As the Copenhagan climate summit kicks off with “1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges” I think it is an opportune time to address some of the climate news stories that have brought some shades of gray to the whole topic. Climate change is a hotly political topic that has made even the youngest child cognizant of human choices and environmental outcomes. I think we can all agree that is a positive outcome.
The flip side is that the science behind climate change is in its infancy. A naive anecdote is to measure the long-term weather forecast accuracy of even the best TV weatherman…it might seem like he/she is flipping a coin or reading tea leaves rather than working out complex climatology models. The problem is that the politically motivated only want affirming data with regards to global warming. There have been small leaks around the internet saying that original climate data has been destroyed. In an even more insidious act, hackers have found email between the climate research unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia involving many scientific researchers and policy advocates around the world that discussed the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global-warming claims. The head of the CRU, Professor Phil Jones, discussed the “trick of adding in the real temps to each series … to hide the decline [in temperature].” If you would like to read more of the emails, go here.
Much of this pressure in the United States is geared at passing Cap and Trade legislation sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, this is just another example of “Shock Doctrine“. If governments can convince their citizens that they are destroying the planet rapidly, then new legislation can be passed quickly without much questioning. I would suggest that the majority of people agree that polluting and wasting resources is bad for the environment. The sad truth is that much of the legislation will be formed by those who have a vested financial interest in the laws’ impacts rather than those who truly want to “save the planet”. Who will pay for these lobbyists’ efforts? The average American can foot the bill as usual.
Dec 6, 2009