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Climategate Controversy UpdateRalph E. Stone for Salem-News.com
Global warming should be a non-partisan issue.
(SAN FRANCISCO) - Last November, 1,000 stolen e-mails from one of the world’s leading climate research centers in Britain seemed to challenge the scientific consensus that global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity.
The e-mails appeared to show researchers scolding skeptics of global warming, discussing ways to hide their data, and discussing ways to keep skeptics' research out of peer-reviewed publications. One e-mail authored by researcher Phil Jones seemed to suggest using a "trick" to "hide the decline" of temperatures.
The publication of the e-mails just before the Copenhagen climate change summit last December created a furor, with skeptics of man-made climate change calling the e-mails “ClimateGate” and claiming them as proof that the science behind global warming had been exaggerated or even made up altogether.
On March 31st, the British House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee largely cleared the "ClimateGate" researchers involved, finding no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming.
"ClimateGate" had its effect on U.S. public opinion. A recent Gallup poll shows that 48 percent of Americans believe the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated. Many Americans believe that, if there is global warming, it is cyclical and will pass over time or the scientists will discover an eleventh hour fix for the problem. ClimateGate and the public's skepticism provides cover for our politicians to avoid the difficult task of addressing global warming.
Senator James Inhofe (R. Okl) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R. Cal) probably represent the views of global warming deniers. Senator Inhofe called "the threat of catastrophic global warming the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." And Rep. Rohrabacher called the science behind global warming "emotional junk science." Even that eminent scientist Sarah Palin called global warming studies "snake oil science."
Regardless of the so-called ClimateGate controversy, it has long been known that humans impact our atmosphere severely and our unrelenting production of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) increase the effects of the naturally occurring "greenhouse effect" that keeps our planet habitable. The more CO2 we pump into our atmosphere, the warmer the atmosphere gets. This is a scientific fact based on decades of scientific study. The main cause of the increase in global average temperatures in recent history is not because of any natural cycle -- although natural cycles do exist -- it is because of man. The bottom line: 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences published a letter in the May 7, 2010 issue of the journal Science, which reads in part, "There is compelling, comprehensive and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystem on which we depend."
Denying global warming and its causes threatens all of humanity with slow, painful, untimely deaths. Scientists overwhelmingly agree that increasing global temperatures will cause sea levels to rise and will produce more intense weather and changes in precipitation patterns, changes in crop yields, glacier melting, extinction of species and the spread of disease. Putting our heads in the sand is not going to make global warming go away.
Global warming should be a non-partisan issue. It concerns us all whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, or anything in between. There is, however, a promising first step: Senators John Kerry (D. Mass) and Joe Lieberman (I. Conn) reportedly will unveil their "climate change and energy" bill. The bill intends to cut greenhouse gas emissions nationwide 20 percent by the year 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, while spurring nuclear power and investing in clean coal technology designed to trap carbon dioxide spewed by power plants. But, of course, finding 60 Senate votes will be a challenge.
Salem-News.com writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss.
As is the case with many Salem-News.com writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law.
Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address firstname.lastname@example.org
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