Sunday, September 6, 2009
After reading the article in last Sunday's Steamboat Pilot & Today about climate change ("Experts dispute crisis") plus the three dozen or so online comments, it seems to me that it's time to change the conversation game from "Dueling Factoids" to "Who Do You Trust?"
Realizing that scientific and technological advice is needed on important issues and policy matters, governments have regularly sought out the expertise from scientific and technical institutions, recognized for their delivery of sound knowledge and opinion, and the advancement of science in their respective fields. The issue of global climate change is no exception. At this writing, 48 nationally and internationally recognized institutions with expertise in the climate change issue have published statements on this issue. Their conclusions are that global climate change is real, most likely human caused, and could have catastrophic impacts on society unless action is taken. Six such institutions are not committal. Importantly, since 2007, no remaining scientific body with national or international standing has rejected these basic findings.
For anyone interested in reading these statements, the information and links can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change. I recognize that Wikipedia is not thought of as a reliable information source, but in this case, all Wikipedia did was to collect and publish these various opinions along with their links.
So, to believe that climate change is one big hoax as postulated by William Gray at the Freedom Conference last week, one would have to believe in the existence of a worldwide conspiracy perpetrated on virtually all of the recognized scientific and technical institutions that have standing and expertise in these matters. This would be a conspiracy of gargantuan proportions, sort of like any episode of the X Files you ever saw times a million.