Tuesday, April 25, 2006

In defense of global warming 'alarmism'.

The Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal is devoting a fair few column inches to global warming skeptics lately. A few weeks ago Dr Richard Lindzen claimed that scientists are persecuted for dissenting from the scientific mainstream view that the global warming we are experiencing now is man made. And on Earth Day a hatchet piece called Breathe Easier told us not to believe global warming claims because, well, the past dire predictions of the greens in the 70s have not come to pass:

In the 1970s, prominent greens were issuing dire predictions about mass starvation, overpopulation and--of all things--global cooling. Since then, population-growth estimates have come way down, biotechnology advances have found ways to feed more people than the doomsayers believed possible, and the global-cooling crisis has become the global-warming crisis without missing a beat.

There's no doubt the greens have succeeded in promoting higher environmental standards, which in turn have contributed to cleaner air, water and land almost everywhere you look...........But environmental activists don't want to believe their own success, much less advertise it. They need another looming catastrophe to stay relevant, not to mention to keep raising money.

Much of the article is a vilification of those concerned about the environment. My first response is to laugh at how stupid the unknown author must think his audience is and move along, but when you remember that insidious pieces like these are funded by the fossil-fuel lobby to successfully sow confusion about global warming science, it is worth pars or two of effort to respond.

Name: Wadard
E-mail: j0hnp0p3@yahoo.com.au
City/State: Sydney, Australia
Date: Sun, April 23rd, 2006

Re: Breathe Easier

How do you congratulate them for the gains they have helped make - like enormous CFC reduction - but criticise environmentalists for that which did not come to pass, like total ozone depletion?

Surely it is more rational to take their warnings even more seriously?

Global warming 'alarmists', such as myself, are simply saying that if we keep putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere we will suffer dire consequences to the ecosystems that we depend on. Unfortunately the scientific consensus agrees.

Accusing us of alarmism is misrepresenting us though exaggeration. Our 'alarmism' makes as much common sense as pointing out that if one jumps off a big enough cliff that person is going to die a really unpleasant death. There is nothing scary in that, unless you think someone is planning to jump.

That's because, in my simile, we are all tied together by a rope at the edge of that cliff.

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1 comment:

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