I have a confession to make. I want the climate skeptics and “deniers” to be right.

By Bill Burtis
Manager, Communications and Special Projects,
Clean Air-Cool Planet


Why?  Oh, come on!  Because I wouldn’t have to change anything – not a single bulb (unless I wanted to save money!).  I wouldn’t have to worry about what I eat (unless I wanted to stay healthy!) or where it came from (unless I wanted to support local businesses, American businesses!).  I could turn up the heat, turn down the air conditioning (Well, I’d have to get some, first.), and drive as much as I wanted.  (Unless I wanted to reduce air pollution and US dependence on foreign oil!).

No effort involved.  Status quo.

I want it to be true, for starters, that global warming isn’t real – or isn’t happening. Unfortunately, there is a lot of direct observation and solid research out there that makes it pretty obvious to me, as a sentient being, that I’m not going to get what I want.

There is, for instance, the news this week from the National Snow and Ice Data Center that Arctic sea ice extent and volume (how much heat-absorbing ocean it covers, and how thickly) are both at record (though not record-breaking, for extent) lows.  There is also news, this week, from NASA GISS that January through August land and ocean temperatures this year ties that period in 1998 for warmest on record.  And we are hearing pretty dire reports about what those warm water temperatures are doing to coral reefs around the world, as bleaching is reaching record levels as well.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent

Quite a dip in Arctic sea ice this summer, (NSIDC photo)

 And then there are three hurricanes in the Atlantic, all at the same time.

So, I am willing to settle for it’s not our fault.  It’s the sun, the Earth’s orbit, some natural cycle that isn’t quite discernible even to careful scientists.  But this doesn’t help me much, because whatever it is, it is, and it seems to be getting worse.

Meanwhile, as if on the another planet, the political discourse on the subject is getting worse, as well.

Riding solo on climate policy: Senator Jay Rockefeller

Senator Jay Rockefeller (a Democrat from West Virginia) says he’ll get enough votes to pass a Senate resolution blocking the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases – which is currently the only chance we have left (since the Senate decided not to deal with this hot potato before the mid-term elections) to do anything about global warming on the federal level.

This is the same senator who, five days ago, said about climate-change deniers in his home, coal state “burying one’s head in the sand is not a solution and can only backfire.”

There is something here about the pot and kettle – but in this case, they are both black.

And then there is the new Republican pledge:  “I will not believe in climate change or global warming or whatever it’s called and I will resist every attempt to do anything about it, no matter what the science says.”  Or something like that.

This is one piece of the political armor somewhat mainstream Rs are adopting to protect them from their cousins, the “baggers” to their right, who are attempting to revive the Flat Earth Society in their rush (no pun intended) to corner every looney market they can so that Fox News will keep talking about them incessantly.

And the Democrats?  For a while there, it looked like that might run over to the same rail and capsize the US political system in a sea of fear.  They were ready to give ground on all kinds of things – taxes, environment, health care – to protect their chances.  And climate and energy would be given up like… climate and energy.

So, just at the time when we’ve reached a new pinnacle of bad news on the climate it front, it was looking very grim.

Explore posts in the same categories: Arctic, Climate, Climate Change Skeptics, Climate Science, Energy Efficiency, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food, Green House Gas Emissions, Policy, sea ice, sustainability

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One Comment on “I have a confession to make. I want the climate skeptics and “deniers” to be right.”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Henricus Peters, CampusSustainability. CampusSustainability said: I have a confession to make. I want the climate skeptics and “deniers” to be right. http://bit.ly/coLCc1 [...]