The Case of the Climate Change Skeptics

The climate change skeptics fall into two groups: those who think the earth is not warming significantly at all, and those who feel the consequences are not proportional to the more modest warming that may take place.  I have combined these into those who are skeptical that the catastrophic warming that is predicted by the climate warming protagonists. Those for whom “warming” is a understatement. For it those who advocate for major changes in policy.

 

Humans DO make an impact. Driving you car to the grocery store makes an impact.  A cow making an impolite contribution to the atmosphere does too. The position of the skeptics is: How much and to what effect?  The question may not be that the temperature goes up, but even if it does, “so what”?  Is it the end of life as we know it, or is it an inconvenience?  Few would suggest that it is the end of life for humans or cockroaches, but it may reduce the population of, for example, polar bears.

 

Nature can seemingly be rather cruel.  Many species have come and gone. No doubt that will continue.  Humans now have the ability, and in fact have, superseded natural events changes.  And now, with record populations, human are poised to make significant impacts on many systems and alter what would be the natural evolution. 

 

To skeptics, the term, “catastrophic” isn’t clear enough.  Catastrophic to whom or what?  That is the significant question to them.  Although some may be skeptical that it is happening at all, even more are skeptical of the catastrophe that climate change is portrayed to be.  Although the majority of scientists claim the earth/atmosphere is becoming untenably hot in time unless we greatly reduce or dependence on fossil fuels, not all scientists agree.  Principally their arguments focus on the value of a short undeniably noisy climate record to make conclusion or predictions and the well known inaccuracy of forecast models.

 

There are bright scientists on both sides of the argument.   And many of the rest of the brightest scientists remain silent. Neither side can lay claim to the best and the brightest.

 

I would add a disturbing fact.  Many academics and labs are getting a lot of money to study this phenomenon and a looming disaster. Oil companies may also be supporting the “deniers”.  Many of the most vocal climate scientists on both sides have, or would like to have, an economic or other interest in their climate position.   Sounds a little like politics.