Pro/Con: Should we even be listening to climate deniers?
No: ‘Deniers’ take millions from far-right to smear scientists
The capital’s right-wing lobbying legions are far off-base charging that a handful of congressional progressives are conducting McCarthy-style vendettas against climate-change deniers. And they are super-hypocritical as well!
After all, these ultra-conservative policy institutes, websites and pundits are funded out of the deep pockets of such environmental devastators as Koch Industries, British Petroleum, Freeport McMoran, Massey Energy, DuPont and North American Coal Corp.
The tens of millions of dollars committed to this “debunking” cause each year also support a number of scientists — including some at major universities — who shamefully attack the findings of such renowned climate scientists as James Hansen and Bill McKibben.
It was Hansen who added the gravitas of NASA research to prove that devastating climate change is a clear and present danger. And it was Hansen who reaped a whirlwind of vitriolic abuse from the pollution lobby for standing up to the climate change deniers.
McKibben, the world’s leading environmental writer and the Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Vermont’s Middlebury College, also has been attacked unmercifully by the misguided supporters of fossil fuels.
One can argue, as Hansen and McKibben have, about whether cap-and-trade tax regimen is a proper method for dealing with climate change.
But what cannot be ignored are the overwhelming scientific facts that point to our planet passing a point of no return with regard to the effects of manmade global climate change. Consider just a few of many recent events facts:
Australia has been dealing with an intense drought for a decade, and the lack of fresh water in Perth has resulted in that city being forced to desalinate sea water.
An unprecedented drought in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a megacity of 20 million, and an epochal drought in California point to the unarguable drastic effects of climate change. Brazil is already considering how to deal with “water refugees,” and California, Arizona and Nevada may not be far behind.
Those who deny the planet is undergoing climate change from man-made pollutants claim that the climate scientists are Chicken Littles who are running around yelling “The sky is falling!” However, it’s the climate change deniers who are the veritable ostriches with their heads buried in the sand.
One of the chief ostriches is Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the new chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Inhofe’s cheap publicity stunt of tossing a snowball inside the Senate chamber after a snowstorm in Washington was supposed to be proof that there is no global warming.
However, it’s not “global warming” that’s the issue but rather the weakening of weather-dependent currents like the Gulf Stream that is causing extreme fluxes from bitter cold to intense heat in the Atlantic Ocean and other maritime littoral regions.
Inhofe relied upon the typical pejorative term “alarmists” used by “conspiracy theorists” to taint bona fide climate change scientists who have proven their case in thousands of peer-reviewed papers and studies.
Inhofe’s snowballs and insults aside, the U.S. government did conclude that 2014 was the warmest year on record. That scientific fact, added to many other record-breaking metrics around the world, have some members of Congress, including Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., asking the right questions about what entities are paying for the “junk science” on climate change.
Grijalva is justifiably concerned for the welfare of the people in his district and state. With the Colorado River and Lake Mead running dry, Arizona cities like Phoenix, Tucson and Tempe, in addition to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, face an uncertain water future.
Wayne Madsen is a journalist and author specializing in national security affairs and international relations. Readers may write him at National Press Club, Front Desk, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20045.