Vail Dail Editor Don Rogers: Trust talk, or evidence? |

Vail Dail Editor Don Rogers: Trust talk, or evidence?

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

The thermometer doesn’t lie, sorry.

Neither does the carbon gauge.

Apologies to Rush Limbaugh and friends, but the graphs showing mean temperatures and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere all show lines going … up.

It’s the same around the world. Atop Mona Loa, the volcano on the island of Hawaii. Atop Niwot Ridge, in Colorado. Those dastardly East Anglia climate scientists couldn’t tamper with all the figures.

Oh, sea level is rising each year, too.

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Up. Up. Up.

There’s no longstanding downward trend, unless you follow a certain ideology beyond the bounds of evidence and even common sense.


Or let’s do the Jedi mind trick: There’s nothing here. Let it pass. Smoking doesn’t cause cancer. No such thing as evolution, plate tectonics or dinosaurs. And the Earth is cooling, not warming; yeah, that’s the ticket.

It’s unfortunate that Al Gore popularized — and thereby politicized — the evidence of global warming.

Much better if whoever discovered the hole over the poles caused by CFCs had been the one to deliver this uncomfortable news. We actually did something about that.

And it should have been proof enough that humans can indeed have an effect on this apple skin of a biosphere that we live in.

Instead it’s a conservative vs. liberal political argument? Ostriches have nothing on humans.

The beetle infestation from Alaska to New Mexico continues because of what the thermometers show. Around here, the temperature no longer gets cold enough to kill the buggers before they eat all their trees.

Even now, through our coldest winter in awhile here, and whatever talk show host Sean Hannity concludes based on the temperature today in Houston. Apparently, no one has explained the difference between weather and climate to him.

Geologist Bob Raynolds of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science ran through findings about climate change in Colorado and worldwide during the last evening of the “Shaping the Future” series last fall. His data was independent of the infamously hacked e-mails from the British university that showed scientists can have a political bone or two in their bodies, too. Zeal does no one much good in these matters, even if conservative pundits made much more of the revelations than was actually there.

There is plenty of uncertainty in the science about the degree of change in the biosphere, as there always is in science. Science, after all, is a discipline built on observation, testable ideas and advances in our ability to measure the physical world.

How warming will affects the snowfall in Vail is tricky stuff, too. We may joke about palm trees in 50 years, but it’s likely that we’ll benefit over that period with better snow than most.

And go figure: Scientists are humans, too, as subject to ethical challenges as lawyers, politicians and pundits, too. Some indeed are punks.

Still, the thermometers aren’t liberals. The Earth is warming through the ups and downs of temperature swings through time, the CO2 count is rising, no question.

So, those notable scientific experts who just happen to be conservative rant show hosts are more persuasive than, er, cold evidence?

And I’m the dummy?

Editor and Publisher Don Rogers welcomes your comments at

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