35 years ago on June 23, 1988, James Hansen, a NASA climate scientist brought the term “global warming” to the nation’s consciousness during his testimony to a Senate panel. He said he was 99% certain that the gradual heating of the planet was due largely to the human-caused buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial gasses in the atmosphere.
After Hansen’s testimony, the fossil fuels industry went into overdrive to dispel the notion that it was responsible, aided by elected officials who were funded by gas, oil, and coal interests. In one of the more childish displays ever seen in Congress, former Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe brought a snowball to work and used it as a prop as he questioned the science behind climate change during a floor speech.
But Hansen couldn’t have been more prescient. The hottest days in recorded history occurred a couple of weeks ago and records are being shattered daily as a heat dome currently plagues the planet.
Phoenix made national headlines yesterday for the hottest period ever with temperatures above 110 degrees for 19 straight days, while the mercury in Death Valley shot up to an astonishing 130, degrees, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth.
It seems like the chickens have finally come home to roost.