For months now I have listened to, read, and thought a great deal about all the nonsense emanating from both sides of the “climate change” debate, and I can’t stand it any longer. Both sides are spending way too much time off topic and far too much effort on obfuscation, getting us nowhere and avoiding the real issues with which we must eventually come to grips.
First I need to address the climate science, it’s a crisis, we must act now, crowd.
Your science is, I accept, largely correct. That said, you have created two huge problems for yourself and your conclusions:
1. You have used some faulty data (misplaced data collection stations, etc.) and relied too much on computer simulations, leading to confusion among a not very well science-grounded American public. We all know that computer simulations can be a case of garbage-in, garbage-out. While you have been touting your results and screaming for action from government, you have failed totally to explain your data sources, inputs and methodology to the wider audience that is necessary to bring along if you expect politicians to react favorably to your findings. What is needed is a better, clearer explanation of your science, and far less politics and crying wolf.
2. You have spun data, tried to suppress dissenting findings and interpretations, and allowed the most unreliable among you (and yes, especially the IPCC and its irresponsible, political head) to become the face of your science. In so doing you have enabled those who dispute your findings, for whatever reasons – good and/or bad – to gain the high ground as well as momentum.
My advice: Stick to the science, explain it on a sixth grade level, avoid terms such as “crisis”, and root out those who would take shortcuts or play dirty pool in order to advance their conclusions.
Question: Is it not probable that the destruction of tropical forests has played at least as great a role in the accelerated warming we are seeing as SUVs and cow farts, and isn’t that a cheaper and less destructive (to world economic development) place to start to solve the problem?
As for my Libertarian and Conservative “denier” friends:
1. The science is not on your side, and pointing to misconduct on the part of a couple of warming advocates does not render untrue the totality of the findings. You are making yourselves look silly and thus destroying your own credibility by taking such an extreme position. Hello! The earth has been warming for the last 12,000 to 14,000 years, and the oceans have been rising right along with the temperatures. Climate change is a fact of life.
2. This rise in temperatures since the Younger Dryas has not been straight line, but rather in fits and starts. During the warming we have had extreme rises in temperatures in a short time (i.e. “The Medieval Warming Period”) along with rather strong reversals in the trend (i.e. the “Little Ice Age”). A harsh winter or a decade or two of reversal in warming is not evidence, much less proof, of the absence of the longer-term trend.
3. Given all we know about the effects of certain greenhouse gases, it is foolish to claim that mankind has not played a role in accelerating an already existing trend. What that role is, what percentage of the warming is attributable to it, and what actions if any are warranted, is where the debate needs to hinge, not on the fact of warming itself. If you want a seat at the table when policy is discussed, you must be focused on the real issues.
In conclusion: No matter which side of this debate we come down on, we all need to be better stewards of the earth and more aware of the crucial impact our species has had on it. If we can agree on that, then we can find a way to deal with the climate change phenomenon we are experiencing, one based on cooperation and continued growth.