The global warming debate within certain minority groups of the far left has become what could be construed as very confrontational.
Now circulating is such shock language as "At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers? Shouldn't we start punishing them now?" These words came from Talking Point Memo, an agenda-setting Web site of the far left.
Others have picked up the drum beat against those whose scientific background and physical observation accept that the rising changes in temperatures are well within the range of natural climate variability as observed over the centuries.
Typical is this e-mail disclosed by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., a ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. The e-mail threatens to destroy the career of climate skeptic Mario Lewis, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
“Mario: You have been proven wrong. . . . The entire world has proven you wrong. You are the last guy on earth to get it. Take this warning from me, Mario. It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on. (Signed) Michael T. Eckhart, president, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).”
Temperatures on the warm side have been proven to advance agricultural production and add to the economy.
Temperatures on the cold side such as what occurred in Europe during the Little Ice Age from the mid-14th century to the 19th century led to shorter seasons, crop failures and, in some instances, famine and starvation. It was known that disease epidemics of flu and pneumonia claimed the lives of millions across Europe during the period.
It is understandable why such zealots as former Vice President Al Gore have made it their careers. They have made millions trading on the fears of the general public. The fact remains that mass deaths in human populations have not developed during the warming periods — not even the warming period of 1000 to 1300 AD when European temperatures were as warm and possibly warmer than they are now.
State climatologists, promoters today of science-based climate change, have been the hardest hit. Most are under the political control of state governors.
Of those attacked, perhaps the most renowned climatologist was Pat Michaels, state climatologist for Virginia. Michaels, in his presentations on climate, has argued that the climate is becoming warmer and that the consequences will not be as dire as others have predicted. Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine warned Michaels not to speak in public on the issue.
Michaels said he resigned as state climatologist "because I was told that I could not speak in public on my area of expertise, global warming, as state climatologist . . . it was impossible to maintain academic freedom with this speech restriction."
State climatologists are also, for the most part, professors of climatology at their respective colleges. Reports from colleges and universities across America bring the same message that state climatologists are forced to cease teaching their own beliefs on climatology as they were taught, thus denying their students the benefit of their knowledge.
In London, the “UK Daily Express” reported that UK scientist David Bellamy, one of the best known faces on TV, a respected botanist, author of 35 books, and presenter of some 400 TV programs over the years, has been shunned by the bosses of BBC and out of the limelight for the past 10 years. His crime: He doesn't believe in man-made global warming.
The debate on climate change will continue and, for the most part, is a healthy exercise for those who are inclined to debate.
However, ways are being developed to use the concept of global warming in a manner designed to create fear of disastrous weather and climatic conditions that will threaten life as we know it.
Politicians are quick to seize this opportunity to save you and your family, thereby promoting their own careers.
Programs are being developed to save the planet: Cap-and-trade, which, it appears, will not reduce carbon dioxide emissions but will increase not only energy costs but the cost of many other necessities. Alternative fuels where your food supply is converted to fuel for your car, creating other problems as well. Sequestering of carbon dioxide. Burying sequestered carbon dioxide in the bottom of the ocean. Others, some not yet on the drawing board.
All the programs have one thing in common: They will cost trillions of dollars and will eventually cause massive unemployment.
If mankind is responsible, all the efforts in this country to fight global warming, in the final analysis, will be of little or no use for this simple reason: Nations representing the rest of mankind have either refused or are unable to participate in greenhouse gas reduction.
Perhaps a more sensible approach to reducing CO2 would be to take all the bailout money — TARP and the stimulus package — and use these trillions to build 100 new atomic energy plants on present sites. Millions of real jobs, many continuing, will be created. The United States can convert one of its largest polluters, the automobile, into electric cars and the CO2 problem will eventually solve itself.
America should get on with the job.
E. Ralph Hostetter, a prominent businessman and agricultural publisher, also is a national and local award-winning columnist. He welcomes comments by email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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