Archive for Saturday, September 8, 2012

Science should be part of presidential debate

September 8, 2012


This fall, President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney will have a series of debates covering domestic and foreign affairs. The first debate should be about Science, with a capital S. Why? Because Science affects every aspect of society, underpinning smart policy governing energy, food production, human health, national security, economic growth, environmental fitness, natural resources and the quality of life.

How well versed or advised are our candidates in the science of climate? Water? Biofuels? Biomedicine? Is the science they cite credible or quack? Face it: Political expediency never lets the scientific facts get in the way, opting for soothing delusions over tough, responsible policy implications.

Let’s begin with two questions.

  1. Climate Change. As The Economist magazine declared recently, we have entered the Anthropocene Era, in which humans are the greatest agents of change on a planetary scale. Global warming, much of it human-induced, is playing with the life-support systems of the planet. If unchecked, potentially we face: devastation of our oceans, protein resources, fresh water and agro-production; virulent diseases run amok; disruption of ecosystems that clean our air, water and soil; extinction of half or more of Earth’s plants and animals; and sea-level rise and inundation of coastal cities. Yet, during the Republican primaries, all but one of the candidates proudly ridiculed climate change and the science behind it.

Recently, Richard Muller and his Berkeley Group, formerly one of the fiercest critics of climate change, announced his epiphany in the New York Times (“The Conversion of a Climate Change Skeptic,” July 28, 2012) after re-analyzing all the data and blessing the results of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Earth’s land temperature has increased 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit during the past 250 years, with a 1.5-degree rise in just the past 50 years. “Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.”

Question for Gov. Romney: You have pledged to exempt carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas, from the Clean Air Act. As president, then, what policies would you promulgate to control climate change nationally and globally?

  1. Science and Public Literacy. Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” But what if the people that form the government are not well-informed? This spring, a study by North Carolina’s Coastal Resources Commission predicted a 39-inch sea level rise by 2100. To placate coastal real-estate developers, the GOP-led legislature passed a bill on July 3 that outlawed consideration of a sea-level rise above 8 inches. As comedian Stephen Colbert put it in his June 4 show, “If your science gives you a result that you do not like, pass a law saying that the result is illegal.”

The motto in Congress is: If you don’t like the cure, deny the disease. In a March interview with Rachel Maddow about climate change, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said, “I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.” Other disease deniers include most Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, including its chair, Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga.

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who also sits on the House Science Committee, is campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat in Missouri. On Aug. 19 he assured a St. Louis television audience that rape victims have a biological defense against becoming pregnant, justifying his stance against exempting rape from anti-abortion legislation. “From what I understand from doctors,” Akin said, “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” One of the “doctors” is Jack Willke, long-discredited by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as contradicting “basic biological truths.” On taking his seat alongside Hall and Broun on the House Science Committee, Akin could lead them in a rendition of Sam Cooke’s classic, Wonderful World: “Don’t know much about history/Don’t know much biology/Don’t know much about a science book …”

Question for President Obama and Gov. Romney: How can we entrust the best interests of the nation to members of Congress and its committees who are scientifically challenged, blithely dismissing the science they just don’t like?

— Leonard Krishtalka is director of the Biodiversity Institute and a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Kansas University.


Les Blevins 5 years, 9 months ago

Professor Krishtalka is correct in his position that science should be part of the presidential debate because if Barack Obama is president he will be in a very good position to declare war against global warming and create jobs here but if Mitt Romney is elected president he will deny, deny, deny and deny the seriousness of global warming for the next four years and allow China to maintain its lead in clean tech and create tens of thousands of clean tech jobs in China manufacturing products that China will export to America that the United States could be making.

gbulldog 5 years, 9 months ago

But what is Obama doing about all the Horse Pucky is putting out? Doen't the smell hurt enviroment? In the meantime continue to buy your products at Wally World. Chinna can continue to use slave labor and polute as long as they are able to buy our debt in order to fund a "pie in the sky" lifestyle. Also investigate Jefferson County Alabama. EPA told them they need to build a new sewer system. So they did. Now the largest municpal bankruptcy in the USA. An Jefferson County Alabama was governed by Democrats. Some the governing body is now in jail. And who is paying for this disaster? The taxpayers!

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

Good points, but good luck getting them to address these issues. Science is now just one more political football and we are paying dearly for this willing ignorance.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

This will never happen. Since it deals with verifiable fact, science has a strong liberal bias, so Republicans will never allow a debate on something they try so hard to deny.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

Science has no facts, only statistics.

livinginlawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

Riddle me this--where can facts be found?

It would seem that what you allege to be mere "statistics," should they come as the result of strong experimental designs, are the closest approximations to facts in existence.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"Riddle me this--where can facts be found?"

The Bible.

"closest approximations to facts in existence"


gbulldog 5 years, 9 months ago

Fact: Solar energy is cleaner than coal. Obama gave a lot ot taxpayers to a Solar Company. Suggest you start using solar power from this company to power your residence! Maybe the reason this company failed is that it was run by loyal Democrats who gave money to Democrats?

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

How did he decide which taxpayers to give? Were they then sacrificed to the sun god? If so, I'd guess they were too young to be taxpayers, what with needing to be pure and all.

Dan Eyler 5 years, 9 months ago

Interesting that our green house gases are currently at a 20 year low. A mix of affordable coal, natural gas, oil, wind and nuclear has demonstrated that we are able to effectively maintain our environment and grow our economy and expand our energy independence based on a free market and supply and demand. The global warming message promoted by the good professor is designed to control energy as a means to control the masses and not to expand liberty and individual prosperity. This has far less to do with science than psychology and social welfare engineering which is more in line with the authors beliefs and teachings.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

That was perfect timing, KF. Thanks for proving my point with your fact-allergic paranoia.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

The record ice melt in the Arctic and massive melt in Greenland earlier this summer would beg to differ.

gbulldog 5 years, 9 months ago

Then why did the dirty 30's occur? My grandparents and great grandparents did not have electricity until after WW II ended. Also how many times have we heard it is bad to drink coffee? Then we hear it is good to drink coffee. Now we hear it is bad to drink coffee? So what it it? Science continue to study and has made some great discoveries especially in the transportaion and medical areas. However, when one problem is solved another problem raises it ugly head. eg. Science discovered penicillin which help kill many illnesses including pneumonia. Pneumonia used to be know as the old person's friend as it often lead to a peacful death. Now science an made it possible to save an elderly person, but it has resulted in the elderly spending years in nursing homes ($5,000 - $10,000+ a month), making paupers of them and increasing our national debt,

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

Let it differ with the glaciers that loomed over Lawrence more than once.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

The glaciers are disappearing at record rates. This will most likely cause the jet stream to alter its course. As more water is exposed, the ocean temperature is rising, which causes more melt. When the inland ice melts, ocean levels will rise dramatically.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

Maybe he has an incontinence fetish. Who are we to sit in judgement of another man's predilections? FHNC, you're a fine old timey conservative, and I think that's a respectable thing to be - but you need to let these younger kids experiment and find their own pleasure. The world is changing and your morality doesn't have the pull it used to.

As long as you fight to stop more creeping socialism off our lawns, you'll be OK with me. One of these days, you might come around to libertarianism and become a free man.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

Gales of laughter.

Now I need to go paint. Really.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

They need to do a study on why so many Americans are bums that refuse to work. That would be some good science right there.

Corey Williams 5 years, 9 months ago

Good idea. That would create some jobs right there.

gbulldog 5 years, 9 months ago

They are working earning an illegal income and not paying taxes. If a pimp can earn $60,000 a year with 4 girls, why work? Expecially when you add government assistance with promise of more from Obama. I wonder how much drug dealers make? I wonder how much you make, you run a solar company and convince Obama, with the help of donations, to give you a lot of money that you hide, then go bankrupt?

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"concise Nuclear 'reactions' of a Sun 'supernova'"

Technically, stars have supernovas. The Sun, while being a star, is too small to end with a supernova. I think it's supposed to become a brown dwarf and just freeze.

I think it would be more interesting to compare a graph of the number of robberies committed during full moons with another showing democrat voter turnout during the full moon.

We can extrapolate from there.

I theorize they will look similar.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 9 months ago

Al Gore wrote about this nearly a decade ago, in the book "The Republican War on Science". It lays out these arguments made by Krishtalka in a much deeper fashion. It s an excellent book.

Lest you think that this is just a partisan attack on the GOP, remember that it is the GOP who deny and ignore science when it conflicts with their ideology, be that economic or religious.

If members of the GOP don't want to be accused of denying science, I recommend that they stop doing it.

ebyrdstarr 5 years, 9 months ago

The book is by Chris Mooney, not Al Gore. But, yes, it's an excellent, though scary as heck, read.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 9 months ago

Right, I was thinking of "The Assault on Reason", also a good book along the same lines.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

Where is algore these days? Is he inventing new internets?

pti3 5 years, 9 months ago

I hope science becomes a bigger part of the discussion, public education of science and issues relating, including ethics, benefits as well as potential misuses and possible unintended bad consequences. Nanoethics Group: From the current issue of the Essex Human Rights Review:

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

Debate science?? Don't you go to church, man! Science is the tool of the devil, don't you know?? What is wrong with you???

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"Science is the tool of the devil"

Metaphorically, that is nice. Science will defeat religion, so the devil is bound to win.

I welcome our new devil overlord.

Speaking of which, is there a Church of Satan in Lawrence?

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 9 months ago

One thing for sure: The Old and New Testaments and Book of Mormon are not Scientific reference manuals, nor are they pertinent legal references either.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 9 months ago

“I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”

I think you will find a variety of cost estimates for addressing climate change. The higher ones tend to come from those connected to the fossil fuel industry. It appears to be a case of them saying bad things will happen to you if you quit buying what we're selling.

I'm leery of painting the GOP with too broad a brush; not every Republican lives in denial. Although, as we have seen, the moderates are being pushed out.

The basics of climate science are easy - same energy in, less energy out, the planet gets warmer. More GHG in the air means less energy out. But, beyond the basics, I really would not expect most politicians to understand it. Rather than listen to people who understand it better than anyone else, some convince themselves that they understand it better than the scientists. Birds of a feather flock together. They gather enough like-people around them to feel secure in whatever alternative reality they choose to believe. What we have is a group of people who don't like what they are being told, and deal with the problem by pretending that it doesn't exist.

But the politicians like this are more of a symptom than a cause; they are in positions of power because they were put there by a populace with the same tendency to listen to what the want to hear more than what they don't want to hear.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't think there is much point to the candidates debating the science. It would be sufficient to ask the candidates:

Every national science body on Earth has stated the position that humans are the primary cause of the current warming, and that to continue business as usual will lead dangerous consequences. Do you agree with this position, and if not, what do you know that they don't?

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh, that would be fun! I would even watch.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow--why do you not think that there is no physics governing the consequences of releasing gigatons of carbon that has been sequestered in the ground? What is so hard about understanding that if you release that carbon into the atmosphere at rates too fast for the other carbon sinks to re-absorb it at the same rate, that the consequence is a composition change in the atmosphere, that increases the capacity of the atmosphere to retain heat?

And if you don't believe that, can you tell me how/why you can suspend the well-understood physics of how greenhouse gases work? Is there something about how a solar flare works that nullifies and overrides the effect of releasing all of that carbon into the atmosphere? Are you aware of the fact that current models have incorporated solar irradiance, orbital variation, and yes, solar flares into their equations? And how they are not functionally capable of explaining the observed data on their own?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Don't waste your time. Sage is wholly unconcerned with facts or reason. His view of the world is informed only by superstition and an ideology of mean-spirited pettiness which repels science like water repels oil.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, clearly, you didn't look at facts. You looked at some website that's designed for ideologically gullible people like yourself.

While volcanic activity can spike and release more in some years than others, on average volcanoes release far less CO2 than humans do in their use of fossil fuels.

And while in bad years forest fires can release significant amounts of CO2, the same is true of wildfires as with volcanoes-- the amount is still less than what humans release. And it's also part of an endless cycle of fires, and then new growth, which sequesters large quantities of CO2.

But the more important point is that wildfires and volcanoes have been happening for millennia-- they are part of what creates the natural baseline of CO2 in the atmosphere. What's new over the last 150 years or so is the burning of massive quantities of coal, petroleum products and natural gas, releasing billions of tons of carbon that took millions of years to sequester.

Not that you care about facts or science or logical thinking.

Kirk Larson 5 years, 9 months ago

What's more, recent fires may be a consequence of climate change. I was just up in Colorado where, due to very warm winters, pine beetles are contributing to big tree kills providing fuel for forest fires.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Exactly-- just one of the many feedback loops that are accelerating the process of global warming.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

"true facts"?

Are there facts that aren't true?

gbulldog 5 years, 9 months ago

Then please explain the dirty 30's before the releasing of gigatons of carbon that has been sequestered in the ground? I currious what caused it?

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

Actually the upward trend of increased carbon dioxide in the air correlates nearly perfectly with the industrial age. As more sources of pollution were added, like the age of the auto after WWII, the levels increased at the same time.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 9 months ago

yah, everyone's ticked we missed that one & only chance ever to drill. oh, wait...

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Climate change and rising oceans are perfect examples of why businesses can't be left unregulated. Their goal is to maximize their profits (and reasonably so), but their activity can have massive consequences for the population as a whole. Only governments can ascertain that businesses bear the indirect but very real cost of their waste by-products and are obligated to reduce the harmful effects of their operations. In the middle of the 20th century, those environmental costs included rivers so polluted that they caught fire; fields so contanimated that their produce was poisonous; air so polluted that people died of asphyxiation. Things in the US are a lot better now, because government took the lead to protect the citizenry. Compare with the places in the world where that didn't happen: in the communist states of China and the Soviet Union, where the governments promoted industrialization without regard to ecological consequences; in capitalist strongholds in the Third World, where governments didn't bother to regulate businesses at all. Those countries have been experiencing ecological disasters, which consequent health consequences for the population. Why would Americans want to see their government go down either of these bad paths?

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

Moderation in all things. This issue demands attention unless this is a disposable planet.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Logical flaw: X countries have greater property rights. X countries have less pollution. Therefore greater property right lead to less pollution. It would be equally logical to say that less pollution leads to greater property rights.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

By all means scientific fact must triumph over emotion and ignorance. In my life time it has been my experience that historically that has been the case – until about a generation ago. Around that time I noted that scientists (and other experts) became conflicted as to where science ended and where public policy began. Perhaps, IMHO, many now are somewhat suspect of scientists and their ability to confine their advocacy to science and science alone.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Let's credit Muslim scientists, too, while we're at it. And non-religious persons. And as for scientists who are politically liberal, let's start with Einstein. Jonas Salk. Marie Curie. Dmitri Mendeleev. I could go on and on, but it's late. Political liberalism is completely compatible with religion, SageonPage. The Democratic candidate for Congress in the 2nd district is a man of faith.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 9 months ago

//SoP sot shhhht//

Whatever is included in the debate, I hope a live audience is not.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

58 days until election day.

59 days until the 2016 campaign begins.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

jhf, yesterday I saw a scroll on tv about Hillary in 2016. Sadly, that race is already being discussed.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

So will it be Hillary vs. Rubio? Christie? (I'm assuming Romney loses so no incumbent).

Ken Lassman 5 years, 9 months ago

By the way, both Romney and Obama have responded to questions about science and science policy on this website:

I found the answers to clearly distinguish the two candidates and recommend that folks read them, and use dare-I-say critical thinking skills to figure out which candidate is answering the questions more directly and clearly.

There is clearly room for more questions and answers, and I hope Krishtalka's questions get into the mix before it is all over--they are excellent.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Very interesting. With just a few exceptions, Romney talked around the issues with verbose ideological posturing-- when it comes time to make hard decisions, Romney would always come down on the side of powerful vested interests (primarily oil companies and other major polluters in the extractive economy) and/or the superstitions of the tea party base, not on science.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 9 months ago

The GOP have a problem with science.

They do not like it because it is a reality that conflicts with their deeply held ideology.

Science is at heart an anti-ideology machine, relying on observation, rational thought, and experimentation to derive an understanding of the workings of the universe. The world as it is and as we can observe and experience it, not as ideology wishes the world would be.

Note to the GOP: there is no Santa Claus.

gbulldog 5 years, 9 months ago

Appears to be riding on a donkey putting out a lot of Horse Pucky and greenhouse gasses!

Mike Ford 5 years, 9 months ago

I have an idea for two new reality shows. One involves moving deniers to Gulf Shores, AL, Biloxi, MS, or Morgan City, LA, and seeing the results of their denial firsthand. Of course the deniers who already live there rail against government and scream when the aid doesn't get there quick enough after Isaac, Gustav, or Katrina. I guess hypocracy and denial and a lack of scientific education go hand and hand. The other idea involves moving all of these hardy individualists??? to the Inupiat communities in Alaska to teach them how to live off of the land like these people's ancestors have done for millenia only to have the consequences of denial melt their hunting grounds into the sea. I love to see James Imhofe scream take me out of here back to the no rain, killer tornado, dry as h?ll Oklahoma where his denial and idiocy is king amongst simpletons.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"One involves moving deniers to Gulf Shores"

I want to be on the first show. I lived my teenage years (some 3 decades ago) about 4' above sea level. I couldn't quite reach the water dangling my legs off the seawall, but I did get a little splash once in a while.

Global warming is a lie. I formally deny it. Now, buy out my house, pay moving costs and I promise you two seasons me fishing same spots I did in 1978.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Would somebody point me to the part of the Republican Platform that denies climate change! Suspect there is none because the party does not deny it. The party has public ploicy questions as to how to address it with emphasis on not destroying our economy by going to fast.

It seems to me that we have once again provided support for a recognition that some scientists are confusing science with public policy. Science has spoken on climate change - it is happening. What we do about it is not their call (except as a citizen) . That call belongs to politicians who appear to be arguing over scope not existance.

The Democratic solution of a cap and trade regime suggests an approach where the levied tax to make carbon more costly is fed back to the poorer citizens. That means that the upper middle class will pay much more for their carbon and see no return - in a sense a large tax on the middle class.

But then I though the campaign claimed no increased taxes on the middle class?? How can this be??

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

"Moreover, the advance of science and technology advances environmentalism as well. Science allows us to weigh the costs and benefits of a policy so that we can prudently deal with our resources. This is especially important when the causes and long-range effects of a phenomenon are uncertain. We must restore scientific integrity to our public research institutions and remove political incentives from publicly funded research. [Emphasis added]"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

"Would somebody point me to the part of the Republican Platform that denies climate change! Suspect there is none because the party does not deny it. "

Man, talk about willful ignorance.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

I asked a question Bozo and you insult my intelligence. Way to go

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

That just means the request was too hard for her.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

The point is that it makes absolutely no difference what the platform says with regards to climate change. As long as other (sincere) portions of their platform insist on Drill Baby Drill, MIne Baby Mine, Frack Baby Frack, any acknowledgment of the dangers of global warming is 110% disingenuous.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 9 months ago

Nobody has claimed that denial is part of the official platform, but I think you would have to be willfully ignorant not to be aware that more Republicans than Democrats are in the denial camp.

It isn't clear that cap and trade would disproportionately affect poorer citizens. It is clear that a tax and dividend would affect those with a larger fossil fuel use more than those with a smaller. Cap and trade is not the only option for controlling CO2 production.

I think you have fallen victim to the group think that those who want to reduce CO2 production are in the 'other' group and are either stupid or evil. FWIW, Jim Hansen favors a gradually phased in, revenue neutral, tax and dividend approach.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

I think DougCounty is smart and very well informed.

I have no idea as to how many R or D believe what. What I do see is that those with a constitutency that might get gored from cap and trade oppose it while those who have supporters who might gain support it. Of course that issue is not climate change but a public policy to address it (as pointed out one of many)

Since I was not debating the existance of or methodology to fix climate change I am puzzled at the responses. I was only pointing out that cap and trade is a policy issues with consequence and not a scientific truth

Chris Golledge 5 years, 9 months ago

Reading Mitt's reply to the climate change question, it summarizes up to, "More study is needed." This is a bit like a judge sending the jury back out to deliberate after they have already delivered the verdict.

Mike Ford 5 years, 9 months ago

hey blind guy.......look up James Imhofe.....then go deny some more....

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Verity may I throw a rock at Tusch or must I turn the otheer cheek?

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

Rather than worrying about the science of people who might not even get elected, the good professor should bemoan the lack of geological knowledge that leads at least one current member of Congress to worry that if we put too many troops on Guam, it might capsize:

Then again, that's probably the wrong kind of science - the kind with a D behind it.

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

ge·ol·o·gy    [jee-ol-uh-jee] noun, plural ge·ol·o·gies. 1. the science that deals with the dynamics and physical history of the earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the physical, chemical, and biological changes that the earth has undergone or is undergoing.

The fact that islands don't generally flip over like lily pads is a scientific one. Or is science in your world limited to global climate progress and evolution?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

The scientific ignorance of one representative, while disturbingly amusing, doesn't detract at all from the points made by Krishtalka.

To the contrary, it supports his point that political campaigns should include an exploration of the level of scientific understanding by political candidates-- something that clearly didn't happen when this Rep got elected.

Kris Krishtalka 5 years, 9 months ago

Rep. Johnson was joking, using the humor as a metaphor for how the stationing of the all the marines and their families on Guam would threaten the delicate environmental sustainability of the island---which he explained the post session interviews.

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

"Rep. Johnson was joking..."

Yup, and Larry Craig just takes a wide stance.

Mike Ford 5 years, 9 months ago

uggady.....go troll that pizza guy that lifted President Obama.....since you sound soooo educated????? liberty275whatever.......go live at Braithewaite, Louisiana or better yet go to Wiggins Circle off of Washington Avenue in Pascagoula, MS, where my mom's family home was washed away by a 30 foot Katrina wave on August 29, 2005 and where they lived in a fema trailer for two years until state farm ponied up the $ in court. Katrina did what Frederic and Georges didn't do. Katrina did what Hurricane Camille didn't do in 1969. Why did this happen? superheated gulf of mexico water fueled the surge in katrina. What is warming the atmosphere and the overheated atmosphere caused when pollution blocks the return of sunrays back to the sun thus warming our atmosphere. I thank the Manhattan High School Science teachers talking about global warming and acid rain in 1985-86 during reagan. Man you people have short and uninformed memories.

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