Guy W. Farmer: Scientists undermine global warming debate
For the Nevada Appeal
“All of the global warming industry is having a bad day,” is the way conservative columnist George Will put it in a recent op-ed piece. On the other hand, former Vice President Al Gore warns us that a global climate meltdown is looming. Who to believe?
Or, to put it another way, how is the average citizen supposed to sift through the claims and counter-claims of alleged climate change “experts” on both sides of this controversial issue, some of whom play fast and loose with science? As Will wrote, “Global warming alarmists … manifest an interesting incongruity – hysteria and name calling accompanying serene assertions about the ‘settled science’ of climate change.”
The current debate began last November with the publication of e-mails showing attempts by scientists to massage data and suppress dissent in order to strengthen “evidence” of global warming. That revelation was followed by the failed United Nations climate change conference in December at Copenhagen, where so-called “developing countries” like China and India virtually demanded ecological reparations from the United States.
By the way, American taxpayers paid nearly 25 percent of the total cost of that multimillion-dollar global extravaganza, where delegates rode in limousines and ate caviar.
And what’s even worse, our federal government – Congress and the Executive Branch – sent some 165 delegates, including 80 congressmen and staffers, to Copenhagen at a cost of more than $1 million. ABC/TV reported that each congressman spent an average of $2,200 per day on hotels and food. So much for the Obama administration’s much ballyhooed austerity measures.
“I thought it was important for me to be there,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). “I didn’t look at it as a pleasure trip.” I wonder what his taxpaying constituents think.
Back to climate change itself, I agree with Fred Guteri of Newsweek, who wrote that scientists who manipulate the facts “are imperiling not just their profession, but the planet.” He argued that “climate scientists themselves … may have stepped too far over the line from science to advocacy, undermining their own credibility” and noted that UN Intergovernmental Climate Change Panel (IPCC) chief Rajenda Pachauri of India had compromised his credibility by acting as a consultant to banks with a financial stake in the climate change debate.
These troubling revelations are undermining the theory that man-made greenhouse gas emissions threaten the globe, which reminds me that the U.S. Senate rejected the 1997 Kyoto Agreement on a near unanimous vote because it held the U.S. to much tougher emissions standards than other industrial nations. Therefore, we should insist on a level playing field before signing any new international climate change agreements.
• Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, is a retired diplomat.