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Intentional Ignorance

November 6, 2012

I wrote this essay to offer some essential information about our world and the future of our species, adding my voice to the many cries of alarm over the environmental crisis (lately reaching criticality). [More…]

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Two Birds — One Stone

A call for action

Updated 3 December 2015

The world is rapidly approaching COP-21, the 21st United Nations “Conference of the Parties,” the climate change convention taking place early December in Paris.

President Obama and other world leaders are preparing actions and arguments toward a truly meaningful new agreement coming out of that meeting — to take really significant steps toward reversing the introduction of greenhouse gases like CO2 into the atmosphere, which are accelerating global warming.

The industrialized nations of the world are emitting most of these gases and have the most power and ability to reverse the trend. So these are the primary parties to the conference.  Many of the developing nations of the world will be there as well. It is hoped they will also subscribe to as many greenhouse gas emission strategies as they are able, since we all suffer from  global warming effects.

One of the best ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions is to replace fossil-fuel-fired power plants with solar-electric- and wind-powered ones, a process that has accelerated in recent years due to falling prices for solar and wind power coupled with rising prices for fossil-fuel sourced grid electricity. There is a growing number of cases in which investment in renewable energy makes much more economic sense than investing in fossil-fuel-sourced power plants.

In the U.S. and a few other countries, however, there are politically conservative opponents to the very essence of COP-21 and its goals.  Some use outright anti-science arguments to try and stop the switch away from fossil fuel toward increased energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Others admit that global warming is really happening and a few even accept that much of the increase is human-caused, but they counter with a proposition that making this transition will damage the economy, meaning mainly the profits of the coal, oil, and gas companies.

The truth is that global warming consequences threaten serious damage to the Earth’s life-support system if allowed to continue for a few more decades. This problem, therefore, is an existential one, as U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders claims. It is the most serious problem facing the U.S. and all other nations of the world. (Terrorism is unlikely to cause the extinction of humanity, as long as nuclear weapons are kept away from the terrorists, but global warming, if allowed to continue unabated, surely can.)

These anti-environmental-science opponents to the historic trend toward solar and wind power should know better. Most of them are college-educated and should be well versed in the basic facts about how science works, how the Earth works, and how human population has grown so large and its per capita environmental impacts have grown so severe that the planet’s ecosystems are being widely damaged.

They also should realize that the global-warming-induced trend toward increased frequency and severity of droughts, floods/mudslides, tornadoes, and hurricanes is generating serious and severe costs—direct and immediate damages to economies around the planet. Perhaps, in spite of their educations, they still don’t know better.

As a professional scientist wishing to address this issue, I have written a briefing paper to explain the essence of the scientific argument. Since major news media in the U.S. and elsewhere are not covering this adequately in my opinion, I’m hoping that my explanation, if sent to enough news outlets and conservative candidates for public office, can at least clear the air and focus attention away from the anti-science arguments and onto the growing efforts to reverse global warming.

Environmental organizations and a new activist group of young people, rightly concerned about their futures, are standing up and demanding governmental action to improve their chances for decent futures. Furthermore, trends in financing circles, bolstered by refusals of the insurance industry to write policies covering many of the costs and consequences of global warming, are already accelerating major investments in energy conservation and renewable energy, which I mention in my explanatory essay.

I hope that providing the information I have assembled to the media and politicians will help them better deal with both the anti-science and the economic arguments of the opponents of transitioning away from fossil fuels, a one-two punch against the opponents of renewable energy.

My Request

I have placed my essay “Anti-Science and Anti-Environment are not Just Political Stances” on this Future of Humanity web site in its Educational Materials section. Alternatively, just click on this link to the article or use this url:

http://www.futureofhumanity.org/wp-content/uploads/Anti-Science-and-Anti-Environment.pdf

In addition to these resources, Ted Halstad, in the 16 November 2015 Atlantic Magazine, offered an apt criticism of the conservative anti-science stance on global warming, quoting noted conservative guru William F. Buckley, and offering a straightforward conservative solution to climate change. His article is titled, “The Republican Solution for Climate Change.” I urge conservative political leaders to read it here or use this URL:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/a-conservative-approach-to-addressing-climate-change/415887/

I also request your help in distributing the above links to radio, television, and print news media in your geographical areas. You might also like to send the link to your favorite “denier” politicians with a statement that you will not be voting for them if they continue to deny science and science-based evidence of global warming in forming their positions.

If we can get one producer/editor in each of the relevant media outlets to read the essay, perhaps they will ask better questions of politicians and initiate stories about the financial movements toward renewable energy and energy conservation, spotlighting successful new projects in their areas aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

I suggest sending your request to producers/editors rather than on-air talk show personalities or columnists because I suspect the latter get more email and social media than they can handle, so what you send might be less likely to get through.  However, if you think it might get through, feel free to try.

It couldn’t hurt also to send the following link,  my review of Lester Brown’s new book, The Great Transition, detailing the amazing things happening in the renewable energy sector:

http://www.futureofhumanity.org/2015/10/22/review-the-great-transition-shifting-from-fossil-fuels-to-solar-and-wind/

Finally, here’s a link to petition the world leaders at the Paris meeting, telling them that ”We need a climate deal that’s in line with the imperatives of science and justice. Keep 80% of fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.“  The link is:  350.org/paris/

Thank you.

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