Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Green Dissent (Part 2)

The scientists most qualified to speak to the subject of climate change and global warming are united in their expression of concern. Some dissenters strive to make the counterpoint to global warming seem almost credible. In a Huffington Post article, Joseph Romm descrilbes "the painful obviousness of climate change, the incontrovertible science linking it to human activity, and the graver and graver warnings of potential catastrophe"

The evidence for climate change is dramatic. From rapidly shrinking glaciers and polar ice caps to extreme weather including tornadoes, draughts and floods. Yet some manage to find reasons to resist the facts. As explained by Romm there are two camps of resistance to climate change. The deniers and the delayers.

"Deniers, like Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), just continue putting out the same old disinformation in new packages or obsessing over meaningless NASA data revisions. A lot of people seem simply impervious to the facts and to science -- and desperate to cling to any media stories or studies, however inaccurate, that seem to undermine the overwhelming body of evidence."

Delayers believe that global warming exists but seem to prefer an entirely voluntary approach to environmental management. However, meaningful change on the scale required clearly demands comprehensive environmental legislation.

"Desperate Scientists: The world's top climate scientists beg for action. First, we saw the IPCC's bleak Fourth Assessment Report (summarized here), which warns that human emissions, left unchecked, could lead to rapid, multi-meter sea level rise; loss of most species; and widespread drought and desertification. Second, we heard IPCC head, Rajendra Pachauri, warn, "If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment." Finally, more than 200 scientists signed a statement asserting that, to avoid catastrophic impacts, global greenhouse gas emissions "must peak and decline in the next 10 to 15 years, so there is no time to lose." (And this isn't even counting the repeated dire warnings of our nation's top climate scientist, James Hansen, such as here and here and here, for instance.) Any sane person would be listening to our climate scientists."

No comments: