LTE: Cold weather reflects unstable climate

Originally published in the January 9, 2014, print edition of the Newark Star Ledger

The “climate” is the planet’s system for balancing flows of thermodynamic energy. That energy moves as wind, water and weather. The climate is what makes it possible to rely on heavy snows being restricted to certain latitudes and landscapes, with flurries and above-freezing mists sticking to others, while ecosystems at some latitudes never have to cope with freezing temperatures.

Science has clearly shown that excess thermal energy “loads the dice” for added release of climate energy through unusual weather events: We are operating in a climate system unlike any seen throughout the entire history of the human species; all storms, all displacement of wind and water, are affected. The extreme cold which is currently subjecting Georgia and Florida to temperatures colder than Anchorage, Ala., is a dislocation of one of the major mechanisms for climate stability: the polar vortex.

We need solutions that will reduce negative human impact on the global climate-energy balance, and stave off devastating climate destabilization. We can do this by correcting the market’s failure to price carbon emitting fuels honestly and transitioning to the more robust, more democratic clean energy economy.

Joseph Robertson, Fair Haven, Citizens Climate Lobby volunteer, Geoversiv Envisioning president

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