Chill Out Over Global Warming
I am starting to believe manmade “global warming” is one of those fads. I won’t go in to all my reasons for being suspicious about the motives of those hyping this issue, but I will say I notice a decidedly socialist set of “solutions” to the “problem.”
Anyway, I think it would be a good idea if we had a less emotional and more rational debate on the manmade “global warming problem” before we go off the deep end. This column in the Denver Post gets at some of the doubts I’ve had about the issue and in a very humorous, but informative way.
Admittedly, I possess virtually no expertise in science. That puts me in exactly the same position as most dogmatic environmentalists who want to craft public policy around global warming fears.
The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contends Colorado State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent in the field, agree.
Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast.
"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was."
Gray directs me to a 1975 Newsweek article that whipped up a different fear: a coming ice age.
"Climatologists," reads the piece, "are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change. ... The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality."
Thank God they did nothing. Imagine how warm we'd be?
Another highly respected climatologist, Roger Pielke Sr. at the University of Colorado, is also skeptical.
Pielke contends there isn't enough intellectual diversity in the debate. He claims a few vocal individuals are quoted "over and over" again, when in fact there are a variety of opinions.
I ask him: How do we fix the public perception that the debate is over?
"I think the media is in the ideal position to do that. If the media honestly presented the views out there, which they rarely do, things would change. There aren't just two sides here. There are a range of opinions on this issue. A lot of scientists out there that are very capable of presenting other views are not being heard."
Al Gore (not a scientist) has definitely been heard - and heard and heard. His documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," is so important, in fact, that Gore crisscrosses the nation destroying the atmosphere just to tell us about it.
"It's about politics. Very few people have experience with some real data. I think that there is so much general lack of knowledge on this. I've been at this over 50 years down in the trenches working, thinking and teaching."
Gray acknowledges that we've had some warming the past 30 years. "I don't question that," he explains. "And humans might have caused a very slight amount of this warming. Very slight. But this warming trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again, as it did from the middle '40s to the middle '70s."
Both Gray and Pielke say there are many younger scientists who voice their concerns about global warming hysteria privately but would never jeopardize their careers by speaking up.