Sedona AZ (December 2, 2019) – In 1991 scientists concluded that climate change is happening, and in 1992 they concluded that human beings are the cause of the accelerating rate. Today, the vast majority of climate scientists – 97 percent — agree.
The greenhouse effect, which was first proposed in 1824, is caused by gases that form a kind of blanket around the earth that traps heat that would otherwise escape to space and thus insulates the earth to allow life as we know it to flourish. Humans are increasing the thickness of that blanket by adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere causing more heat to be trapped and temperatures around the world to increase. Carbon dioxide constitutes more than 90 percent of greenhouse gases, and burning fossil fuel contributes the majority of the additional carbon dioxide.
Temperatures have varied over millions of years as a result of natural forces. There have been warmer periods and colder periods. Scientists have compared those natural changes with the temperature changes over the last 1700 years and the rapidly increasing temperature they are observing today far outpace those caused solely by natural forces.
Global temperatures have already increased one degree centigrade. Scientists say we have to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees centigrade to avoid radical changes in agricultural production, increased drought, drastically rising sea levels, loss of species, spread of disease and raging forest fires. We’re already witnessing some effects, such as this year’s non-monsoon, fires in California, more destructive hurricanes and tornados, and changes in agricultural growing seasons.
It’s important to know there are things we can do as a community and as individuals to help limit the impacts of climate change. Some people have switched from traditional gas vehicles to electric cars, and as technology improves and more recharging stations are available, more people are likely to make that change. Some travelers buy carbon credits when they travel by plane. Soil can capture and trap carbon dioxide, and changes in agricultural practices – such as putting biological materials back into the soil as nutrients and reducing tilling which releases carbon dioxide – can help restore a balance. Replanting forests — trees, trees, trees – would increase the amount of carbon dioxide that is captured from the atmosphere. Telecommuting rather than driving to work is an option for some, as is replacing some or all meat with plant-based meals.
Some decisions aren’t going to be easy. The Sedona City Council recently discussed the proposed transit system, and the issue of diesel versus electric buses was raised. Diesel buses are currently less expensive than electric, and we’d have to buy more electric buses to get the same route coverage. While diesel buses offer a reduction in emissions because many cars are removed from the roads, electric buses are significantly better for the environment – they are quieter, emit less carbon dioxide, and are cheaper to maintain. Park City, Utah, and Aspen, Colorado – small towns, both –are switching their transit fleets from hybrid to electric. As we develop our transit plan, we need to look ahead at best practices as we make decisions.
In order to reduce the risks climate change poses to Sedona, the city is currently gathering data to develop a climate action plan detailing what we can do to preserve our safety and resources in the coming years. Once the data is gathered, a technical advisory committee will be created to work with the city to develop that plan and set reasonable, fact-based carbon neutrality and renewal energy goals for the coming years. The first meeting of the technical advisory committee is projected to be in January 2020.
The city is also working on a sustainability plan for city facilities, which will include increasing reliance on renewable energy, protecting and preserving our water, and reducing reliance on pesticides and other toxic substances. Targets will be set so we can monitor compliance with that plan.
Climate change is a reality. It’s prudent to acknowledge the challenges and do what we can as individuals and a community to responsibly address the realities of climate change.
The above opinions are mine alone and do not represent the views of the Sedona City Council.
Based on the intro of the article anything said subsequently should probably be ignored.
The #1 Greenhouse gas is water vapor. CO2 is only 480 PPM (Parts per million) and when the earth was it’s greenest, it was 2700 PPM during the Jurassic Period, 150 to 250 million years ago. Plants like CO2 and they make O2. In the last 20 years according to NASA satellites the planet is getting greener probably due to a slight uptick in CO2.
No – we’re not going to die in 12 years, or is it 11 now.
Global warming is really not happening so much, so “Climate Change (which the earth has been doing for 4.2 billion years thank you very much) is the new buzz word. And”the 97% of “climate scientists” talking point is really getting old.
All this to promote buying more expensive electric buses…that have to be charged (an not with fairy dust). Actually one of the cleanest running buses is a hybrid electric, The bus is driven by electric motors and a CONSTANT speed diesel engine drives the generator that keeps the batteries charged. Diesel engines that are always starting and stopping create the pollution. The diesel generator can always be replaced with future power plants. They are used in cities all over the US and Europe. You buy the chassis from Allison (in Indianapolis), or Siemens and the bus company builds what it wants on top. Not new stuff.
You can also burn CNG, (compressed Natural Gas) very clean. There are a lot of CNG buses on the road especially in shuttle operations. Many Taxis also use CNG. In fact, Sky Harbor is extending their light rail to the car rental center and eliminating the all the buses that shuttle people back and forth from the terminals. They may be CNG. Maybe we should call them to see if we can work a deal on some of those.
Yes, climate change is a reality, and has been since the planet was formed. Not News. Humans are part of the planet, and cheap affordable energy helps keep the planet clean as the population continues to grow. The increase in people’s standard of living cleans the planet – a by product.
Focus on China and India as they are ramping up coal production big time and I doubt they use the same scrubber technology we do. And I believe the air over us circulates over those countries as well.
Climate change, I believe, is indeed a reality. Even if you do not believe in it the need to reduce carbon emissions to preserve our health is there. Kudos to the City Counci for looking closely at actions it can take.
Jessica, thank you for writing about climate change. Many of the subjects which you raise are well said and correct information. However a few are glaring mistakes/omissons and need to be brought forth for the readers to be exposed to reality.
First off is that most of the scientists (like those 97% of them ) have far less access to the real facts as do those who make up organizations like the Lowell Observatory staff in Flagstaff where the telescopes and similar equipment and expertise about the universe are located. I prefer to heed what they tell me and am very comfortable with their opinions and offerings about climate change. Or do we want to believe those English university fakers and their falsified hokey stick graph ? Or more politicized garbage talk from Al Gore ???
Lowell’s data charts display a very long standing history for rapid and significant temperature change over the hundreds of centuries. That’s the real thing. It is not just the recent 100 or so years which has real meaning and importance. Climate change is effected not just by CO2 in the atmosphere because other atmospheric gases such as air moisture, methane do have an effect.
But of overwhelming importance is not recognizing the variable heat contribution from the sun activities because gases like CO2 cannot produce any heating on the earth’s surface. Only the sun does that.
The attempts like the Paris Accord and legislation of CO2 emissions have and will continue to fail to make any real changes for many reasons. The governments in India and China for instance have no sincere interest in following the Accord and those nations far out produce the noxious gases that we do in America.
It is whimsical to have faith in curtailing CO2 emissions as the only means to affect climate change. The facts say otherwise.
For Sedona city government to examine ways to help is a good idea. But a better idea is for them not to go too far in that effort.
Thanks, Jessica, for trying to educate the public about a huge issue.
For those who talk about water vapor (see this: https://climatechangeconnection.org/science/what-about-water-vapour/), it’s true it is a greenhouse gas but it hasn’t been INCREASING dramatically like the human caused greenhouse gases (from fossil fuels and land use decisions).
It’s all a matter of CONCENTRATIONS. Carbon dioxide has increased from 280 parts per million to well over 400 ppm, most of it in my lifetime. Imagine increasing anything else by over 45 percent: calories in your diet, your internal body temperature, or how much you water your houseplants. It would have an effect!
For those who say that the earth has warmed and cooled before, and that the sun cycles affect the climate, yes, they do. But these ‘natural’ cycles are taken into account by the climate models. Scientists all over the world, studying the climate from all different angles, are virtually all in agreement: the climate is warming largely because of us. And if we do nothing, the impacts will likely be catastrophic.
So kudos to Jessica Williamson for sharing what she’s been learning, even though some people aren’t eager to listen. As the City has already shown, taking action can often save money and improve the community. The threat of doing nothing far outweighs the costs and risks of trying to address the climate crisis.
For those who want to dig into the details, the best resource is probably the IPCC https://www.ipcc.ch/about/.
“we’d have to buy more electric buses”
This is a true statement that Jessica makes
It is 12 or so diesel buses that would be required if Sedona adopted a transportation system and 15 or so electric buses because of keeping them charged
What is the difference? answer $100,000’s and $100,000’s because the electric buses cost nearly double the diesel buses
Thanks to Darcy Hitchcock we at least have a viewpoint in disagreement with Mike Schroeder and me. It boils down to who do you want to believe in the science realm.
Many of those 97% of scientists Darcy has faith in are bound by the money trail to politicians and that’s like believing what used car salesmen tell you. Lowell Observatory does not report to a single politician, even a little bit.
Reread what Mike and I tell you.
Don’t you hate it when real data gets on the way of a good rant?
According to Jessica global warming was all ready starting back in 1824 so if we banned all cars and returned to the horse and buggy days we would still be blamed for the warming. Recently 33,000 scientists signed a document providing proof we are not contributing, they were ignored. Many of the reports written blaming humans for everything come from Universities and various organizations that receive grants via the taxpayers so what can one expect them to write? As for the trees there are millions more trees now than there were 100 years ago. As for oceans warming no one mentions all the ocean floor volcanoes that constantly erupt pouring hot lava into the waters hence warming them. Now we have a very frightening situation of the 600 plus holes that have appeared on the floor of the ocean off the West Coast causing havoc. Fish are dying in the millions which then kills off millions of birds deprived of their food. The birds that migrant from Alaska in our winter flying many thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean to Southern Australia are dropping dead from starvation as there is not enough fish to sustain them and keep up their strength for the distance. Dead birds are turning up at some beaches in Sydney, the very ones I swam at growing up: Bondi, Many, Cronulla, all dead from starvation. There are other affects from these holes and not enough room here to write about. GUESS WHAT JESSICA AND OUR WHOLE CITY COUNCIL (and I am emphasizing like the old days not shouting) scientists all agree this problem is NOT caused by any global warming. They are at a loss as to the cause. Our future food supply from the Ocean is at stake, already a Cod station in Alaska has been ordered to close. Plant food growing in the Pacific such as Krill for the whales is affected, on and on. Also there are always volcanoes above the oceans going off which affect weather for many years. BUT, our City believes Sedona can save the world! Instead of boosting businesses in Sedona they are destroying them, such as Redstone Center just south of the “Y” with a right turn only off 89 onto H179 which will kill the businesses there and already there are four out of eight vacancies because of the plan, The same goes for the opposite side of H179 with a right turn only lane saving a car 2-3 seconds wait destroying businesses along there. Jessica voted for all of it as did the other Council members except for Currivan who wanted a study done first. All these changes though we should be appreciative of as Sedona is going to save the world from us.
Joan, a big thanks for telling us about all those 33,000 scientist who do not agree with the wild bunch of environmentalists led by chief in howling ex VP Al Gore. The info about open sea holes is alarming to say the least.
All of this issue ignores the basic and main source for heat, our sun, which emits variable heat loaded waves in the red sector of the spectrum which is so difficult to quantify. But is there none the less. Quantifying the amount of heat contribution from those sea holes is also hard to calculate. Both good reasons why neither have the publicity accorded CO2 which those numb brained 97% scientists claim as the sole cause for our current global warmup because most ( the 97% and many earth inhabitants )cannot comprehend the real sources for warming the globe.
What we need are not the publicity prone hysterical scientist but hard nosed competence from the science world like those staffing the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.
As to city council lets hope they constrain themselves from doing severe harm to our community.
Comments are welcome.
johnroberts says: 33,000 scientist hysterical scientist.
So Michael Schroeder and john Roberts are what? The Sedona local T party Trump supporters ,experts on everything, Fire dept, local tax experts and smarter than 33,000 scientist hysterical scientist ? Sounds like “Trump” talk to me or it is in Gods hands……hope they constrain themselves from doing severe harm to our community.
Steve, it is nice to hear from you. Had you offered some real facts along with some context as Mike and I prefer to then we could better understand your message. Try harder next time . OK.
ALL the planets in the solar system are heating up. Some planets have changed color. The big spot on Neptune is disappearing. There are things we simply can not control, but must learn how to live with.
“Sustainability” is the new fashion word. I recently read an article on the UN Agenda for 2030, and what I found was alarming. First of all, they want to create a world with the same amount of pollution as pre-industrial age. Going back to 1750 here. Is that do-able? Is that something we want?
Next, is mandatory vaccinations for every person. “No one left behind,” is the wording used in the UN treatise on healthcare. So while children are getting 74 vaccinations from birth to 18 years, with SIDS and Autism at all-time highs, adults will soon have to roll up their sleeves. When my mom died at her assisted living center, so did 14 other seniors = all had the flu vaccine within weeks of death. No one mentioned any kind of correlation, although the nurses rolled their eyes when I asked. Vaccines, and any other kind of mandatory healthcare, is NOT one-size-fits-all and the science IS NOT settled that this is the best way to manage large populations.
The last few days we have had our skies sprayed day and night with chemtrails. When those who are shouting about “climate change” start addressing the visible pollution in our skies via chemtrails, HAARP, CERN, and weather wars, I’ll start listening to the complaints about climate change.
We are headed towards dangerous waters. Most still do not know what “sustainability” means – it means giving up your rights to corporate control.
Archie, well said.
Why in the Sedona case, does the city need a huge extra cost for a sustainability manager ??
When I was working it was my job to among other duties to sustain the profitability of my corner of the corporate business. I did and it stayed in the low 30s. No sustainability manager , just my boss.
So why can’t the police chief, the parks supervisor, etc. run their business in a way that maintains the good work they provide without some half baked amateur novice looking over their shoulders barking orders do the same as I did.
It is just like those program geeks who screw up the internet world with a gillion passwords, etc. and soak up our fees and other payments on worthless nonsense.
Let us fire these useless people and get back to basic good working habits. Or are the socialistic laws to protect these worthless beings too much of a headwind ?