ClimateGate, Hot Air, Copenhagen Summit...Oh My!
Its almost as if a 'perfect storm' is about to hit Copenhagen on the eve of world leaders coming together to solve the age-old global issue that continues to pit science against politics.
Did the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK fudge data on global warming? Were the skeptics of man-made global warming right all along? Did Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth get debunked via the very Internet he allegedly invented? ClimateChange Saboteurs versus Gas-house Emissions Protesters are both heated over a critical debate that was only aggravated by hackers releasing emails that tainted the credibility of the CRU scientists.
But how does what get to the truth with so much hot air proliferating the ozone layar?
Whatever one's views on the science of climate change, the so-called ClimateGate scandal could not have come at a worse moment in time for those who hope to see the world's major industrial countries take strong action at the Copenhagen Climate Summit (COP15), which opens Monday, December 7 with more than 10,000 participants and diplomats from 192 nations.
For those like myself just catching up on what unfolded in the UK - as a result of University of East Anglia's server being hacked - out of the hundreds of e-mails released last month from their Climate Research Unit are a number of remarks that suggest the scientists distorted some data to conform to their expectations about global warming. The seriousness of the situation led to the center's chief Phil Jones stepping down pending an investigation of the e-mails.
To marginalize the breach of security, prominent climate scientists insist that the e-mails do not change what they see as an urgent need to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, and they feel there is little likelihood that the outcome of the climate summit will be affected.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 47% of voters blame global warming on planetary trends, while 37% of voters take the opposite position and blame human activity. This is most interesting because when one looks closely at these findings, in a little less than 2 years, the majority of blame has switched from 'human activity' to 'planetary trends.' (note: In April of '08, 'human acitvity' was at 47% and declined to 37%, 19 months later).
Since the Rasmussen survey was conducted in advance of ClimateGate, it is hard to determine the reason for the reversal in these statistics. Suffice it to say, when it comes to global warming, emotions run fervently and outside the boundaries of logic.
Jon Stewart, in his inimical means of reviewing critical issues with a satirical yet enlightening eye, this recent sketch from his Daily Show provides us with a humorous perspective.
Twitter has been cyber-ventilating by using the Twitter echo chamber to support their cause, to extent of chastising Obama for not taking action.
It's my humble opinion, that if this critical global issue was to be resolved by logic, why would these alleged emails become the smoking gun for the naysayers. Why doesn't their argument for thwarting global warming initiatives stand on its own body of scientific evidence? Why is this scandal that has not been corroborated or even debated in a court of law become their new raison d'etre?
While I have a hard time grappling with this issue, I often think about the generations that will come after us who will rightfully question why wasn't something done sooner? It's easy to be mired in the politics of this debate, but unless something significant surfaces from COP15, we are going to be letting down those future generations, once again (note: check back with us, as I will be posting updates to this blog, as actions unfold at the 12-day summit)
U P D A T E S:
December 8, 2009 - 2nd Day of the COP15 - Skeptics want more science and less politics regarding global warming...
December 9 2009 - 3rd Day of the COP15 - Developing countries reacted furiously on Tuesday to leaked documents from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) that shows unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries. It says people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals. The document also hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN's role in all future climate change
December 9 2009 - 3rd Day of the COP15 - For the first time, the U.S. on Wednesday outlined a dual path towards cutting greenhouse gases. Speaking at the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, Lisa P. Jackson, the head of the US' EPA said greenhouse gases should be legislated.
December 12, 2009 - 6th Day of the COP15 - AP Service - As environment ministers from around the world continue negotiations over a global climate change agreement, US Republicans (the Party of No) are heading in to oppose climate controls.
December 13, 2009 - 7th day of the COP15 - Several hundred people take to the streets of Copenhagen on Sunday. The size of the crowd is no where near the thousands who marched on Saturday, but the goal was the same calling for a "real and fair" climate change deal.
December 15, 2009 - 9th day of the COP15 - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says action against climate change can happen faster when taken at a state and local level. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Schwarzenegger proposed the UN hold a conference for local and state governments... and suggested they meet in sunny California. Distributed by Tubemogul.
December 16, 2009 - 10th day of the COP15 - Battleground Copenhagen - Is Climate Deal unlikely?
December 17, 2009 - 11th day of the COP15- Obama speaks in Copenhagen - Highlights of speech include "Climate change is not fiction, it is science," "I come not to speak but to act."