Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sinking Feeling from Climate Change

My Uncle Marsh used to say: “Whatever it is, I’m against it.” He always elicited a chuckle in me when he said things like that. What can I say -- he was my lovable nutty uncle.

But many of our political leaders, who should know better, proffer a similar attitude… specifically the Conservatives in this country. Be the issue extending medical coverage to the millions of citizens without it, or finding solutions to the global climate issue, their mantra sounds remarkably like my Uncle Marsh… whatever it is, they’re against it.

Conservatives are against placing any credence in the hard science behind the facts of global climate change because doing anything to divert it might dip into the sacred “profit motive” of business. And remember, according to Conservatives, American freedom is pretty much narrowly defined as the freedom to make money.

But science is difficult to argue against. Well maybe not so much in THIS country where half of the population believes that God created every living thing pretty much as they exist today in six days. So you couldn’t blame Conservatives doing the Happy Dance when recently discovered e-mails leaked from the computers of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in England revealed differences in details regarding the interpretation of data supporting climate change hypothesis.

Ah Ha, shout the Conservatives gleefully… the scientists disagree, prompting Conservative pundits and talk show hacks to fan the flames of couching climate change as a Liberal plot to stifle business interests. Sen. James Inhofe (R–Okla.), who famously dubbed climate change a "hoax" in a 2003 speech, is now the poster child for what the Conservatives are hailing as “Climate-gate”.

And of course one cannot depend on the news media to air the facts in the light of perspective. Since the topic of global climate change was first brought to the forefront, the Media has presented this as a two-sided issue of equal weight. Even to day they will bring on one scientist supporting the position of global climate change and another who opposes it and present it as though the scientific community is equally divided on the issue. They are NOT! The scientific community will always have those who hold different views, but the number of those in the scientific community who feel the science clearly support the theory of anthropogenic climate change is in the overwhelming majority.

What leaves me scratching my head when I ponder the Conservatives reaction is; don’t you think someone is going to notice? Isn’t someone going to notice that the glaciers in Sarah Palin’s back yard have receded to the size of ice cubes? Isn’t someone going to notice that deserts have increased in size by huge percentages every year? Isn’t famine and loss of drinking water going to be rather obvious when mountain sources of snow melt dry up?

I wonder if, had Conservatives had been in charge on the Titanic, would they have denied that the ship was sinking. No; the deck chairs always slide toward the bow. That isn’t an ice burg, we’re just taking on cocktail ice. Hey if you spend all your money on expensive life boats you won’t have enough for caviar.

Nope, we don’t need health care reform, global climate change is a liberal (communist) plot, and The Titanic is a submarine… just wait; it will be popping back up to surface any minute now.


GutsyWriter said...

Now I'm worried, as my last name is Marsh, but that's through marriage, not genes.

So I studied ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE at UEA, University of East Anglia, and got a BSc. there. Now I'm upset, but I never read what the actual leaks were.

I have so much to say, but I'm not a scientist, nor a specialist who has insider's information. All I know is what the media tells me, and after living in Belize for one year, I wish I could do my own research on so many issues in the world. I've become a skeptic, just like you.

Robert the Skeptic said...

GutsyWriter Actually, my skepticism is directed toward the opponents of anthropogenic climate change who are mostly business interests and the coal/petroleum industry.

It is one thing to argue a point; but quite another when one's paycheck is dependent upon taking the opposition position.

kara said...

after reading your post i want to punch joe lieberman in the jowls even more today.

Robert the Skeptic said...

kara I can't for the life of me figure out WHO the hell likes Lieberman!! What the hell is broken in Connecticut?