Global-Warming Deniers: A Well-Funded Machine
I normally don't read print news except for a couple of venerable papers that have been around for centuries. But I hope everyone goes out and has a chance to read Newsweek. You don't even have to pay for it - spend an hour at the library. Or read the article I just linked to. Some outtakes:
As [Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California)] left a meeting with the head of the international climate panel, however, a staffer had some news for her. A conservative think tank long funded by ExxonMobil, she told Boxer, had offered scientists $10,000 to write articles undercutting the new [IPCC] report and the computer-based climate models it is based on. "I realized," says Boxer, "there was a movement behind this that just wasn't giving up."And:
Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless. "They patterned what they did after the tobacco industry," says former senator Tim Wirth, who spearheaded environmental issues as an under secretary of State in the Clinton administration. "Both figured, sow enough doubt, call the science uncertain and in dispute. That's had a huge impact on both the public and Congress."The thing is, there's only one place in the universe humans can live. Politicians are so busy demagoguing silly terrorism issues, like saying "people who've never met you want to kill your dog because you have freedom." And yet deniers get offended when the overwhelming consensus of virtually all educated people worldwide, across all cultures, point out that our "lifestyle choices" are in conflict with our short and long term viability.
Frankenstein was a monster, but also an unintended consequence of Dr Frank's ambition and neglect for his creation. Drought, extreme storm patterns like Katrina and Rita, deep freezes like the one that stranded all the cows in eastern Colorado this past winter, when the national guard had to airlift food to them, and so many other bizarre weather patterns are, like the Frankenstein monster, a monstrous set of unintended consequences of our lifestyle choices.
The wife and I never had kids, but my step brother did, and my nephew, Mark, is like the son I never had. I want him to have a better standard of living than I do, and all the money in the world won't fix asthma that's becoming so common from polluted air, or skin cancer from the shrinking ozone, or, as Americans, what will probably happen is we'll basically be ok but without irrigation we'll be paying $10 a bowl for rice, and that'll be the only food available.