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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Global Warming

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Dec. 12--Global warming flat-earthers are falling on their knees in thanks to the hacker who broke into a computer system and snatched 10 years' worth of e-mails between climate scientists which purportedly show a conspiracy to suppress evidence that global warming is a hoax.

The hot air generated by flat-earthers likely will raise the Earth's temperature another 3 degrees. Lacking any real evidence to the contrary, they have engaged in a kind of "magic denial" that allows them to ignore overwhelming evidence that human activity is raising temperatures, acidifying the oceans, killing off species and disrupting the climate.

Instead, they would have us do nothing until the Gulf of Mexico is lapping at Crestview's doorstep and our way of life was utterly, irrevocably ruined. Let's look at their claims and expose them for the nonsense they are: Those damning e-mails: A hacker broke into a server at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain and downloaded researchers' e-mails sent between 1996 and 2006, then posted them on the Internet. The e-mails allegedly show a conspiracy to cover up evidence that global warming is a myth.

Do they? No. Analyses of the messages conclude they were "cherry-picked," meaning they were selectively edited to distort their context. Much of the furor centers on certain terms which, when removed from their scientific context, suggest one thing when the actuality is something far different. How big is the "conspiracy"? If the scientists at the CRU were engaged in a conspiracy, their numbers would constitute a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of scientists worldwide who, through their own observations, conclude global warming is a real threat.

What about the evidence? Everything from satellite observations to temperature recordings, CO2 measurements, species migration, ocean pH, species die-offs, water levels, weather observations and even the study of ice cores and tree rings suggest that since the 1970s, Earth's average temperature has begun to rise in a way that's incompatible with natural variation. What's the motivation for a "conspiracy"? Why would tens of thousands of scientists around the world support a theory that promises to disrupt our lives? Have they all invested in companies that manufacture solar panels, wind turbines and nuclear reactors? Wouldn't it be more lucrative to work for the people who have money, i.e. the fossil fuel industry? Which leads me to. ...

What's the motivation for debunking the "conspirators"? Dr. Jeff Masters of The Weather Underground wrote an excellent blog about what he calls the "Manufactured Doubt Industry." These are the folks who taught you smoking doesn't cause cancer, there is no hole in the ozone layer and a day without asbestos is like a day without sunshine. The industry is a cabal of "think tanks" and public relations firms hired by the companies that stand to lose the most if the truth became known. Check it out at http://www.wunderground. com/blog/JeffMasters/comment. html?entrynum1389 How odd that people embrace science when it gives them airplanes and cell phones but reject it when it disagrees with their politics. There's a global warming conspiracy all right. It's a conspiracy of ignorance. Daily News Online Editor Del Stone Jr. can be reached at 863-1111, ext. 1433, or dstone@nwfdailynews.com

To see more of the Northwest Florida Daily News or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.nwfdailynews.com.

Copyright (c) 2009, Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach

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Source Citation
"Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, Del Stone column: Flat-earthers in a fever over global warming conspiracy." Northwest Florida Daily News [Fort Walton Beach, FL] 12 Dec. 2009. Florida Database. Web. 7 Mar. 2010.
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