For a long time, it has been pretty easy to ignore the whole problem of global climate change.

We could tell ourselves it was happening far, far away at the ends of Earth, or that it’s really all just a hoax dreamed up by somebody — nefarious liberals bent on taxing all the good folk to death, or some such.

Few beyond the most dedicated conspiracy theorists are still buying into the latter method of avoidance, however.

Just about everybody with an informed opinion — 97 percent of actual scientists, for example — agrees that climate change is real and is driven primarily by human activity.

The list includes the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, American Medical Association, American Meteorological Society and The Geological Society of America, to name a few.

It also includes and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA — which note, among other things, the average global surface temperature has increased 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with the exception of 1998, and sea level is rising 3.4 millimeters a year.

Worried that these groups all dominated by dupes and shills abetting a vast, amorphous liberal conspiracy? What about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Department of Defense, both of which acknowledge that human influenced climate change is real and list it among the greatest threats to global peace and stability in general and our own national security in particular?

The questions of whether and why our climate is changing are settled.

The other dodge is that it’s happening somewhere else and will take a long, long time to matter.

That’s false too, as the recent news about a massive coral bleaching at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary shows.

Earlier this month, researchers reported that nearly 50 percent of the coral colonies in the East Flower Garden Bank were bleached, which is caused by the coral’s expulsion of the algae that gives it its pigmentation, sanctuary Superintendent G.P. Schmahl told The Daily News.

Scientists attributed the bleaching to warming water temperatures caused by climate change. Sea surface temperatures have been more than 86 degrees for 85 days in the past four months, according to the administration.

“In recent decades there has been a documented general increase in seawater temperatures associated with climate change and it’s putting coral reefs throughout the world under stress,” Schmahl said.

As the water temperature cools into the winter, the algae should return, Schmahl said. Still, the long period of bleaching could cause some corals to starve and die off, he said.

This year’s coral bleaching event could be the worst in the marine sanctuary’s history.

Climate change is real and our activities are a major contributor to that change.

To argue otherwise is just whistling past the graveyard.

• Michael A. Smith

Contact Editor Michael A. Smith at 409-683-5206 or​

(8) comments

Josh Butler

Too many click-bait articles in the opinion section. How many climate change articles have been published in the last few months?

Carlos Ponce

David, the data was altered to fit the model of "Climate Change". Reason? More government money, more government control over our lives. Tell me why the Polar Ice Caps are melting on Mars and Europa. The reasons are solar related, not localized.

Joel Martin

Michael, if you believe 97 percent of scientists agree with that I have some beachfront property in Arizona I would like to sell you[smile][smile]

Brian Cann

Michael, we know from emails that the scientists sent to each other that the data has been manipulated. So we can't trust it. We know from Wikileaks, congressional hearings, and dog and pony show investigations that all levels of government are liars, so we can't trust the government. If the DOJ, FBI, and the state department (the highest echelons of government) have become politicized liars, then it serves to reason that the lower eschelons of government, such as NASA are politicized liars as well. Sorry Michael, but it's been proven as well that the media are political hacks and liars too. So we no longer believe you. Above all, do really expect us to believe that hurting our economy and adding taxes to Americans is really going to change global weather patterns that have gone on for billions of years?! What coal burning plant and which SUV's emissions brought the warming that ended the ice age? Plus, do you really believe China, India, etc. are going to destroy their economies as well to combat "climate change"? You guys have cried wolf, moved the goal posts, and out right lied too many times before. Go sell crazy somewhere else.

Kelly Naschke

AMEN Brian! Well stated.

Cary Semar

There is no crazy in the editorial. That is the exclusive preserve of the comments.

Carlos Ponce

Thank's fot the laugh, Cary.[beam]

Kelly Naschke

as is typical of the democrats that cant debate on substantive, quantifiable fact in regard to their agenda...they call names and hurl insults. Utterly predictable Cary. And...speaking of crazy....have you bothered to take a look at your pic? Does your village know you have gone missing???

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