Calling the Light Brigade: I'm asking for your help in freeping the comments on a letter to the editor I just wrote to my local paper, which greeted the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference by doubtmongering on global warming. The letter is reprinted below along with links to the editorial and the cartoon to which I refer.
No abuse against the paper or the other commenters, please -- just good, hard whacks of climate science reality. And please note that comments are moderated, so they don't show up right away (sometimes not for hours).
Freeport, Ill. -
You did your readers a disservice Tuesday, Dec. 8, with your deeply irresponsible pairing of the Peoria Journal Star editorial headlined “We need truth on global warming” and the political cartoon comparing climate science to belief in Santa Claus.
Climate science was not “cast into doubt” by the theft of scientists’ e-mail messages. Skeptics have held up the use of the word “trick” as if it were some sort of smoking gun, but as Chris Mooney notes on the blog Science Progress (www.scienceprogress.org), “trick” referred to an innovative technique, as in the “tricks of the trade” that we all use in our jobs. In the case of the e-mail, the writer wasn’t talking about fooling anyone, but rather about an efficient way of combining and presenting data.
At worst, these stolen e-mails show that, like any group of people, some scientists have personality flaws. “Just because a group of scientists were found to have behaved like imperfect human beings ... does not mean that we don’t have to worry about global warming,” Mooney writes.
The release of these e-mails just before the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference hints at an attempt to discredit more than two decades’ worth of accumulated data on global warming and levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. From melting Arctic (and now Antarctic) sea ice to equatorial drought, every indicator shows global warming advancing faster than scientists’ most pessimistic predictions. Stunts like the “Climategate” hack, editorials like the Journal Star’s and cartoons like Dave Granlund’s perpetuate the notion that there’s still an ongoing debate over whether climate change is real and caused by human beings. There is not. That debate is over. We lost. Warming won.
It’s time to move on to the next debate: how to halt the increase in atmospheric CO2 and bring it down from the current 387 ppm to 350 ppm.
Until we do, it’s the future of human society that’s really in doubt.