Some scientists cool to global warming theory

Matthew White

It seems to be a generally accepted fact that global warming is a dangerous and imminent threat to human existence on earth. Acknowledgment of this threat has invaded the consciousness of major corporate decision makers, actors, journalists, authors and government at all levels.

The notion that we’re all in grave peril from climate change has especially been pushed by society’s elite, in particular a former vice president who won a Nobel Peace Prize. For those unaware, he made a movie that was supposed to scare us into immediately changing our lifestyles.

But all the global warming noise drowns out the much saner voices that say there is no consensus among scientists, and that the results are anything but conclusive. These people struggle against a movement that’s driven by ideology rather than facts, by emotion rather than logic.

After all, global warming supporters have the more compelling argument: polar bears on shrinking ice caps versus raw temperature analysis. But, just because the advocates of global warming have a greater emotional appeal doesn’t mean they should capture all of the public dialogue.

Now, many people will tell you all global warming skeptics are all part of a conspiracy funded by large corporations to downplay the problem. The truth is, I don’t know too much about that, but I generally don’t believe in conspiracy theories.

I do know that too many respected scientists have put their careers and their reputations on the line by remaining skeptical — something that all scientists are supposed to do. Scientific theories are reached by eliminating as many potential explanations as possible, not by choosing one explanation and defending it against all evidence to the contrary.

According to a report by the Heartland Institute, a policy organization that is unaffiliated with any political party, business or foundation, more than 500 scientists are skeptical of global warming.

S. Fred Singer, a climate physicist, stated the following in the report: “We’ve had a Greenhouse Theory with no evidence to support it — except a moderate warming turned into a scare by computer models whose results have never been verified with real-world events. On the other hand, we have compelling evidence of a real-world climate cycle averaging 1470 years (plus or minus 500) running through the last million years of history. The climate cycle has above all been moderate, and the trees, bears, birds and humans have quietly adapted.”

So, if you choose to believe that everyone against global warming is a corporate shill, that’s up to you. And, if you choose to believe there’s a consensus on global warming, that’s also up to you. But, it’s simply choosing to ignore the facts.

So, if you’ve only heard a little bit about global warming and you’re leaning toward believing it, you should at least know there’s respected scientists out there who remain skeptical.

And even for those people who are committed to the theory, checking out what the skeptics say wouldn’t hurt.

Matthew White is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].