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The GOP is Dead Wrong on Human Caused Global Warming -- What Else?

Denying global warming is now an untenable position. Yet one of our major political parties continues to cling to this obviously wrong position. What else are they wrong about?

Denying global warming is now an untenable position. To claim otherwise would be akin to denying gravity.  

Denying human's influence on the climate is similarly untenable -- although certain politicians, particularly those on one side of the aisle, will continue to cling to this absurd claim.

Why is it absurd?  Somehow they claim that virtually every scientific organization in the world, including the NASA -- which seems to know their physics pretty well, is somehow wrong about what is the most studied scientific topic in the history of science. Like NASA doesn’t understand science.

It would also be to reject the known laws of physics. They may as well reject the laws of gravity.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas; we know this beyond any measure of doubt. If it were not, we would not be here. Life as we know it simply would not exist if C02 was not warming the earth to a temperature that sustains life.

C02 in the atmosphere has gone sky high -- literally, since the industrial revolution began. 

Man took CO2 from the ground (oil, coal, gas), burned it, and now it is in the atmosphere, where it has made the "blanket" of CO2 much thicker than it has been since mankind has existed on earth.

And here we are, in the middle of the worst drought and heat wave in recent history after years and years of increasingly hostile weather conditions. 

It's not just this year. It's year after year after year of weather "weirding".

No one reading that has been around more than a few decades can deny the truthfulness of this claim - which is also supported with massive amounts of hard data.

And all the evidence says that the heat and weather events are going to continue to get worse.

Yet the politicians continue to say "it's not man" or "we'll adapt!"

All of these claims are simply absurd.  Tell the farmers losing corn that they will adapt - or those that lost their homes in Colorado, or New Mexico or Arizona. Tell the hundred plus people that died from the heat wave that they will "adapt". 

Adaptation occurs over hundreds or thousands of years, not overnight. 

It's not man. 

To say "it's not man" is the scientific equivalent of saying that the earth is flat. It would oppose the known laws of physics.

So are they, the politicians that reject AGW, deliberately lying to us?

I don't think they are deliberately lying. Misleading us perhaps, but lie, no, I don’t think so.

I do think they believe things that are not true, which is an easy thing to do when you seek to prove yourself right instead of seeking the truth, especially when that truth contradicts your deeply held beliefs – and the beliefs of your “team”.

All you have to do is surround yourself with sources that affirm your belief - like  "trusted" media sources, well funded industry experts that support the "company line" and other people who tell you what you want to hear.

It's great for affirming your belief - not so great for getting at the truth. 

So here’s the logical question one might ask themselves: 

If your favorite politicians misled you about a critically important topic, a topic which is likely the greatest challenge mankind will ever face (how can it not be?), what else did they mislead you on? 

Again, perhaps the misleading was not “intentional”, but so what? Wrong is wrong, regardless of intent.

As someone who looks pretty objectively at these things, I would suggest that the same lack of critical thinking skills that led them to their misguided and wrong views on human caused global warming are used on all topics that they consider – all of them.

I’m not going to go into policy by policy assessment here as that is beyond the scope of this blog, however, just to pick one, “cutting spending”, including government spending, is about the worst thing we could do in a weak economy - unless of course you think unemployment is a good thing (well unemployment does cut CO2 emissions, so maybe there is a silver lining).

Now we are up to two major issues in which one of our political parties is misleading us -- how many more? 

The answer to that question is for you to decide, but you can only do so if you don’t fall into the same trap that they did.

Don’t try to prove yourself “right”, instead, seek truth; after all, truth is important isn’t it?

Good luck

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Melinda Pennington July 27, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Oh, please! I really dislike these types of articles in this online newspaper. The republican's are not trying to mislead anyone .... especially on global warming. Its obvious this article was written by a flaming liberal. .... so opinionated.
Larry Lazar July 27, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Thank you for your response Melinda. That man is causing the current global warming/climate change is accepted by every National Academy of Science in the world as well as all of the most respected scientific organizations dealing with climate or atmosphere, including NASA, the American Geophysical Union, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Additionally, over 97 percent of practicing climatologists agree with the IPCC assessment—that the earth warming, it’s caused by man and that the consequences will be harmful. There are also many interested organizations outside of science that agree with the consensus of climate/atmosphere science organizations and the 97 percent of climate scientists. Here are a few that you may have heard of: • The Pentagon, US Army, US Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard • All the Major Oil/Energy Companies, including Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP • All the Major Global Insurance Companies • All the Major Automobile Manufacturers, including GM, Ford, Honda and Fiat/Chrysler • Christian, Jewish, Islamic and religious institutions, including the US Catholic Church • 70 of the largest companies in the world, including Coca Cola, Microsoft and Wal-Mart Okay, that’s one side of the argument, who’s on the other? None. there are no scientific organizations that hold dissenting views Note, I am generally centrist in my political views. I just like sience
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Larry, your response to Melinda's smacks of trying to "prove yourself right." I'd like to see you do exactly what you've suggested - seek the truth by reporting "the other side" as well as the one you obviously subscribe to. My personal opinion on global warming is that the earth has been here, going through its warming and cooling cycles, forever. I think it's pretty arrogant and egotistical of humans to think we could do anything other than help, in the most insignificant way, Mother earth in her already destined warming cycle. I believe that the "truth" probably lies somewhere in the middle of both sides, so I refuse to blindly follow the tales spun by liberals who aren't detail-oriented enough to know they depicted a hurricane spinning backwards in their propaganda.
Larry Lazar July 27, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Thank you for your response Gina, I appreciate it. Actually, I was once a skeptic myself so I understand your argument. I did evolve my thinking over the years after a pretty exhaustive effort to understand and assess the arguments against man caused global warming. I wrote about the evolution of my thinking about this issue in my first post of the series that I am writing for the Patch (linked below) As I indicated in my first post, I could not find a single organization with credentials in atmospheric sciences or physics that opposes the claim that CO2 from burning fossil fuels is the cause of our current warming. None. I am still very open minded, however, and if you can show me an accredited scientific organization that rejects the claim that man's activities, by burning fossil fuels, I would love to see it. Again, my interests are in critical thinking, not partisan politics or liberal/conservative ideologies. I wrote about this in my introductory post about weighing and assessing sources of knowledge. Link to "Why I Write": http://eureka-wildwood.patch.com/blog_posts/global-warmingclimate-change-series-post-1-of-12 Link to my introductory post on critical thinking: http://eureka-wildwood.patch.com/blog_posts/ls-critical-thinking-corner-intro
Larry Lazar July 27, 2012 at 03:57 PM
oops, I left out an important phrase in one of my sentences above. It should read: "I am still very open minded, however, and if you can show me an accredited scientific organization that rejects the claim that man's activities, by burning fossil fuels, is the cause of the current warming of the earth, I would love to see it. "
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Thank you, Larry. I may not have been clear. Any rejection that the burning of fossil fuels etc. is helping global warming would be ridiculous. Humans are exacerbating our own problem. My point is that the warming cycle of the earth is exactly that - our problem. Warming is not,nor has it ever been, a problem for the earth itself, only for its inhabitants. We can no more stop the warming cycle than we could start it. We are much less influential a force than our inflated egos will allow for. That's not to say that we should not take care of our home. We should not be filling landfills unnecessarily, we should not be ignoring our own contributions to the problem and we should absolutely be reducing, reusing, recycling and making sound, common sense choices on our carbon footprints. I think where the left loses most people is in it's over-reaching statements of how we got here and their over-optimistic proposals for how we can fix it. The bottom line is that the earth will continue warming, especially now that the sun is entering solar maximum again and we can do nothing to stop it, to fix what we've already done or anything else other than try to not make it unnecessarily worse going forward.
Larry Lazar July 27, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Thanks Gina, that does help clarify your position and I generally agree - with the exception of your statements about man not influencing the climate, or whether we can do anything about it. We have influenced the climate and we CAN fix it - we have to! This is not my position. It's the official position of the National Academy of Science - the highest authority of matters of science in the country. Here is an excerpt from a LA times story about the NAS 2010 statement: "In a sharp change from its cautious approach in the past, the National Academy of Sciences on Wednesday called for taxes on carbon emissions, a cap-and-trade program for such emissions or some other strong action to curb runaway global warming. Such actions, which would increase the cost of using coal and petroleum — at least in the immediate future — are necessary because "climate change is occurring, the Earth is warming ... concentrations of carbon dioxide are increasing, and there are very clear fingerprints that link [those effects] to humans" "This is the most comprehensive report ever on climate change," said atmospheric scientist Ralph J. Cicerone, the president of the academy. They outline "why the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and why we should have a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable." The reports are available online at http://www.nationalacademies.org. We have to fix this problem Gina - we have no choice.
Larry Lazar July 27, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Apparently the Catholic Church agrees with the NAS: "At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family.” — U.S. Bishops http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/apr/27/catholicism.religion
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 07:02 PM
The basis of my skepticism can be found in the consensus of over 31,000 signers of the Global Warming Petition Project, which seeks to undo the ignorant, fear-based treaty entered into by Al Gore in '97. It can be found at www.petitionproject.org. I would be interested in your thoughts after you review the project's documents.
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 07:24 PM
My favorite paragraph from the entire report: "Temperature records vary widely with geographical location as a result of climatological characteristics unique to those specific regions, so an "average" Earth temperature is less meaningful than individual records (ref). So called "global" or "hemispheric" averages contain errors created by averaging systematically different aspects of unique geographical regions and by inclusion of regions where temperature records are unreliable." I believe they call it "garbage in, garbage out." Although I don't necessarily disagree with any individual argument *for* man being responsible for global warming, I vehemently argue against many of the generalized extrapolations, even those that are based on good science.
Scott A Mandia July 27, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Before continuing, I highly recommend reading the resources listed below: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php The Petition Project myth is illuminated in Argument #119. (The number is so high because hardly anybody uses this myth anymore. Low numbers mean the myth is highly popular while higher numbers mean few are relying on that myth anymore.) You will also see that the #1 Argument is one used by two commenters already. Another excellent resource is: The Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism at this URL: http://bit.ly/gWWVFI The GOP is made up of politicians, not expert scientists. Who are you going to believe? I do not believe any politicians. I DO believe our scientific experts, our health experts, the insurance industry, and military and intelligence experts. The GOP is flat-out wrong about well-understood science. It really is a shame because policies are coming and if the GOP does not sit at the table, guess who is going to be making those decisions? It won't be the people you vote for because their heads are in the sand. Don't want to listen to me? Listen to this Conservative and expert scientist. (About 14 minutes in he gets into policy.) http://bit.ly/NQE1GJ
Larry Lazar July 27, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Thank you Gina, this helps me understand how you came to your position. As I previously indicated the internet is filled with information and "expert opinion" that will support any side of any position. There are even websites that have experts and data supporting the "Flat Earth Theory". Which is why we need to be able to asses and evaluate sources of knowledge. The below is from the critical thinking website "What's the Harm". "We are all confronted with new information daily. It comes to us via newspapers, radio, television, websites, conversation, advertising and so on. Sometimes it seems like a deluge. Not all information is created equal. Some of it is correct. Some of it is incorrect. Some of it is carefully balanced. Some of it is heavily biased. Some of it is just plain crazy. It is vital in the midst of this deluge that each of us be able to sort through all of this, keeping the useful information and discarding the rest. This requires the skill of critical thinking. Unfortunately, this is a skill that is often neglected in schools."
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Larry, it looks like we agree on a great many things. Especially the "critical thinking" issue. In most of our schools, as well as quite a few homes and churches, unfortunately, children are being raised not to think for themselves. 'Don't rock the boat,' 'because I said so' and 'because that's the way it's always been,' in my opinion, are the mantras of laziness. As a parent of four teenagers, I will admit that having taught my children to gather information, form their own opinions and be able to present their arguments for or against in a logical, unemotional manner has made my job as a parent increasingly difficult, especially as their thought processes have become more sophisticated over the years, but I am glad that when I send them off into the world, it will not be as lemmings waiting their turn in line to jump off the cliff. Thank you for the links you provided (you too, Scott) as I am always interested in learning more about any subject. I will return after I've looked through them. :)
Margaret Eisenberger July 27, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I'd like to add some points that seem to be missing in the above discussion. One is that while it's true that the Earth goes through cycles of warming and cooling, geologically speaking we should have been entering a cooling by now, slowly heading towards the next Ice Age in several thousands of years. The fact that we are warming instead is yet more evidence that human activity has disrupted natural cycles. Natural warming would occur ever so much more gradually than we have been warming over the past couple of decades. This speeded up warming makes it nearly impossible for most species of plants and animals to adapt to the new conditions and will inevitably result in massive extinctions. In regard to the inherent inaccuracy of exact average temperatures, either over the planet or by region, is inconsequential, because the same margin of error applies to measurements over the years. The critical value is the difference, year to year, of these averages. The difference is far more likely to be accurate than any individual average, as the differences are what demonstrate the warming. It is also true that some areas may actually experience more severe winters or overall cooling while others experience warming, but the global warming effect refers to net gain over the planet throughout the year, over all seasons, day and night. The net gain is on track to produce an environment my grandchildren will find disastrous to live in.
Larry Lazar July 27, 2012 at 08:17 PM
That is an excellent observation Margaret, thank you.
Anon July 27, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Coincidentally, all scientists used to believe that the world was flat & that you could float off the edge.
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 09:36 PM
A perfect example of why common sense and logic must be applied. lol
Larry Lazar July 27, 2012 at 09:39 PM
hmm, I'm not sure that "all scientists used to believe that the world was flat & that you could float off the edge." I'm also not sure what this would have to do with modern science or common sense and logic.
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Oh, my word! I just went to look that up. Are we sure this "flat earth society" isn't some sort of joke? That can't really be... well, real?
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Larry, I misread his post. I thought he was referencing those who still argue that the earth is flat.
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Part 1 Okay, I've gone through the sites you both listed and I am seeing no reason to change my position that man is neither wholely responsible for global warming, nor can stop global warming altogether. In researching further, I even found a NASA article from late last year that states: "Thus, although the current global warming graphs (Figs. 2, 3 and the upper part of Fig. 7) are suggestive of a slowdown in global warming, this apparent slowdown may largely disappear as a few more years of data are added. In particular we need to see how high global temperature rises in response to the next El Niño, and we also need to consider the effect of the 10-12 year cycle of solar irradiance. This raises the question of when the next El Niño will occur and the status of the solar cycle." http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2011/ "May... need to see... question of when..." Sounds to me like even NASA is waiting to see what happens next to see if the current theories are correct or not, as are we all.
Gina Veesaert July 27, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Part 2 Which is my point. Until the experts can better understand and predict El Ninos and La Ninas, the effect of our sun's cycles on our climate and the planet's own efforts to keep its natural balance against anything we do or don't do, we can't expect them to be able to predict anything with any certainty. As long as the politicians and media, both left and right, keep pushing the scientists for answers and taking every little thing the scientists do release out of context or blowing them out of proportion, as they did with Mr. Emmanuel (thanks to Scott for the link: great interview!), I have difficulty hopping on the 'man is responsible for global warming' bandwagon.
Anna-Maria Mueller August 22, 2012 at 09:37 PM
I too thank Scott for the link to the Kerry Emanuel (Conservative for Climate Science) interview. Yes, great interview. The guy is thoughtful and articulate. If his views and attitude were representative of that of the Republican Party I'd vote republican in a heartbeat (ignoring for a moment some other disagreements I may have ...LOL). But as it is, the GOP of today appears to embody pretty much the opposite, which is why it is beyond me how anybody in their right mind can support them. Gina, you too think that the interview was great and yet you consider man-made global warming a mere “bandwagon”. You may want to follow what Kerry Emanuel has to say more closely, among many other things also the point he makes about uncertainty, risk and insurance policies.

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