Georgia Voices: Global-warming skeptics are winning the debate
by The Augusta Chronicle
March 04, 2014 04:00 AM | 3831 views | 3 3 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Skeptical of climate change and global warming theories?

Oh, maybe you believe the Earth is flat, too.

That’s what Secretary of State John Kerry apparently thinks of you. He amped up the Obama Administration’s ongoing campaign to ridicule climate change skeptics during a recent speech in Indonesia, in which he likened global warming doubters to so-called “flat-earthers.”

“The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,” Kerry said. “We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”

Kerry’s speech, in which he called climate change skeptics “a tiny minority of shoddy scientists” and “extreme ideologues,” reminds us of comments made last year by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) who summed up the administration’s mockery strategy more succinctly.

“These people have to be ridiculed,” Schatz said. “They have to be run out of town rhetorically.”

The Democratic message is clear: Disagreeing with climate change legislation is the same as disagreeing with science, which means you are a knuckle-dragging troglodyte, your opinion doesn’t count and you should just shut up and step aside before you embarrass yourself any further.

Well, excuse us, but there is plenty of scientific evidence to the contrary, and shouldn’t that research receive some credence instead of summary dismissal as the work of “shoddy scientists”? How scientific is that?

Shouldn’t there be more discussion before enacting economy-strangling measures such as cap-and-trade schemes and carbon taxes? Or before pouring more money into windmills and solar arrays that look impressive but produce little energy?

Kerry says climate change science is “unequivocal.” You would be hard-pressed to find a scientist who would use that word, especially when we’ve been told climate change is responsible for everything from drought and wildfires to rising sea levels and melting ice caps to animal extinctions.

The laws of gravity are unequivocal. Global warming is not.

Political commentator George Will summed up Kerry’s rant best: “When a politician on a subject implicating science, hard science, economic science, social science says ‘the debate is over,’ you may be sure of two things. The debate is raging and he’s losing it.”

Comments-icon Post a Comment
March 04, 2014
Bill Butler,

You missed one...

I'm not asking you to believe the LA Times. Scroll down to read the comments of Curry, Zwiers and Pielke.
Bill Butler
March 04, 2014
The best information about changes in the world’s climate can be found in our best educational institutions.

The following organizations provide evidence that:

1) Global Warming / Climate Change is real.

2) Human activities are by far the largest causative agent.

3) Global Warming / Climate Change is a continuing, ongoing phenomenon.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Report: Human activity fuels global warming”

California Institute of Technology

“How We Know Global Warming is Real”

“The science behind human-induced climate change”

Stanford University

“A large body of scientific information indicates that global climate change is unequivocal, almost certainly is caused mostly by human activities, is already causing significant harm, and as it continues, holds great risks for our future.”

Columbia University

“The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming”

“With higher CO2 concentrations come expectations of a stronger greenhouse effect and therefore warmer global temperatures.”

Atmospheric Sciences - University of Illinois - Champaign

“Evidence continues to mount that human activities are altering the Earth’s climate on a global scale.”
March 04, 2014
"The Democratic message is clear: Disagreeing with climate change legislation is the same as disagreeing with science, which means you are a knuckle-dragging troglodyte, your opinion doesn’t count and you should just shut up and step aside before you embarrass yourself any further."

No where in Kerry's or Schatz's statements is there anything about "climate change legislation." In fact, there has not been any serious attempt at enacting policy to mitigate climate change for several election cycles now. There has also not been any serious attempt from the executive branch to curb greenhouse gas emissions or otherwise deal with the problem.

The bait-and-switch in this editorial is neither clever nor original. It laments the "plenty of scientific evidence to the contrary" of global warming being a real thing and predominantly caused by human activity, but offers not even an inkling of hint as to what that evidence might be. It's particularly ironic that the article would laud the efforts of the "skeptic" but expect the reader to accept on faith alone that its own incredulity is well-founded and relevant.

In fact, Kerry's use of the word "unequivocal" is most certainly warranted with respect to the veracity of climate change. Perhaps the author of this editorial should seek out some of the opinions of top atmospheric scientists in Georgia, such as Marshall Shepherd down the road in Athens; Dr. Shepherd just finished a term as the President of the American Meteorological Society, and I'm sure he would be ecstatic to enlighten the editors of this paper on just what the scientific community thinks about the science behind climate change.
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