Lest anyone think that I have a problem with the seriousness of the
potential threat of global climate change, the relationship of enhanced
global warming on global climate change, and the reality of it all, let
me say that perhaps I've grossly misrepresented myself. I believe it to
be one of, if not the most, pressing of global environmental issues of
the day. What I DO think is very questionable, are those attempts at
drawing a direct correlation between a relatively few, localized
"extreme" events of recent months/years to enhanced global warming and
global climate change as the Mother Jones article seemed to suggest.
There is simply a paucity of data, hard or otherwise, to suggest that
those hurricanes etc. are direct evidence of global climate change! And,
again, and of course, what makes a hurricane "extreme" or "serious?"
People and businesses moving to the coast or lowlying areas and
subsequently getting injured or worse yet killed and(or) having their
property damaged. Let's not forget about the effects of inflation to
reported dollar losses! And then, of course, having an interested
media! There wasn't nearly as much development on coastlines 200 years
ago or even 60, 50, or 40 years ago and there certainly wasn't the near
inescapable attention of the media and surveillance technology of
today! Were there "extreme" events then? Yes!...AND... No!
Now, if you want to talk about global warming(enhanced or otherwise) and
glacial melting...the centimeter rises in sea-level and the gradual
inundation of low lying coastal areas over the next 100 years or longer
then you're talking science with a bit more basis and certainty.
Happy Earth Day Everyone!
Peter Anderson wrote:
Stephan's response ("There have always been torrential downpours") to my
posting of a Mother Jones article, which complained about the news blackout
over climate disruption, is confusing as to his meaning, with an apparent
very ugly bent.
Especially since the early to mid 1990s, the vast majority of the
world's reputable climatologists have attached increasing probabilities to
the once-theory of global warming not because of isolated catastrophic or
unusual weather occurrences, but, among other critical things, because of
the STATISTICALLY significant confluence of them. Without attempting to
vouchsafe for Mother Jones in any other respect, this article did not allege
that one disastrous weather event constitutes proof of climate change, but
rather, that the fact of the growing consensus about the reality of climate
change would normally be incorporated in stories such as this, were it not
for the media's fear of well orchestrated attack by the energy industry
whose profits could be threatened were the US to take the risks seriously.
Just about the only remaining scientists who continue to denigrate the
significant probabilities of global warming are those who are being paid by
Exxon-Mobil and the others who, in the pursuit of private profit, are
utterly indifferent to the catastrophic impacts that presents to the world.
No one seriously involved in the debate over climate disruption is
arguing that single ususual events are what is relevant to assessing the
probabilities of its reality. Hence, to me, those who intrude into the
discussion claiming that someone is, and therefore this is all about junk
science, are not about informing the debate, but about deliberately debasing
it for transparently self-enriching ends.
Whatever Stephan's intent, the effect of his closing his remarks --with
the implication that pointing to the fact that the well established science
of global warming speaks to the greater likelihood of these atypical events
is "junk science" -- is, effectively, to suggest that we sit back and follow
President Bush's lead to do nothing, other than going through the back door
to get the WTO to repeal tax incentives to purchase hybrid cars, while
leaving in place tax breaks for the largest SUVs.
Everyone must make their own choices about the mark that they chose to
leave on the world. But, I would hope that Stephan would think long and hard
about where he is going with his philosophy. This is not a cutesy political
game to score points. This is our children's future that we hold in our
There are some things in our lives that are not reducable to "red
state/blue state" rubric and this is one of them.
Peter Anderson, President
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
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Stephan Pollard, Ph.D. Candidate
Environmental Dynamics Doctoral Program
University of Arkansas
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