According to a report published by the UK’s Daily Mail in their 7-30-2011online edition, Dr. Roy Spencer of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says that climate change is “far less serious than ‘alarmists’ claim.” Read the entire report HERE.
Reading this headline caused me to go back and book review an article I wrote last year about global warming. In it, I stated, “Both sides have stated emphatically that ‘the scientific data is in, it’s conclusive, and our side is right.’ Then they attack each other’s data. ‘Our scientists have more accurate data than your scientists.’ ‘Your scientists have sold out and published data to support the position of their benefactors and blah, blah, blah.’”
Who can you trust? Which set of data is correct? I like what Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
Have you chosen a side? Does it really matter? Consider the opinion of guest blogger, Miriam Goldberg. The essence of her essay is, “You don’t have to believe in global warming to be a good steward of the planet.”
A well-informed and thoroughly researched resource for readers interested in global warming is a novel. Yes, it’s fiction. Rarely does a work of fiction include a lengthy bibliography to document the scientific claims its characters make. Michael Crichton produced a thought-provoking work which some consider his masterpiece. State of Fear was first published in hardback in 2004. It sold well. How many books have received over 1,300 reviews on Amazon? Like many of his books, it stirred controversy. But at least it got people talking about an important issue.
Read his book. Look up some of the references. Check out some of his speeches and other writings from his website. Perhaps you’ll agree with me that far from being a “denier”, Mr. Crichton was simply a cautionary voice warning us of how dangerous uninformed decisions can be. One of his examples was the controversial subject of “Eugenics” and how alarming it was that it was so favorably accepted by so many.
Tamara Cohen’s report seems to echo the thoughts I wrote last year. Data and sources of data are controversial themselves. As she states, “Last year, the IPCC was at the centre of a major row when it was forced to admit that it had exaggerated the threat of global warming to glaciers.”
Cohen tells us that Dr. Spencer’s findings are detailed in a paper published by the journal, Remote Sensing. The University of Alabama climatologist is the first scientist to study data from NASA satellites and report findings as they relate to climate change, a term that many feel is synonymous with global warming. Will these findings change anyone’s mind? Time will tell.
During that time, we might be well served to remember something Dr. Crichton said, especially when it comes to our acceptance of data, ““I am certain there is too much certainty in the world.”