Extreme Weather Fires Up Global Warming Debate
A monster storm socked the New England coast this weekend with more than a foot of snow and 50 mile-per-hour winds.
"I hate it. I wish it is was done," Pennsylvania resident William Madison said.
In the meantime, another snowstorm moving through the Midwest is expected to arrive in the Northeast Monday night. About a dozen states are under winter weather warnings and advisories.
"This is not the New England of my childhood. It's a harsh, frostbitten awfulness," New Hampshire resident Morgan Wade said.
Meanwhile, from the brutal blizzards in the East and South to the drought in the West, this winter's extremes are bringing back a storm of heated debates from politicians on what's really to blame for the bad weather.
Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the issues of climate-change and global warming during his latest speech in Indonesia.
"Because of climate change, it's no secret that today Indonesia is ... one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth," Kerry said in an address to students in Jakarta.
"We just don't have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation," he continued. "I'm talking about big companies that like it the way it is, that don't want to change, and spend a lot of money to keep you and me and everybody from doing what we know we need to do."
"We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists ... and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact," he said.
Kerry and leading Democrats cited the weather extremes as proof climate change is taking a toll on the planet.
President Barack Obama sounded his latest alarm in drought-stricken California.
"Unless and until we do more to combat carbon pollution that causes climate change, this trend is going to get worse," the president warned.
But not everyone is on board with that interpretation of science.
"Even the president's own science and technology office head, Mr. Holdren, says no one single weather event is due specifically to climate change," Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., charged.
"So it drives the policy to look at cost/benefit analysis, what we do about it, and the impact that U.S. policy would have in a global environment," she said.<./p>
The latest statistics show that even in the face of all the wicked winter weather the American people don't consider global warming an important issue. Last month, it ranked 19 out of 20 in a Pew Research survey.