It’s no secret that the people that share my fine state aren’t entirely convinced about global warming. Much to my chagrin, we even keep electing a full blown science denier to to US Senate. But that doesn’t mean that all the people of Oklahoma are clueless. In fact, our universities are working diligently to educate the public about the problems that humanity will face in the future.
Oklahoma’s Climatological Survey statement on climate change is straightforward: The Earth’s climate has warmed during the last 100 years; the Earth’s climate will continue to warm for the foreseeable future; and much of the warming we have seen over the last 50 years can be attributed to human activities, particularly those emitting greenhouse gases.
And here’s what your agency says Sooners can expect: crops maturing earlier, leaving them more vulnerable to spring freezes; increased frequency and severity of drought; drier and warmer conditions, increasing wildfire risk; and more intense rainstorms, with more runoff and flash flooding. Dr. Mark Shafer, a researcher at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, told The Oklahoman that in a few decades, Oklahoma could see an entire month of 100-plus-degree temperatures every summer. By century’s end, Oklahoma’s daily high temperatures could top 100 degrees for the entire summer.
Hopefully Oklahomans will work to change this future before it gets here instead of after we are already dealing with it.
So we know that if we continue on our present course of action that Oklahoma will bake. What I find so disturbing is the fact that the same people that are responsible for the baking are responsible to the shaking that has been going on in Oklahoma recently.
Yet some in Congress still cling to a small fringe who deny the established scientific consensus. This fringe group has two notable characteristics: They tend to avoid the scrutiny of scientific peer review, and they tend to have financial ties to the fossil fuel industry. Dr. Riley Dunlap of Oklahoma State University researches the effort by fossil fuel interests to distort public opinion with bogus information on climate change — what he calls the “organized climate-denial machine.” Dunlap and a colleague found that nearly 90 percent of the books questioning climate change science published between 1982 and 2010 were tied to “think tanks” funded by fossil fuel interests.
Those are the same fossil fuel interests that have been running injection wells at pressures high enough to produce earthquakes. And even when they were presented with the science that they were causing earthquakes, they refused to do anything to mitigate the risk until they were forced to.
Come on, Oklahoma. We deserve representation that doesn’t treat the people like idiots. We deserve representation that will stand up for the life that we lead as well as the life that our progeny will lead. It’s time that our Senators and Representatives stop ignoring the problems that Oklahoma faces. Everyone deserves a future better than these elected officials have planned for us.