So tell me that I haven’t been lied to again by the likes of Noel and Marc Sheppard, Anthony Watts, Senator James Inhofe and every other climate skeptic that stumbled over each other last winter to profess that what we were experiencing then was confirmation that not only global warming was a hoax but that we were in fact in for a “global cooling” period. Here I was, ready to spend cool breezy afternoons on my back patio, watching my lawn and flowers bloom from plentiful rain and mild temperatures and thinking how low my utility bill was going to be this summer and for years to come. So why I am avoiding daytime from the extreme heat of record setting temperatures this summer instead?
Of course it’s supposed to be hot, it summer after all. But this factor wasn’t taken in to account by the climate deniers during winter when snow was falling. It was winter after all. So why aren’t these record setting temps enough this summer around the world to garner a “maybe we were wrong” response from the climate deniers? Dr. Joseph Romm of his Climate Progress blogpoints out that “FoxNews had me on twice for the big snowstorms (during the hottest winter on record), but no invitations during the record-smashing heat waves hitting the nation and world. Go figure!”
Just to cite a few examples of the grand-standing that went on this past winter by climate deniers; in January, Jack Cafferty of CNN fell prey to the “global cooling” silliness of climate deniers and reported that the fierce winter we were experiencing at the time was a sign by “some of the world’s top climate scientists suggesting this winter is only the start of a worldwide trend toward cooler weather, which could last for 20 to 30 years. They suggest there will be cooler summers ahead too.”
A similar report was in the conservative British Daily Mail. “Britain’s big freeze is the start of a worldwide trend towards colder weather that seriously challenges global warming theories, eminent scientists claimed yesterday. The world has entered a ‘cold mode’ which is likely to bring a global dip in temperatures which will last for 20 to 30 years, they say. Summers and winters will all be cooler than in recent years, and the changes will mean that global warming will be ‘paused’ or even reversed, it was claimed.” (Could we be in for 30 years of Global Cooling, Daily Mail Reporter, 1/11/10)
Both Cafferty and the Daily Mail were victims, wittingly or not, of specious claims by people, if they really exist, that are not experts in the field of climatology or the very few that are who have been paid by the Big Oil interest of Koch Industriesand Exxon/Mobil to promote climate science misinformation. In its story, “some of the world’s top climate scientists” the Daily Mail refers to are not named other than Professor Mojib Latif, a member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a climate expert at the Leibniz Institute at Kiel University in Germany. However within 24 hours Professor Latif was calling the Daily Mail’s report bogus and informed the other British tabloid, The Guardian, “It comes as a surprise to me that people would try to use my statements to try to dispute the nature of global warming. I believe in man-made global warming. I have said that if my name was not Mojib Latif it would be global warming.” (Leading climate scientist challenges Mail on Sunday’s use of his research, by David Adams, guardian.co.uk, 1/11/10)
The overwhelming science about man-made global warming from our excessive use of fossil fuels is clearly there and puts the skeptics to shame. There is no information they have touted to deny the climate science of global warming that hasn’t been soundly debunked. They have but a few examples of their own to sustain themselves while most of what they do is to throw a monkey wrench into the complex body of knowledge that weighs in favor of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.
The general public is poorly informed on this subject and skilled deniers are able to prey on this by exploiting political hot buttons in association with global warming as a liberal conspiracy to “create a new world order”. One aspect of this subterfuge by oil-friendly extremists is the paranoid-inducing view that reducing our dependence on fossil fuel will mean eliminating a cheap source of energy. Such arguments are intended to hit people where it hurts the most – their wallets and pocket books. The transition costs that may occur as we move from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy may be felt a bit at first but deniers never mention that long term affects of how this transition will show lower utility rates in the long haul.
Fear has always been a tactic used by many to garner support for a set of ideas while disparaging perceived enemies. Not that there are not some things we need to fear but any claim that tends to horrify and anger you with mere hearsay need to be looked at much closer than those arguments that support their case with logic and a reasonable degree of verifiable evidence. But even this doesn’t ensure that what you’re reading or hearing will be sound information. As was indicated in the article from the British Daily Mail about Professor Latif, lying is within the realm of probability by those who have an agenda with the hope that the public will not scrutinize the claims they are being asked to believe.
Timing is important too. Since the general public is mostly poorly informed about the cause and effects of anthropogenic global warming it behooves deniers to use circumstantial situations to promote their false claims and remain silent when it doesn’t. Such is the case now where the silence is deafening from the climate deniers during these excessive global heat conditions. Just months ago during the dead of winter they were all over the media chastising Al Gore and any other prominent figure that the public recognizes who attempt to spread the alarm about the consequences with our continued use of fossil fuels.
The man-made effects on global warming are being taken seriously in just about every other nation around the world, developed and underdeveloped. China and the European Union are already ahead of us on developing clean energy sources in the fields of wind and solar technology. Unless we start taking this threat serious we will not only fall behind the economic successes of this future source of energy but will delay the reversal we need to lower the CO2 output that is destroying the planet our grand-children will have to live in.
China, India and the European Union are ahead of the U.S. not necessarily because they are smarter at these things but because they are not tied to oil and coal as we have become over the last century and half. These countries learned long ago that access to fossil fuels was something they would always have difficulty with and have never really developed a culture that makes it tough to break from this dependency and seek other clean and cheaper fuel sources.
With nearly every Republican member of Congress and a significant number of Democrats tied to the coal and oil interests, we lack the capability to break free from that which makes us sick. Such too is the case with the mouth pieces on right-wing talk shows and websites who belabor the bogus anti-global warming arguments that shelter their personal investments in these dirty energy sources.
The climate-denier’s short-sighted attacks against the science that attempts to warn us all of what lies in wait for us from our failure to act will be viewed by future generations who will endure the ill-effects of global warming as the troglodytes of our age. Little good that will do them though as they deal with social conflicts and economic deprivations from less water and less habitable living conditions that resulted from the self-serving acts of their grandparents.
Natural Resources Defense Council Global Warming Links