Be Careful of Climate Change Deniers

By George P. Nassos

There is no question that climate change is a major topic in the media today, particularly with a presidential election coming up soon. Depending on the media that provides information on climate change, it can easily be swayed to one side or the other. I have been reading climate change articles for the past 20 years and tend to follow people I consider experts, like James Hansen. But more recently, there have been many articles that contend these temperature changes have nothing to do with emissions.

I decided to investigate the arguments by the climate change deniers and read a book titled “Hot Talk, Cold Science” by S. Fred Singer et al. It is the third edition published in 2021. Early in the book, they mention alternative energy sources to fossil fuels and claim they are useful but not sufficient to reverse the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide. An example given is “the needs of a three-member household could be met by solar cells covering a whole football field’s worth of vegetation.” I immediately questioned that statement as I subscribe to community solar and require the output of less than ten solar panels for my home. After reading that statement, I continued to look for more of their arguments that could be questionable.

In general, the book is not totally negative about the causes of climate change, but really just questions the data proposed. The authors claim that the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is more political than scientific. After each of the IPCC reports, there are nine walk-backs where the scientists change their position on certain climate change results. Apparently, these changes were made public, but the media did not disclose them. A statement from the book that somewhat summarizes its position is “In conclusion, the IPCC misled an entire generation of scientists and policymakers, telling them the human impact on the Earth’s climate poses a genuine threat to human well-being and other life on the planet while deliberately and repeatedly hiding uncertainty, the absence of critical data, and evidence that questions or contradicts its apocalyptic prediction.” They also claim that some changes to the reports were made after being approved by contributing scientists. The authors go on to claim that this was an organized conspiracy called “Climategate”.

Without a thorough investigation of the claims in this book, there is no way to tell whether their statements are accurate or not. On the other hand, there may be indications that the concentration of carbon emissions in the atmosphere may be understated. A recent study by the environmental nonprofit, Industrious Labs, indicates that the methane emissions by landfills reported to the EPA are likely understated as major methane leaks go unnoticed. The impact of methane on global warming is considered about 80 times more effective than carbon dioxide. Another study by Harvard using satellite data found that for one year the methane emissions were 51% higher than EPA estimates for that year. So, what should be done if one report states that climate change is not for real while the majority of the climate scientists say that we have a growing problem?

I believe we have a simple solution. We all must agree that global warming is a real environmental issue that is having major negative impacts on the global population and is getting worse every year. Therefore, we must do whatever we can to mitigate this environmental issue. If we find out in 30 years that we were wrong, what will be the consequences? We will have developed unnecessary technologies, increased the cost of living, changed our lifestyles, been inconvenienced, and more. On the other hand, we can all take the position of climate change deniers and do nothing about this global warming issue. However, if we find out in 30 years that we were wrong, what will be the consequences? Catastrophic!

It seems to be obvious that there is only one position to take. We must follow the recommendations of the global warming scientists and do everything possible to minimize the impact that it can have on our lives around the world.