Vail Valley Voices: Fools deny global warming |

Vail Valley Voices: Fools deny global warming

Scott Glasser
Vail, CO, Colorado

Recent letters to the editor denying global warming have been inaccurate and irresponsible.

One author suggested that Mount Pinatubo’s eruption caused more greenhouse gas than all of human kind’s contribution. Not even close. A June 21article published by th U.S. Geologic Survey clearly indicates it would take 700 such eruptions to equal just one year of man’s contribution of greenhouse gases, and the UK Meteorogical website states that volcanic activity does not explain global warming.

Similarly, another author wrote that NASA was claiming that several years in the 1930s were man’s hottest, and that the UK Meteorological Office now catgorized several recent years as cooling ones. Again, untruthful.

Both websites cite this past decade as the hottest on record, and that 2010 and 2005 were the hottest years ever recorded.

Also, from the NASA website:

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n Carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas, now at 391 ppm, highest concentration in 650,000 years, and has accelerated tremendously since 1950 when it was only 280 (look at the graph).

n Global temperature has increased an average of 1.5 F since 1860.

n Arctic sea ice at a minimum in 2007, losing ice on average at 11.5 percent per decade.

n Sea level has risen 4-8 inches over the past century, rising 3.27mm per year.

n Greenland ice loss doubled between 1995 and 2005.

n Antarctic sea ice losing 24 cubic miles of ice per year since 2002.

Is someone going to suggest NASA is fabricating this?

While the 1998 research on tree ring research by Dr. Mann has been the subject of controversy, even the National Academy of Science does not dispute his conclusions. Indeed, the academy — cited by the particular letter writer as in opposition to the Mann research — strongly concludes that anthropogenic climate change is occuring “faster than previous estimates.” Besides, the research is but one thimble of evidence amid an ocean of other research. Additionally, the academy reminds us that manmade emmisions are acidifying the oceans and will have a profound impact on the marine ecosystem.

Even the embarassing email scandal has been abused by climate change skeptics. Yet every investigation of that scandal has arrived at the same conclusion: The emails were cherry-picked and taken out of context, and that the underlying work and conclusions of the four primary scientists is not in doubt. Again, a tiny thing amid the overwhelming host of climate change evidence.

Anthropogenic climate change is the inescapable conclusion of the world-wide scientific community. It represents vast and impressive scientific work from the diverse fields of chemistry — physics, astronomy, geology, biology, climatology and includes researchers of all social and economic classes, and even an array of governments from communist to democratic. It represents one of the most important threats to our existence, and I don’t understand why anyone would gamble the lives of our future generations on a politically-driven and far-fetched premise that the world-wide scientific community has created some vast conspiracy or is simply wrong.

Sceintific method demands rigorous and demonstrable methods. It does not, under any circumstances, require pre-determined results. This objective scientific culture is at the heart of the peer-review process.

Sure, in any vast study of thousands of observations there are certain to be some poorly designed experiments, and even some disreputable scientists. But the scientific community ultimately demands truth.

It is intellectually dishonest and dangerous to ignore science’s warnings based on inaccurate and partially understood reporting by partial non-scientists and politically motivated commentators.

Rather than argue here in the editorials, I implore any interested reader to take time and visit the vast and varied relavent scientific websites.

I am the first to admit that there are some uncertainties — the carbon cycle, cloud variability, ocean circulation and precipitation, among others — as these influence climate change in uncertain amounts.

But until there is overwhelming scientific evidence to refute the last 25 years of data, shouldn’t we err on the side of caution? Don’t future generations deserve this of us?

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