2010 –A Look Back at the Climate Change Debate –“Certain as the Big Bang and Evolution”

 

Global Warming Antarctica

 

In 2010, almost a decade ago in our current Anthropocene Era, “The Galaxy” published the following quote from National Academy of Sciences: “The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact.”

The academy had published a list of “fundamental conclusions about climate change” signed by 255 prominent climate scientists, and published in Science Magazine in response to then Sen. James M. Inhofe’s denunciation of climate change as a “hoax,” and the increasingly politicized debate on whether human caused climate change was really occurring. With the current Trump administration’s denial of climate change, it seems that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

According to the 2010 letter, whose lead signer is Peter Gleick, director of the Pacific Institute, there is no debate. “Climate change is a theory as certain as the theory of the Earth’s age (4.5 billion years), the Big Bang Theory, and the theory of evolution. Those who disagree “are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence,” the scientists wrote.

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The letter, which was rejected by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, uses language more incendiary than is typically heard from the scientific community. In many ways it resembles the aggressive rhetoric spoken by the three-term Oklahoma Senator who likened the environmental movement to Hitler’s Third Reich in 2006, and cited “Climategate” as proof that human influenced climate change has been “debunked” in December 2009.

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“We also call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association,” the letter continues, apparently referring to Sen. Inhofe’s efforts to prosecute the scientists involved in Climategate, and to the litigation put forth by then Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccineli to subpoena a University of Virginia climate scientist under scrutiny for defrauding taxpayers.

“Society has two choices,” concluded the 255 signatories. “We can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option.”

The Daily Galaxy via Peter Gleick and Tonic.com 

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