Saturday, April 25, 2015

NYS Senator Stands Up for Climate Science in the Face of Ignorance

By David Kowalski .

Senator Brad Hoylman, ranking member of the NY State Conservation Committee, called out the Senate majority for ignoring the term 'climate change' in their Earth Day Resolution.

Speaking in the senate chambers, he implored the legislative body that "we be mindful as public policy makers of the solemn responsibility to be good stewards of our planet."

Holyman said “There is an oversight in the resolution, which I feel obligated to point out, that there is no mention of climate change. The two words 'climate change' do not appear in the resolution.”

“It has to be [an oversight]. This is Earth Day, not Flat Earth Day. And the science, Mr. president, is clear.”   

Holyman cited scientific facts drawn from reports from the International Panel on Climate Change and cited by the NY City panel on Climate Change: rising temperatures, increasing precipitation, heat waves, extreme weather, sea level rise, and flooding of New York City, the most densely populated city on Earth.

“We should be mindful of the economic impact of climate change. With extreme weather events predicted to increase, we have to be prepared for economic impacts including infrastructure damage, rebuilding costs. The direct costs of Superstorm Sandy alone was $71.4 Billion,” he said.

“We are dooming our children’s future unless we act now.”

“Now the Peoples Climate March … 350,000 people attended it. It was in my district less than a year ago, but what have we done to address it?"

"Where is NY State’s Climate Action Plan? Who’s in charge of Climate Change in NY State? Can you name that person? I can’t.”

Hoylman concluded, “Mr. President, I support this [Earth Day] Resolution, but urge my colleagues, as we move forward in this legislative session, to take decisive steps to reverse global warming and climate change."

Senator Hoylman's full testimony delivered in the senate chambers can be viewed in a video here.

The Earth Day Resolution passed by the Senate GOP majority omitted the phrase “climate change” because some legislators objected to the words, according to a Capital New York report.

Republican Senator John DeFrancisco said it was a "politically correct term" and cast doubt on the notion the Earth was warming because his city saw record cold this winter.

“It was global warming a few years ago, and I can attest, being from Syracuse, New York, that the globe wasn't warming around Syracuse this winter. So by putting a label to good environmental practices is a very risky thing and that's why [climate change] was not put in this resolution,”  DeFrancisco said.

Buffalo News editorial cartoon by Pulitzer-Prize Winner Adam Zyglis

Senator DeFrancisco is ignorant of the fact that global warming is not simply evaluated by determining the temperature in his home district of Syracuse NY.

Global warming is assessed by measuring temperatures at numerous locations on land around the world as well as in the oceans that make up more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface. Measurements are made over time and the global average temperature is determined.

So, while it was brutally cold this winter in Syracuse, across NY state and elsewhere in the Eastern U.S., most all other regions on land and in oceans around planet Earth showed above average warming according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Results of NOAA's global temperature analysis are displayed on world maps for the months of January (click here) and February (below).

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