Field Notes from a Catastrophe

The year 1998 had the highest average global temperature on record, 2002 had the second highest, 2001 was third and 2004 ranked fourth. At a recent symposium honoring the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency, the six most recent agency heads—five of them appointed by Republicans—accused the Bush administration of ignoring the environmental threat posed by global warming. The rising of Earth’s temperatures is a tenet affirmed by the scientific communities of the developed countries of the world, and it is reinforced without dissent in the refereed journals of those communities. There may be debate about the appropriate human response to global warming, but there is none about its measurable effects on the present environment.


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