Guest Post by Thomas Fuller
After the tragic events in Maryland on Wednesday of this week, where a man took three hostages and tried to make The Discovery Channel a vehicle for publishing his manifesto, there have been accusations and counter accusations in the global warming world about taking advantage of this to advance political goals.
In particular, Joe Romm of Climate Progress harshly criticized Anthony Watts for the title of his blog post alerting readers to the situation. Personally, I think Anthony’s choice was mistaken, but not malicious–I’ve made worse editorial decisions myself.
And this may be one of them. The deluge of catastrophic predictions regarding global warming and its consequences have reached almost everyone on the planet, and perhaps unintentionally have replaced Cold War bomb scares as the primary source of doomsaying.
The messages are well-thought out and prepared by professional communicators, with disturbing and graphic images of a post-apocalyptic scenario lifted from Mad Max, and with about as much connection to reality.
In March of this year, a couple in Argentina shot their two children before committing suicide over fears of global warming. On Wednesday, in Maryland, James Lee apparently committed ‘suicide by cop’ after taking three hostages in an attempt to force the Discovery Channel to alter its programming to suit his fears over the environment.
At what point will we call to account those who have preached ‘the end of the earth as we know it’ to countless people? How many people will be driven to desperation by those who distort the science?
The IPCC’s AR4, published in 2007, painted a future with global warming as a serious, multinational problem that we should face together. You may agree or disagree with their findings–I agree with most of it, not all.
But nowhere does the work of thousands of scientists in peer-reviewed literature say that we are doomed, that civilization is at risk, that there is no future for us.
That falls to several groups of committed lobbyists, scientists, environmentalists and politicians who began saying the IPCC report was too conservative almost the day it was published. The evidence they bring forward for that claim is nowhere near as robust as the science referenced by the IPCC.
They are scaring people to death. How many more lives will be blighted or destroyed before they understand that their propaganda has real world effects?
It’s hard to work up too much sympathy for Mr. Lee–he took hostages, threatened to detonate an explosive device, and pretty much guaranteed his fate. And his worries weren’t confined to global warming. He was equally concerned with overpopulation, another scare story put out by some of the same people pumping hysteria over global warming.
At any rate, what these people are doing is despicable, if not murderous.
Sea levels are not going to rise by 20 feet. Or 10. Or five. There is not going to be a climatic tipping point that pushes our planet into a spiral of ever-increasing temperatures. Global warming is not going to cause the extinction of half the species on this planet, or even 1%.
And it is long past time that respected members of the scientific community publicly acknowledge those facts and helped bring this debate back within the realm of reality.
My father met Jim Jones briefly before he moved to Guyana with his flock, and described him as intelligent and persuasive, able to talk reasonably about a multitude of subjects. We don’t need more smooth talkers preaching the language of despair. We can now see the results. In their zeal to communicate their fears of the effects of global warming that go far beyond the predictions of mainstream science, those who Anthony called ‘warmistas’ in his blog title and who I call alarmists and sometimes hysterics have created a library of disturbing words and images that can influence the vulnerable.
Are these people responsible for the tragedies in Argentina and Maryland? No. But did they act responsibly, caveating their predictions as personal fears instead of the verdict of science. No. They were trying to scare you. They succeeded too well.
It’s time to stop the hysteria.
Thomas Fuller http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller
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