Our government is in the process of imposing strict controls to reduce greenhouse gases in hopes of staving off global warming even though earth's atmosphere is cooling.
Monday's Washington Post included an op-ed piece by Fred Hiatt titled On climate change, the GOP is lost in never-never land. It wasn't a particularly good article because it was unfocused and disjointed, but its theme was clear. Hiatt thinks Republicans live in a fantasy world and that climate change denial is just one example of their grand delusion.
I'm not a Republican or a Republican Party apologist. I'm an ordinary citizen who's interested in the facts, and the facts about climate change tell a tale that Mr. Hiatt and people of his ilk can't or won't accept. The climate is changing alright, but it's getting cooler - not warmer. At this point, the only way to have missed that fact is to have bought into the liberal progressive lie that global warming is destroying the planet so completely that you refuse to even consider evidence calling it into question.
For example, consider this information:
One statement in particular stands out in Mr. Hiatt's op-ed piece. He said, "Climate science is complex, and much remains to be learned. But if you asked 1,000 scientists, 998 of them would say that climate change is real and that human activity -- the burning of oil, gas and coal -- is a significant contributor." Of course, he's referring to climate change in a warmer direction because climate change per se is a given. Earth's climate has been changing since Day One. If that were not the case, then try explaining the Ice Ages and the warming periods between them.
Mr. Hiatt's assertion is troublesome because it's wrong, and dangerously so. In 2008, a group of more than 31,000 scientists signed a petition dissenting from the position trumpeted by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. More than 9,000 of them have Ph.D. degrees in fields like atmospheric science, climatology, earth science, and environmental science. That's 15 times more Ph.D. scientists than are involved in the United Nations' campaign to convince the world that man-made CO2 emissions are destroying our planet.
According to the petition, the scientific evidence leading some people to believe that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases is causing or will cause ruinous warming of the earth's atmosphere is not convincing. One of the group's leaders, the late Professor Frederick Seitz, a first-rate scientist who once served as president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and won the National Medal of Science, said,
"The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds .... This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful."
The agreement Seitz referred to is the Kyoto Protocol.
If you are writing for one of the nation's leading newspapers, you should make an effort to get your facts straight. In this case, Mr. Hiatt is presenting his unsubstantiated opinions about climate change as proven scientific fact that only crackpots refuse to recognize, and he's not alone. Liberal Progressive politicians and journalists do the same thing every day, and contradictory hard evidence is either foolishly ignored or willfully covered up no matter what its source.
This is a serious matter that concerns all of us because our government is in the process of imposing strict controls to reduce greenhouse gases in hopes of staving off global warming even though earth's atmosphere is cooling, and the cost to you and me is higher energy prices, higher inflation, and a lower standard of living since every product we buy has an energy cost component. Under new leadership, the House of Representatives recently took steps to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 emissions, but President Obama made it clear that he will continue to pursue his agenda regardless of the facts. His misguided effort to move ahead by fiat or by executive order isn't just wrong minded. It's very expensive, and it's a price we can ill afford to pay, especially now as our economy is struggling to recover from the Great Recession.
Neil Snyder taught leadership and strategy at the University of Virginia for 25 years. He retired from UVA in 2004 and is currently the Ralph A. Beeton Professor Emeritus at UVA. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.