By Paul Gorski
The basic premise of my article “Meet John Doe: Climate change is not global warming, and neither are hoaxes” from the June 18-24, 2014, issue was that the measurements and arguments used to support the belief that the Earth’s climate is rapidly changing are not part of an elaborate hoax or lie. What purpose would that hoax serve? Readers responded. One reader replied with an explanation.
One explanation is that the theory of global climate change serves as a distraction, a sleight of hand, to keep us focused on the debate, while the leaders of the world are up to no good. Rally the world together for a single worthy cause, while cheating us from something, yet undetermined. Maybe money, maybe our human rights. Given that scientists are typically skeptical of politicians, I do not see scientists around the world agreeing to this coordinated deception. No, I do not believe the climate change debate is a fabricated distraction, and I do not view climate change as a hoax.
Some readers flatly deny global surface temperatures are on the rise, and that contrary to popular belief, temperatures are stable or even in decline, arguing we are misinterpreting the data. I admit we may not see a consistent climate change pattern depending on the information one chooses to review. People on both sides of the argument are selectively picking information, including only information that supports their opinion. We do know sea levels are rising, agricultural zones are shifting, and polar ice caps are either shrinking or expanding, depending which pole we look at. We see this happening now. We cannot deny these facts.
Other readers recognize these facts and admit our climate is changing, but claim there is no direct cause and effect between human-generated carbon dioxide and climate change. What proof is there that driving my car is warming the Earth? I concede that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions may not be the only cause of global climate change. Theories are testable, so the theory that CO2 emissions affect climate change is testable, too.
We can test the climate change theory by reducing global CO2 emissions and monitoring the results. If reducing CO2 emissions does not affect the climate, what have we lost? The effort to lower CO2 emissions is driving us to conserve fossil fuels and spurring research and growth in alternative energy sources. Rather than costing us money, we are creating new jobs in new industries. The free market is working. Capitalists and environmentalists can rejoice together — how often can we say that? I do not see the downside of reducing CO2 emissions.
Join the discussion. Readers have posted valuable comments and links online in response to my original article at http://rockrivertimes.com/2014/06/18/meet-john-doe-climate-change-is-not-global-warming-and-neither-are-hoaxes/. Send a letter to the editor or post more opinions online. I offer a special thank-you to reader “Ken” for his patience and well-reasoned views.
Paul Gorski (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper.
From the July 30-Aug. 5, 2014, issue