This post probably seems unnecessary, but I’m addressing global warming skeptics and deniers, not you, Mr. or Ms. Ideal Blog Reader who always agrees with me and has an angelic halo.
Here’s my thesis: People who claim to know more than every climate organization in the world (and deny that humans are accelerating global warming) have a difficult time explaining how they gained this exceptional knowledge. I started out a bit skeptical myself but now it’s settled science. Only the details are debated. When I say “settled,” I mean that every major environmental science and climate organization in the world is onboard. If you want a long list, go to this Wikipedia page.There are references sourcing the data. As is often mentioned, 97% of climate scientist agree on this. Verify it at the collection of surveys here.
Science is designed to stop us from fooling ourselves. Despite personal biases, cover-ups, and faulty data; over time the truth comes out. It comes out due to repetition of experiments, review of experimental design and outcomes, and mounting evidence. If you aren’t sure about a claim, wait a few decades and see where the self-correcting methods of science lead over the long term. That’s where we are now with global warming – 20 years down the road.
Often people who deny the evidence are actually opposed to regulation of industry for ideological reasons. They bring out “experts” who are not climate scientists because they know that only a tiny minority of climate scientists doubt global warming. That’s why we read people quoting the late Michael Crichton, science fiction author and M.D., who falsely believed that consensus has no place in science. Why do we read strenuous objections from places like the Wall Street Journal editorial pages instead of The Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry or Environmental Earth Sciences? Because the former doesn’t have to back up what it’s saying.
Speaking of the WSG, it recently featured an editorial by a physicist, a very smart man. He is not a climate scientist, and doesn’t offer a compelling case as to why he knows better than the world’s entire community of climate researchers. Read some actual experts in the field commenting on his editorial here. I want to see the evidence in the form of NASA, NOAA, and similar organizations in Europe, Asia, and everywhere else begin to change their current opinions on this matter.
If ideology isn’t behind most of the denial of global warming, why do people keeping bringing out tired old objections that have been thoroughly answered over and over again? Example: “Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas, so how can CO2 be a big deal?” If you search on “water vapor and climate change,” it’s easy to find the answer. Here’s a link to a short explanation by the American Chemical Society. It sounds like desperation when these objections keep popping up.
Meanwhile, outside of the U.S. and maybe Australia, most of the world’s governments have accepted it and moved past whether it’s happening and are now considering policies to mitigate the effects of global warming. Europe, China, Japan, and most industrial nations accept reality. By the way, the Pentagon acknowledges global warming and its destabilizing effects on the world.
Corporations are not experts in climate change, but they will take realistic look at the evidence if their profits are at stake. That’s why insurance companies accept the reality. Why would an insurance company “bet” on global warming consequences? Nike and Coca-Cola have acknowledged the economic damage caused by global warming and are taking steps to mitigate the causes. Air France, Hewlett-Packard, Black & Decker, Microsoft, Nestles, Sony – these companies have board-level management on climate change planning. They are making substantive changes in corporate strategy and spending, not superficial PR moves.
Human caused, accelerating global warming is real and will have a real and negative effect on your children and grandchildren. People who claim to know better than every climate organization in the world have a difficult time explaining how they gained this exceptional knowledge. It’s no wonder.