09 November 2008


Global warming deniers could well make their case that there is no truth to anthropogenic causes of global climate change, and even that CO2 has no climate effects, without claiming that phony science is creating a phony crisis (global climate change) that would destroy industrialization.

Here are my thoughts: First, even if CO2 were not found as a force agent, the processes that produce CO2 also co-produce other harmful byproducts, such as NOx, CO, and sulphur compounds, all of which are harmful either to humans and/or to water bodies, and thus aquatic life. Not to mention particulates that are injurious to human lungs.
Thus, preventing production and harmful effects of CO2 (although some global-warming deniers deny this, too) would, in any case, mitigate other deleterious effects.

Mitigating production of all harmful byproducts of industrialization does not necessarily destroy industrialization, as it would change it for the good. Therefore, I believe the summative statement--the mitigation of production and harmful effects of CO2 would destroy industrialization--is extreme.

For someone who has been a near-continous student throughout his sexagenarian life, now working on degree number eight (four Master's and now PhD Geography), admittedly means little in climate debates, especially when I am outside my usual areas of interest. I grant you that I must rely on secondary literature. But, can global-warming deniers convince me that they understand primary scientific literature any better than I?

One last comment: I am probably more open-minded than most people you might run across in the climate change debates. As a teacher, I take seriously my obligations to understand all sides of a discussion--and then take a stand. So far, until the majority of scientists change their views (and, yes, you can be assured that Kuhn and his treatise about scientific revolutions was high on the reading list of more than one of my Master's), there is no compelling reason why I should change mine. I shall, though, continue to hear out the fringe.

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