Issac J. Bailey
June 20, 2008
We’ve done a disservice. I’m talking about the media, in the aggregate, about global warming.
We skim over uncertainty inherent in predictions. The perils we face, not from potential catastrophes, but from over reach, we discount. If we did the same for hurricanes, tourism would be harmed every time a storm formed off Africa.
We would be placed in a “cone of uncertainty” for weeks at a time, scaring off potential visitors.
A few years ago, local chamber officials complained about the decision to begin using five-day rather than three-day forecasts. They raised a legitimate issue.
Forecasters just weeks ago told us that annual forecasts shouldn’t be seen as bedrock predictions. That’s why I was intrigued by the new book, “The Deniers.” Its author is Lawrence Solomon, an environmentalist whose group was one of the first to sound the alarm about potential climate change.
He is not in the “global warming is a liberal conspiracy” camp. He simply set out to find the “deniers,” scientists whom Al Gore compared to moon landing conspiracy theorists. He ended up finding some of the world’s best — scientists who have raised credible questions about the extent of global warming – including the belief that recent warming was its hottest in the past 1,000 years.
They are just as impressive as the scientists who believe man-made warming is real. Check out my blog for more background. But Solomon had a more disturbing finding.
Our insistence on blaming global warming for such things as the resurgence of malaria is providing cover for despotic governments whose policies are the cause. And the world’s poor are being displaced because carbon offsets are making their land irresistible to corrupt governments.
Our rush to stop global warming may end up making Earth a less habitable place for green life and may make Third World riots more likely.
And it has convinced some to stop or slow funding for research that may unlock climate secrets, out of fear of being branded a “denier.”
“Although the risks of action are arguably at least as real as the risks of inaction … countries are rushing into Earth-altering carbon schemes with nary a doubt,” Solomon said in a recent online interview. “Environmentalists, who ordinarily would demand a full-fledged environmental assessment before a highway or a power plant can be built, are silent on the need to question proponents or examine alternatives.”
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