Climate Science Makes an Eleventh-Hour Comeback
This was the year climate change vanished from the political agenda – and then suddenly reappeared, after Hurricane Sandy shook the country. It was just a few years ago that President Barack Obama flew to Copenhagen to rescue faltering climate treaty talks amid bipartisan calls for global warming action. But in 2012, there wasn’t a single congressional proposal or hearing on climate legislation. Neither was there mention of climate change on the presidential campaign trail, or in the debates for the first time in decades.
In the rare instances that climate change surfaced in national discussions, politicians were fixated on the one aspect of warming scientists aren’t debating: whether it’s occurring. Republican-affiliated climate researchers told InsideClimate News that attempts to educate their party leaders on the science were rebuffed. Meanwhile, many U.S. scientists fended off attacks of global warming skeptics, while Canadian scientists had to deal with budget cuts and muzzling by the government.
Amid the silence and skepticism, the Earth sent its own message.