio, of the Detroit News Washington Bureau, zeroed in on conflicting research. On one side of the equation is the upcoming White House report, “Climate Change and America: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the United States.” On the other side is the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is preparing to release a research update which concludes that the soon-to-be-released White House report is highly unreliable.
Concerns about global warming have led government scientists to attempt detailed projections of the possible local impact of climate changes. But critics say that the science does not support such focused forecasts.
Meanwhile, the UN panel is expected to say that global warming is underway, but that predicting localized effects is not yet possible. In many circles, the UN report is widely considered the most up-to-date summary of scientific knowledge about climate change.
At the end of his “Global Warming: Just Hot Air?” speech at GAMA, Chapman offered the following five points to ponder.
1. The warming is real.
2. The feedback system is complex.
3. The consequences of warming are mixed. (Chapman did add that “The losers would outnumber the winners.”)
4. Attribution requires research.
5. Greenhouse gas emissions are growing.
He concluded that it’s better to address the possibilities of global warming today rather than let the possibilities become a frightening reality.
Translation: It’s better to be proactive than reactive. I wholeheartedly agree.
“The solution to these problems and issues are complex,” writes Chapman. “The scales are global and the time scales are decades to centuries. The challenge, and overall goal, is appropriate environmental stewardship of the planet. Global warming may just be the alarm that brings us, albeit with much debate, to action.”