Unprecedented Warming in the Past Two Years Is a Reason for Action

Published on August 17, 2010 by

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Well, it’s become pretty obvious in the last couple of years that our planet is the hottest it’s been in the last century.   You can see the spike at the end of the graph there, exceeding the high temperatures in the early-to-mid 1940s. For a while there in the 2000s, even though temperatures were rising, they still weren’t out of line with the 1980s and 1990s. So people like me were a little complacent: sure, it was a little warm, but it had been just as warm in the past, and we didn’t see the need for any immediate action.

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Zooming in on just 2000-2010, you can see that how we got to this point – the hottest temperature on record – was a sudden jump more than doubling the temperature anomaly from 2008 to 2009, from something warm but still within the normal range to unprecedentedly hot.

I hate to say it, but the global warming protestors who say we need to take immediate action as a result of this jump are right.   The climate has–

Oh, wait. Boy, is my face red! These aren’t temperature graphs at all.   They’re the U.S. Federal Government’s budget deficit in constant 2005 dollars per capita.

Now, some of my liberal friends have questioned why the Tea Party people weren’t out protesting the deficits in the Bush years (sometimes implying it’s because the President is black and the Tea Partiers are racist).   Well, there’s your answer.   The Bush deficits weren’t out of line with the deficits of the past 30 years.   The deficits we’re running now are the largest in the history of our country (in constant dollars per capita, not just unadjusted dollars), larger than the deficits we ran while fighting World War II.

(Now, it’s true that the current deficits are smaller as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product than the deficits run during World Wars I & II, but they are still a larger percentage than the deficits run during the Civil War and more than twice the percentage of from any other times, including the Great Depression prior to the start of World War II.)

(Charts made on http://www.usgovernmentspending.com.)

Filed under: General

3 comments on “Unprecedented Warming in the Past Two Years Is a Reason for Action”

  1. James Maxey says:

    This was a clever little essay; I honestly believed you were showing temperature graphs at first, though I was all set to gripe about your lack of numbers (since temperature graphs are often portrayed showing huge swings, then when you start looking at the data the huge swings are measured in 10ths of a degree).

    Another response you can give when people ask why people didn’t complain about deficits under Bush is to point out that a whole lot of us did. I was one of them, and here’s a blog link from the Bush era to show it:

    http://jamesmaxey.blogspot.com/2006/11/gridlock-i-hope-maybe.html

    And, I honestly think that Republican fiscal irresponsibility was a huge factor in Republicans losing power in 2006 and 2008. I’m a libertarian, but I liked the Republican congress back in the 90’s. But once they stopped having Clinton to be against, they were just as pork driven and pandering as Democrats. I’ve never voted for a democrat, but I’m more than willing to cast my vote for a libertarian over a big-government Republican. I wonder if Republicans will actually take their budget duties seriously this time around?

  2. > And, I honestly think that Republican fiscal
    > irresponsibility was a huge factor in Republicans
    > losing power in 2006 and 2008.

    I agree with you.

  3. Floyd says:

    I was going to fault you for not labelling the y-axis and giving numbers; I’m too used to people lying with graphs. (I’m the corporate Six Sigma Master Black Belt.) At first I thought it would be interesting to account for the component that was due to militarty activity (i.e. war). I noticed that the 60’s showed almost no significant increase accounting for the Vietnam War. The Korean War period (’50-53) actually showed a decrease. The trend since the ’70’s is certainly disturbing.

    Interesting, vary interesting.