Climate Change: Spin and Truth

Global Warming

Written by:Nate

Climate change is an important issue, and it is being defined in two very different ways by the various sides in this “debate.” Here is the spin and the truth:

The “contrarian” view on global climate change has a number of different arguments. Some of them deny that any warming is taking place; others admit that it is, but dispute the cause and the rate of warming. Some say it is an honest mistake within the scientific community, while many others say it is either a hoax or some other kind of intentional exaggeration. Either way, most of the contrarians” agree that global climate change is a pseudoscientific tactic by pushed alarmists, and that it can be compared to “global cooling” and eugenics. They see themselves, by contrast, as the honest scientists who have the courage to speak out against the prevailing notions.

By contrast, the consensus on climate change charges that the contrarians are part of an industry-funded smear campaign in order to protect corporate interests. They claim that the “contrarian” view is not scientific, but that it is mainly run by a few scientists (sometimes not even climatologists) who are backed by right-wing think-tanks and politicians—all of whom, at some point, have received fossil-fuel industry funding. They compare this smear campaign to the “scientific” defense of cigarettes in the sixties (“nicotine is not addictive” and “smoking does not cause lung cancer”) and to the contrarian movement against the hole in the ozone layer, both of which turned out to be false.

So who’s right? Let’s start with the contrarian claims. Are they simply the good scientists who have the courage to speak out? Have they been punished for doing so? Some of them have claimed this, but there is no verifiable evidence of this. It may be true that some of their writings have been rejected by scientific journals, but rejection is not necessarily persecution. After all, of the contrarian papers and articles that I have read, many of them are so shallow and selective in their scientific claims that even I (who have no degree in science) can see through them.

As far as global climate change being a hoax or an exaggeration, once again there is no evidence either that scientists have altered their findings or that environmental groups have had any significant influence on the scientific process. Contrarian Tim Ball has claimed that being funded by Greenpeace or the Sierra Club is no different than getting support from oil companies (which, by the way, is virtually an admission that he is funded by fossil fuel interests), but, as I have said, there is no evidence that these groups are funding scientists. And even if there were, the notion that environmental lobbies could come up with enough money and influence to pay off or mislead the vast majority of the world’s scientists is a grand conspiracy theory if I ever heard one! (This, by the way, coming from people who scoff condescendingly at the idea of a second shooter on the grassy knoll.)

Last of the contrarian claims is that climate change is a new version of something we’ve seen before. There was eugenics, the population explosion, and global cooling, they say, all of which turned out to be false. But is this a fair comparison? Eugenics may or may not have had the scientific consensus global climate change has today, but that does not mean the two are equal; eugenics, after all, was studied in a time where we knew next to nothing about genetics—far, far less than we know about climate today. As to the population explosion (a la Ehrlich) and global cooling, again the comparison is not fair because neither had anything close to a scientific consensus, as climate change has today. It may be true, as the contrarians claim, that certain people (such as certain environmental groups) that believe in global warming also spread false theories about these other two issues in the sixties and seventies. Overall, however, when you consider the near-total majority of all climatologists, global cooling and the population explosion were not promoted by the same people that are “spreading the rumors,” as they put it, about climate change today.

What about the claims of the consensus? Well, for starters, there is bountiful evidence of oil and coal companies being behind the contrarians. There are internal memos from corporations which suggest that they want to cast doubt about climate change; these are eerily reminiscent of similar memos from tobacco companies. Furthermore, unlike environmental groups and scientific associations, fossil fuel companies have both the economic motivation and the financial means to buy the scientists, think-tanks, and politicians who will spread their message. Lastly, some prominent contrarians, including physicist Fred Singer, have personally been involved in former smear campaigns. Singer, for instance, still claims that cigarettes do not cause lung cancer, that UV rays do not cause skin cancer, and that CFCs are not harmful to ozone. What more evidence do we need to prove that these people are being bought?

If I sound harsh, I am sorry. I get serious about this issue, and I believe all of us must be, because our very world hangs in the balance. We’re talking about the future of our planet here, and it makes me very angry to see so many people who so willingly allow themselves to be manipulated by corporate interests that endanger our earth.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Christianity, Christianityismore, Climate Change, Environment, Global Cooling, Global Warming, Green Peace, Ozone, Spin

One Comment on “Climate Change: Spin and Truth”

  1. Alex Smith Says:

    Good post. You can listen to free audio on climate change at http://www.ecoshock.org – an audio download site. There’s no ads, no sign ups, nothing like that. People take away about 2 gigs of files a day.
    Check it out.
    Alex.


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