Out of Touch? McCaskill Seems To Think The Climate Can Wait 50 Years


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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last month released data that shows that this June was the hottest on record and that we just finished the hottest first half of a year dating back to 1880. You would think that this information--along with report and report that shows that we have to peak emissions soon and then dramatically decrease them--would be enough to prompt the government to action. Well, today the new senator from West Virginia has signaled that he doesn't support a cap and trade system, and Sen. Claire McCaskill said just about the scariest thing I've heard about climate change in a long time.According to Politico, which was writing about the tepid support for climate action in the Senate, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said about potential legislation:

"I think it's still a work in progress. "You know, it took 50 years on health care...The party that has moderates is the party that governs," McCaskill said. "If we don't have moderates, we're the minority."

Fifty years? Moderates? The Nobel prize-winning IPCC has said that if we want to stop runaway climate change, industrialized countries like the US must peak emissions by 2015 and then reduce them to as close to zero as possible by 2050. There is nothing moderate about that. The longer we delay action to cap emissions and transition to a low carbon economy, the harder and more expensive it will be.

More from the NOAA findings:

The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2010 was the warmest on record at 61.1°F (16.2°C), which is 1.22°F (0.68°C) above the 20th century average of 59.9°F (15.5°C).

The global June land surface temperature was 1.93°F (1.07°C) above the 20th century average of 55.9 °F (13.3°C) -- the warmest on record.

Warmer-than-average conditions dominated the globe, with the most prominent warmth in Peru, the central and eastern contiguous U.S., and eastern and western Asia. Cooler-than-average regions included Scandinavia, southern China and the northwestern contiguous United States.

According to Beijing Climate Center, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Jilin had their warmest June since national records began in 1951. Meanwhile, Guizhou experienced its coolest June on record.

According to Spain's meteorological office, the nationwide average temperature was 0.7°F (0.4°C) above normal, Spain's coolest June since 1997.

The worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.97°F (0.54°C) above the 20th century average of 61.5°F (16.4°C), which was the fourth warmest June on record. The warmth was most pronounced in the Atlantic Ocean.

Sea surface temperature continued to decrease across the equatorial Pacific Ocean during June 2010, consistent with the end of El Niño. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions are likely to develop during the northern hemisphere summer 2010.