Planet Gore

Losing Credence

Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas has had a crisis of (global-warming) faith.

True believers must buy into the apocalypse. Every day seems to bring yet another doomsday scenario for penguins, polar bears and Miami Beach condo dwellers.
Deniers are a threat to our very survival. Even worse, they are a threat to the careers (and funding) of countless researchers, as well as an entire industrial complex that is about to make global warming a trillion-dollar business.
The science of global warming has arrived at a conclusion, which all data must now accommodate.
Unfortunately, it sometimes does not.
You may recall that in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore noted nine of the 10 hottest recorded years have occurred since 1995. That’s what the NASA data showed until a blogger crunched the agency’s data and found out it made a mistake.
In fact, six of the 10 hottest years came before 1954, with the 1930s being particularly toasty. Ever hear of the Dust Bowl?
There has been much alarm about Greenland melting and drowning Florida. Feeding this are images of rapidly melting glaciers. They were melting quickly between 2000 and 2005. But since then the melting has slowed to what is considered a normal level.
Researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory discovered that the rate of warming in Greenland between 1920 and 1930 was 50 percent higher than today. And the glaciers were smaller. . . .
I could go on and on. Most all scientists agree the world has gotten warmer.
But many distinguished scientists think the evidence blaming humans is either bogus, incomplete or not overwhelming enough to think we are a significant part of a problem.
I have gone from being a believer to being a global-warming agnostic. I think we are having some impact but am not convinced how much of one. I remain receptive to arguments from both sides.
Global warming is a science in which imperfect data are plugged into imperfect models by too many scientists looking for the same conclusion.
By all means, let’s limit our use of fossil fuels and move toward being a conservation-conscious society.
I just have qualms about damning the cost and going full speed ahead. Too many people can’t afford that. If things are as dire as many predict, we are doomed regardless. It could well be that our money might be better spent on other ventures to save humanity.

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