Though I have been called an “alarmist”, I am not. I am more of a Pollyanna; I tend to be overly optimistic about coming events. I am usually the one to say, “It’ll be fine; don’t worry.” Yet in the case of climate change, I am concerned that we are behaving badly, and it is generating some nasty karma.* So I try to convince everyone to start taking action based on the best available scientific evidence.
My position is clear, as can be determined by a quick scan of my posts on the environment. Why do I stick with it? It can’t be money—I haven’t received any for my excellent writing on the subject, and I have no investments in alternative energy. I don’t pretend to be an expert in the climate field, so my reputation is not at stake. There have been accusations that those who go along with the scientific consensus on climate change have held faithfully to their position for some nefarious reason. I don’t know of any time when that was shown to be true. You are free to check my connections and background; you won’t find anything amiss.
It isn’t wishful thinking. I certainly don’t want the projections to be true. They likely indicate a rough time for my grandchildren. It would be great to find out that the climate scientists were wrong, that the warming trend has been due to some influence we weren’t aware of, and that it is soon going to return to normal without any human intervention. That would be wonderful news! I would be overjoyed to be proven wrong, and I would start recommending that we drill oil and develop alternative energy like crazy, to get away from dependence on foreign sources. Unfortunately, that scenario is unlikely; the climate models have gotten increasingly accurate, and they don’t predict a rosy future.
Just the Facts
I have no faith in the fact that the climate is changing, or that humans are causing the damage. I just go by the data, and the expert opinions of thousands of scientists. If the data showed something different, I would gladly, eagerly change my position. The fact is that, besides our CO2 and methane emissions, there is no known explanation for the way the climate is changing. Despite all the attempts of those in the pay of fossil fuel companies, no one has found another explanation for the increase in greenhouse gases or the rising heat content of the Earth.
But they continue to try to cloud the issue. This is from the Daily Caller, not known to be a paragon of objectivity:
Hold your champagne glasses high this holiday season, because the end of 2013 marks the 17th year without global warming.
That is just wrong. As several researchers have shown, the models are correct and global warming has not ended; it hasn’t even slowed down, unless you only look at a short period of time and only at surface air temperatures. About 4% of the temperature shows up in the atmosphere. 90% of it goes into the oceans.
The article is entitled “The Top Seven Global Warming Alarmist Setbacks in 2013”, and uses
seven ten of the standard “skeptic” arguments that have been conveniently gathered into an organized list, complete with rebuttals. The numbers in parentheses refer to the list number on the Skeptical Science site and directly link to the rebuttal:
- It’s been warmer before. (1, 37)
- It’s cold outside. (23)
- Arctic ice has recovered. (42)
- It’s cooling. (5, 14)
- Really, it’s cooling. (Still 5, 14)
- The models are wrong. (6, 32)
- Warming is not causing extreme weather. (18)
And, of course, the one in the article’s first paragraph: that it hasn’t warmed since 1998 (9). I’m not going to go over each argument again. Check out the rebuttals for yourself by number, if you have doubts. Frankly, I’m tired of repeating myself on this issue. When the climate science deniers come up with something that hasn’t already been thoroughly debunked, I’ll be happy to review it. Until then, I will keep sounding the alarm, because it is not alarmist to warn people of real danger.