On Monday my friend, Joel sent me a message filled with links to The Big Story — the leaked e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit that imply numbers have been crunched and data has been omitted in a way that may mean global warming is a farce. He struck again yesterday sending me yet another list of stories that, for the most part, took the “man-made climate change is bunk” slant. I wonder if I’ll get another e-mail now that the dust has settled, and people are actually analyzing what those messages contained.
All of the people involved have come out publicly and stated there is no cover-up; there’s no smoking gun. And the e-mail that seems to have the skeptics most upset? The one about skewing the data by changing it? The New York Times today has an interview with one of the scientists quoted in the emails. Here’s what he said, ‘Trenberth said it’s telling that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found evidence of climate change to be “unequivocal” in its 2007 report. “The IPCC is actually a fairly conservative process,” he said. “It involves people from over 100 countries and different parts of the political spectrum to see what the best statements we can make about global climate change are. They are consensus statements, so by definition that means they are somewhat conservative.”‘
Of course, news organizations such as FOXNews have come out swinging, saying that of course global warming is a fake. Some of the more moderates are willing to concede it’s real, but simply a natural occurrence. However, both camps say the scientists are costing us, the citizens of the world, billions of dollars. An opinion piece by John Lott is especially scathing. Another FOXNews story is a little more balanced. This quote in particular — “…much of the scientific language in the e-mails is esoteric and hard to interpret.” — may explain what’s going on.
Is there something fishy going on in the emails? Yes, I do believe the scientists, heady with power, did threaten to stop providing papers to journals. But were they serious? Who knows? I know that I’ve written many a threat in my own e-mail trails, none of which I ever intended to following through on. Remember, these are scientists who know each other well. We all act tough when talking to friends.
Personally, I go back to the most damning evidence of climate change: Before and after photos of Antarctica, glaciers, the Arctic. Say what you will, but I really doubt the scientists dealing with climate change are doing a whole lot of Photoshopping just to keep up the facade.
And to those who want so badly to believe it’s all a hoax? I say this: I get it. Climate change is scary. No one wants to believe it. Who wants to have to change the way they live? It would be great to be able to forget about carbon footprints, pollution, greenhouse gases. But even if the scientists lied about even half of what’s going on, the fact still remains: We’re depleting our natural resources. We’re filling our air with chemicals. We’re harming our bodies with all the garbage in our environment. You can’t deny that there’s a giant pile of chemicals and plastic swirling around in the Pacific. You can’t hide the fact that deforestation is occurring. You can’t create new oil and coal from nothing. The status quo doesn’t work anymore. Get over it. Even if global warming can’t be completely attributed to humans, you can’t say we’re not to blame in the mess we’ve made environmentally in our country and our world. Sorry, skeptics.
Do you believe climate change is a hoax? What effect, if any, do humans have on the environment? Will this report change the way you’re living your life? Will you stop conserving? I’d like to hear about it.