Warmer than average global surface temperatures in 2011 added up to make the year the 9th warmest on record, or since 1880, when modern record-keeping began, according to NASA.
The finding, according to NASA scientists at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), confirms that the Earth’s temperatures are warming overall, with 9 of the 10 warmest years occurring since 2000. The only 20th Century year in the top ten was 1998. (2005 and 2010 tied for the hottest year(s) on record.)
Climate activist James Hansen is urging the public and Congress to reject the “smoke and mirrors” of energy bills now pending in Congress and embrace a “simple, honest” carbon fee instead. Fees collected from fossil fuel-burning industries would help pay for their polluting emissions and could be redistributed to the public to help cover the cost of shifting from dirty to clean energy generation, Dr. Hansen told the crowd at Washington’s Earth Day Climate Rally on Sunday.
By Diane Porter
Green Right Now
Next Monday, in what is billed as the largest mass civil disobedience rally for the climate in U.S. history, organizers expect thousands of people to join in a protest at the Capitol Power Plant in Washington, D.C. Hoping to bring attention to the issues of climate change and green jobs to the new administration and new Congress, the protestors are expected from around the country, spurred on by support and videos from actress and activist Susan Sarandon and NASA’s James Hansen.
“We want to send a clear message to Congress and the Obama administration that Americans aren’t satisfied with the action that’s been taken on climate yet,” said Mike Crocker, a spokesperson for Greenpeace. “We need robust policies in place as soon as possible, certainly in time for (the next United Nations Climate Talks) in Copenhagen in December 2009.”