These days, it seems as if there’s not a fact that can’t be ignored, rejected or altered if you throw enough cash at it.
Last week, the Associated Press reported “a troubling new milestone.” In the Arctic, levels of the heat-trapping gas, carbon dioxide, a key factor in global warming, have hit 400 parts per million, a level scientists believe has not been reached in at least 800,000 years.
“’The fact that it’s 400 is significant,’ said Jim Butler, global monitoring director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Lab in Boulder, Colo. ‘It’s just a reminder to everybody that we haven’t fixed this and we’re still in trouble.’”
“…The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal for electricity and oil for gasoline, has caused the overwhelming bulk of the man-made increase in carbon in the air, scientists say.”
The International Energy Agency recently announced that in 2011, global levels of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels were at a record high of 34.8 billion tons, up 3.2 percent.
Serious news. Yet the day before the AP report, the progressive website Think Progress took note of Republican opposition in the House to the military seeking alternative fuels “if they cost more than ‘traditional fossil fuel.’” This despite a U.S. Army study that, environmental concerns aside, “[a] fighting force that isn’t restricted by the reach of a tanker truck or weighted down by heavy batteries is more nimble and, as a result, more lethal.”