I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Letter To A Climate Change Denier

Humanity is causing global warming.  If you disagree, you do not understand science and the scientific method. The scientists on the IPCC have published in peer reviewed journals: anthropogenic global warming is accepted by the majority of climatologists. Viewing the increasing agreement among climate models and climate scientists as collusion instead of consensus is a rather conspiratorial take on the normal course of scientific investigation. Does anyone remember a time when there was no consensus about what killed the dinosaurs? A furious debate raged among paleontologists – were dinosaurs killed by asteroid strike or volcanoes? Now a consensus exists: they were polished off by an asteroid strike. What happened was not a popularity contest or some sort of political putsch, but rather a slow accumulation of facts supporting one side. Moreover, do you also refute the work of nuclear physicists and insist you cannot be killed by radiation because their work was government funded?

The sun is not causing global warming. According to PMOD at the World Radiation Center at
there has been no increase in solar irradiance since at least 1978, when satellite observations began. This means that for the last thirty years, while the temperature has been rising fastest, the sun has not changed. So much for that argument ….

If you refer to the “30,000 independent scientists [who] recently filed a joint lawsuit against Gore” you are referring to a petition by Frederick Seitz backed up by a ‘review’ by Arthur B Robinson. Mr. Robinson has never worked as a climate scientist: the organization which published his ‘review’ has received at least $ 630,000 from Exxon. Do you prefer to rely on ‘research” funded by Exxon and carried out by people with no training ?

Why do climate change deniers live in denial of a very serious problem that requires action immediately? The World Bank pondered the same subject. In May 2009, Kari Marie Norgaard published a working paper for The World Bank entitled Cognitive and Behavioral Challenges in Responding to Climate Change.

She found that Public awareness and concern regarding climate change is not a function of scientific information alone, but psychological and sociological issues as well. Moreover, people ACTUALLY WORK TO AVOID ACKNOWLEDGING DISTURBING INFORMATION in order to avoid emotions of fear, guilt and helplessness. Possibly you are working hard at avoiding confronting the biggest, most serious problem facing us: global warming.

You, and many others, need not cope with your terror and discomfort by denial. Hope exists: it IS POSSIBLE to solve this problem as the City of Portland has demonstrated. That city has reduced greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels without any support from the federal government of the USA. Moreover, they project their greenhouse gas emissions will be 10 % below 1990 levels by 2010. We CAN solve this problem through collective action. Email or snail mail the Prime Minister and instruct him to negotiate an effective, just, and binding deal on greenhouse gas emissions at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen. It is a matter of social and environmental justice!

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