Rely on science, not rhetoric, about global warmingI think the idea that left-wing liberals are somehow scheming to control the economy by using renewable energy is absurd. This idea implies all our scientists are far left liberals, socialists or communists. To define them with childish stereotypes is an attempt to cloak the facts in the debate about climate change.
By: By Peter W. Johnson, Superior Telegram
I think the idea that left-wing liberals are somehow scheming to control the economy by using renewable energy is absurd. This idea implies all our scientists are far left liberals, socialists or communists. To define them with childish stereotypes is an attempt to cloak the facts in the debate about climate change.
Although I was a good student and did well in high school and college science classes, I do not have a degree. I think I know enough to listen to those who do have degrees.
Arguments put forth by those who oppose recognizing man’s role are quite naive either deliberately or by ignorance. The fact that glaciers affect world climate over periods of many thousands of years has nothing to do with the rapid rise levels during the last two decades. Scientists have also never had a deep dark secret about plants absorbing carbon dioxide as part of their metabolic cycle, but when massive deforestation occurs in areas like the Amazon, this will result in more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Despite people who think the debate includes seasonal changes, climate scientists have never predicted only a uniform raising of temperatures around the world and actually predict alarming extremes in weather conditions. This includes things such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and drought. It will not help Midwest agriculture by extending the growing season. Rather, more rain in the spring occurring without adequate thawing of the ground, and more extreme summer dry spells will be harmful.
I have also heard people deny that we have rising carbon dioxide levels that parallel the growth of human industries. Some think that because gasses are measured in parts per million, there are no critical increases in them. Physic professor Jay Austin at the University of Minnesota Duluth, sets the record straight by listing the 385 parts per million, which represents a twenty percent increase since 1958. This increase, he goes on to say in a letter to the Tribune “is consistent with our rate of fossil fuel use.” Other gases like carbon monoxide also exist in small amounts but can be deadly if not discovered by carbon monoxide detectors.
It’s hard to know whether all those who spread misinformation do so out of a lack of knowledge or the deliberate desire to distort the facts. But whatever the truth may be, the overwhelming consensus is that, man’s role in climate change is absolutely no hoax and no conspiracy.
Just as countries like Iran use America as a scapegoat for agitation among protestors who were angered by a rigged election, extremely conservative Republicans are eager to lie about “pulling the plug on grandma,” to satisfy special interest groups, insurance lobbyists and take down Obama. Those who lie the most are obviously those who have the most to lose in wealth, power, or status. This is becoming a new world of political manipulation in the Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove tradition of outrageous lies. The mistaken facts around climate change can also be deliberately misleading. Large energy companies do not want to rock the boat by diverting major research to the development of clean and renewable energies. Instead ideas such as the underground capture of carbon are used to divert our attention. Actually, this has never been accomplished and it is uncertain to even work, let alone be economically feasible.
It’s tragic that the old guard such as Exxon Mobile is not leading the vanguard of immersion in new energy industries. Obviously the truth is inconvenient.
The right changes may cause an initial rise in energy costs but many climate scientists believe that new wind, water, and solar sources will eventually be cheaper than coal.
We must begin to think in the long run, not the instant gratification we expect. In a scene from Al Gores documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth,” I was impressed by a scene depicting several bars of gold on one side of a balancing scale. On the other side was the planet Earth. Mr. Gore muses humorously about whether the gold is more important than the planet or not.
Even if we all have to make sacrifices and concessions about a new way of thinking, is it really worth it to be stubborn? If we refuse to help the world, the expense of losing our common home will be devastating?
Peter W. Johnson is a resident of Superior.