According to an Associated Press Science writer,
When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid.
Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it.
"The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," [President Elect Obama] said . . .[on 14 December] after meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. "We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way."
I reject the notion, conceivably implicit in the article, that it is all former President Clinton's fault. His carbon dioxide and methane emissions were, on a global scale, minuscule. The Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy leads only to muddled analysis; indeed, nothing former President Clinton may have done in the Oval Office could have contributed even slightly to the present horrific Global Warming mess. We must all share the blame, and behave accordingly. If no action is taken promptly, not only the Earth is damned; even innocent Mars may be seriously at risk; so may be all of the other planets in our solar system; yea, perhaps even the entire Universe. Issue must be taken, respectfully, with President Elect Obama's assertion that
Because the truth is that promoting science isn't just about providing resources — it's about protecting free and open inquiry. It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.
While doubtless well meaning, MMGW (Man Made Global Warming, not the far less threatening Murdering Muddler George W.) is too important for reflection and delay. Fortunately, President Elect Obama's new science advisers are on the ball.
Colleagues say the post is well-suited for Holdren, who at Harvard went from battling the spread of nuclear weapons to tackling the threat of global warming. He's an award-laden scientist comfortable in many different fields.
We can only hope that Mr. Holden is as successful in combating the threat of MMGW as has been the case in combating the threat of nuclear proliferation; MMGW is far more threatening.
Since as President Elect Obama says, "we all believe" in Real Science and in MMGW and therefore believe that "the time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," it is plainly obvious that we must all accept without question the thoughtfully considered position of former Vice President Gore: the present calamitous situation is "the equivalent of a five-alarm fire that has to be addressed immediately." Those who are skeptical of MMWG, all of whom wear tin foil hats and are wickedly misinformed, should chill out, sit down and shut up. Right Now. Not only that, they should confess their sins, promise to sin no more and do penance. We must save the world, now! Undeniably, later will be too late.
We must not consider, even for a moment, what the pernicious debunkers claim. They are ideologically impaired and not even one of them is a Real Scientist. The Truth is not in them. And, obviously, we must not consider anything reported by Faux News:
Scientists skeptical of the assertion that climate change is the result of man's activities are criticizing a recent Associated Press report [linked above] on global warming, calling it "irrational hysteria," "horrifically bad" and "incredibly biased."
They say the report, which was published on Monday, contained sweeping scientific errors and was a one-sided portrayal of a complicated issue.
"If the issues weren't so serious and the ramifications so profound, I would have to laugh at it," said David Deming, a geology professor at the University of Oklahoma who has been critical of media reporting on the climate change issue.
The fact that Faux News even suggests that MMGW concerns are overblown proves conclusively that MMGW is not only real but that it is the greatest threat facing the world.
According to BBC, some scientists assert that the world in 2008 has been cooler than at any time since the turn of the century, even though 2008 still ranks among the 10 warmest years on record. If the BBC analysis means to suggest that MMGW does not threaten us all, right now, it is a tissue of lies. As noted in the ABC report linked above, "Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it." This is true even though (according to a table in the BBC report) temperatures failed to increase in 2005 and decreased in 2006, 2007 and 2008. We need only consider the Undeniable Truth. Even in the unlikely (and ideologically unacceptable) event that there has been global cooling of late and may be more later, it's all a snare and a delusion, as the BBC report suggests. Although computer models "suggest that natural cycles may cool the Earth's surface in the next few years," these cycles simply mask the warming impact of rising greenhouse gas levels. Mother Nature, poor girl, may be making a valiant effort to hide her pain, but we all know that it is real and probably fatal unless we intervene, right now.
Moreover, even MMGW skeptics, base and rabid jerks though they may be, must not claim that all members of the Church of Global Warming are nuts. That is true of only a very few. Indeed, only one True Believer has thus far been clinically diagnosed as insane. "The patient had . . . developed the belief that, due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead within days to the deaths of millions of people through exhaustion of water supplies." Only the deniers are consistently nuts. When the President of the Czech Republic last year suggested that Former Vice President Gore is crazy, and claimed that MMGW is a "false myth," he himself must have been suffering from MMGW induced dementia (Man Made Global Warming Dementia Syndrome or MMGWDS). Even the redundancy of the phrase "false myth," as used by President Klaus makes this obvious.
The debate about MMGW is now over, as it properly should be. Thus Spake Obama. President Vaclav Klaus should hang his head in abject shame and seek psychiatric help. Lunatic views contrary to those of the Real Scientists are hurtful, and must be recanted. The very existence of humankind — and quite probably even life on Mars — are at stake.
The point of this attempt at satire is neither that global warming is not occurring nor that if it is, it is unrelated to human activity. The point is that "faith" and "belief" are religious rather than scientific concepts. We do not (and in any event should not) build roads or dams or subsidize various industries based on "faith" or "belief." Nor should the collective we (i.e., the Government) base other collective actions on faith and religious-type beliefs. When that happens, the consequences tend to be undesirable.
We do not "believe" that the Earth is round; we have long had irrefutable evidence that it is. There is no need for belief or for faith — although there once was for the proposition that the Earth is flat. Many hypotheses are less certain than the roundness of the Earth, yet we accept them. For example, we accept the notion that gravity exists, even though scientists continue to debate such questions as why and how. Religious doctrines, such as the Virgin Birth, Transubstantiation and the Trinity — and now man-made global warming as it is currently being presented — are different. Before moving expensively and precipitously to stop global warming, more attention should be paid to the why and how of it.
Regardless of whether global warming is occurring, and regardless of its causes, it makes sense to clean up the environment for lots of other reasons. Some of the clean-up may diminish whatever man made global warming there is; some may not. All environmental clean-up efforts cost scarce resources, and some are more costly than others; some have better cost-benefit ratios than others. Choices must be made. In choosing between those clean-ups which may impact favorably on global warming and those which may not, we should not be moved by hysterical scenarios based on what have become secular religious beliefs. Nor should we truncate the discussion because there is an alleged "scientific" consensus or because it is the politically correct or expedient thing to do.