The April 25 op-ed titled, “Global warming: An appeal to basic fairness,” is factually incorrect and misleading. The article is a bad argument for the fossil fuel industry, as to say don’t worry about climate change, pollution is good for you.
Contrary to the writer’s opinions, climate science is not “a young science.” The Chinese scientist Shen Kuo (1031-1095) observed climate change by studying fossilized bamboo. Edmund Halley mapped trade winds in 1686 and Ben Franklin was the first to map the gulf stream.
The author stated the “earth has not warmed at all for the last 15 years” but he doesn’t site any source to back up his claim. According to NASA scientists, “2012 was the ninth warmest of any year since 1880, continuing a long term trend of rising global temperatures.” Excluding 1998, “the nine warmest years in the 132-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the hottest years on record.”
The author takes what James Hansen of NASA said out of context. Hansen said the “pace of warming appears to have slowed somewhat, describing a temporary standstill, (scientificamerican.com).” However, Hansen attributed the cooling to La Niña and noted that each past several decades has been hotter than the last and warming should pick up again.” On the decadal time scale, it’s going to get warmer because we know the planet is out of energy balance” Hansen said.
The author recommends climatedepot.com for a single source on climate change which was created by CFACT, (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow). Similar to the Cooler Heads Coalition and the National Consumer Coalition, CFACT has received $582,000 dollars from ExxonMobil since 1998, (exxonsecrets.org). Also mentioned in the article is the Heartland Institute.
The Heartland Institute which also refutes the dangers of second hand smoke, is a member of the corporate bill mill, ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), which receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from billionaires like the Koch brothers, (sourcewatch.org).The author’s point of view is less a climate science dissenter’s than a playbook for the fossil fuel industry.
He concludes by appealing to fairness of a balanced approach by listening to both sides of the climate change argument, like both sides are equally numbered, credible and objective — but they are not. All national and international science agencies from the National Academy of Science to the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Pentagon, the World Health Organization, the United Nations to a huge majority of climatologists, all say that the earth is warming, climate change is real and is caused mostly by humans.
So who do you believe: the reputable scientists that actually study climate or, preyed off scientists, weathermen, graduate students in unrelated fields, fraudulent surveys and public relation firms that are hired by the fossil fuel industry?
Even if runaway global warming and climate change aren’t caused by anthropogenic CO2, it is illogical and irrational to argue that continuing to pollute our atmosphere is a good thing, especially since there are renewable energy alternatives that don’t get nearly the subsidies and tax breaks that fossil fuel gets.
It’s not even a question of the environment at this point. It’s a question of the future for our children and in the worst case scenario, the survival of our species. We can’t stop human caused climate change because it’s already started.
The devastating effects of climate change that will cause unprecedented suffering will only increase, unless people take the issue seriously, take a risk assessment, put a price on carbon by implementing a cap and trade program, divest in fossil fuel, invest in renewable energy, rid our media and government of invested interests that control them.
An important question is, when is the point of no return and have we passed it? Can we curb human desire fed by unbalanced free market capitalism that always wants more of a finite resource base that externalizes costs to the environment and condenses the wealth in the ever decreasing hands of the few at the expense of every living thing on earth?