[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Global Warming: Whom Do You Trust? | 02-11-2013
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
83°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 21
1961 - CalArts grad (MFA '92) and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob SquarePants, born in Oklahoma; developed prototype for Spongebob while studying at CalArts in 1989. Estimated net worth in 2012: $90 million [story]


Out of Left Field | Commentary by Charlie Vignola
| Monday, Feb 11, 2013

charlievignolaI have too many friends from across the political spectrum to believe that anyone or any party has a monopoly on wisdom or intelligence, and yet I’m frequently surprised by some of the things that my friends believe.

The other day, a very nice and bright young lady where I work let slip the fact that she’s skeptical of global warming. Now, you don’t hear much about global warming in the media anymore, but that’s not because the problem has magically gone away. In fact, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2012 was the hottest year in more than a century of record-keeping, shattering the mark set in 1998 by a wide margin.

The weather has been getting crazier and crazier everywhere you look. Last year it culminated in New York City looking like a scene out of “The Day After Tomorrow,” courtesy of Hurricane Sandy – an event some Republicans credit with helping get President Obama re-elected.

If you believe in such things, you’d also have to take into account the fact that a well-timed hurricane also forced the Republicans to cancel one whole day from their national convention. If the Almighty gets a vote, between the convention hurricane and the election hurricane, it seems pretty clear whom He was rooting for.

Anyway, this bright young lady from work didn’t seem ready to credit global warming for the increasingly bizarre weather, even though this is pretty much exactly the kind of thing climate scientists have been warning us would happen as climate change worsened. No, she repeated the talking point she’d heard: that the climate has been changing for millions of years, so this was nothing to be concerned about.

I countered that while yes, the climate has changed for millions of years, scientists stress that the type of dramatic change we’re seeing now is unprecedented and syncs up quite clearly with human activity. Worldwide industrial pollution isn’t a neutral phenomenon; it increases greenhouse gasses, which accelerate the warming cycle, which is what causes global warming.

How do we know this? Because people who study this for a living, people who know more about this than anyone else on the planet, people who have all of the evidence to verify this, say this is the case.

By and large, the vast majority of people who are still skeptical about global warming aren’t exactly the most scientifically fluent. They’re generally people who get their ideas about global warming from sources hostile to the concept of global warming: mostly conservative news sources and pseudo-science websites.

Be honest with yourself. If you doubt global warming exists, do you feel this way because you’ve actually read a number of academic research papers and books about global warming, attended global warming conferences around the world, and conversed with the top scientists presently studying climate change? Or do you doubt it primarily because that’s what you’ve heard on conservative talk radio and news?

The mainstream media, in their desire to seem fair and balanced, appear to give both sides of the global warming argument equal weight. But this is a key example of “false equivalence” – giving equal representation to two sides of an argument when in fact they are not equal at all.

For example, if you think scientists are equally divided on this issue, you’re gravely mistaken. According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S., 97 percent of climate scientists most actively publishing in the field acknowledge the reality of man-made global warming.

Think about it this way: If you had severe chest pains and 97 percent of the cardiologists you went to said you needed open heart surgery to save your life, but 3 percent said you were perfectly fine, would you get the surgery or not?

It’s funny how lay people know better than to challenge astrophysicists about the mechanics of black holes and the expanding universe, or virologists about the evolution and treatment of AIDS, but feel perfectly comfortable in loudly rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change even though they know as little about its underlying principles as they do about quantum physics or virology.

At the end of the day, there are only two possible scenarios. The first scenario is that there’s an active, worldwide conspiracy among tens of thousands of climate scientists to falsify mountains of data about global warming in the hope they’ll be able to generate more research grant money for themselves, even if it comes at the price of sacrificing all of their professional reputations if the ruse is ever discovered.

In this scenario, the wild weather we’ve been experiencing year after year, which just happens to be precisely what these scientists have been warning would happen, is merely a happy coincidence that reinforces their false story.

The second scenario is that the transnational corporations that stand to gain the most from sowing doubt about climate change, namely the energy companies that are the most profitable businesses on the planet, are purposely muddying the waters by financing their own “studies” critical of the scientific consensus and gaming public opinion through their vast and well-funded network of conservative think tanks and right-wing mass media.

In this case, while these corporations can’t deny the wild weather or accelerated melting of the polar ice caps, they insist that something other than man-made global warming is responsible, even though no other scientific theory they offer can adequately explain it all.

It’s up to you to decide which scenario seems more plausible. But if you inherently trust polluting energy companies to tell you the truth about the dangers they pose to the environment and are reflexively skeptical of climate scientists whose job is to study objective data, you might want to rethink why you feel this way and whether the sources you’re relying on for information are serving your best interests.

 

Charlie Vignola describes himself as a former College Republican turned liberal Democrat.  A resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1999, he works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.

 

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Barnabus Collins says:

    Global Warming. Big problem for its advocates.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/19/cooling-in-the-near-future/

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to some really bad outcomes, including kidney problems, glaucoma and other eye disorders, foot ulcers, amputation of feet or legs, stroke, diabetic coma, and even death.
Friday, Aug 11, 2017
There is no doubt the vast majority of Democrats and liberals loathe Trump. Certainly all of the leftists thoroughly hate him, and they have some company. They’re called Republicans.
Wednesday, Aug 2, 2017
In his August message to the community, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin details the city's emergency preparedness resources.
Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017
As our first president George Washington said, “We must consult our means rather than our wishes.”
Sunday, Jul 30, 2017
Many shocking surprises have shown up around the world as the ice melts. We’ve found a perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth, a field of dead reindeer that died of anthrax, and then last year, infected people in Russia, and in Alaska, an Air Force plane that disappeared was finally found in the Colony Glacier. It had crashed in 1952, killing everyone on board.
Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017
When President Donald Trump ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review the status of 27 national monuments created by three former presidents, many across the nation took it as a call to action to advocate on behalf of the monuments closest to their homes, and their hearts.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station issued 38 traffic citations Friday and arrested a Newhall man on a parole violation warrant on Saturday.
SCV Deputies Cite Speeders, Arrest Parolee
The TMU Mustangs' women's volleyball home opener proved to be exactly what the doctor ordered as the hosts dispatched Lewis & Clark State College (ID) in straight sets 25-19, 25-22, 25-17.
Lady Mustangs Dispatch Lewis & Clark in Straight Sets
The Master's University's men's soccer team inaugurated their 2017 season with a 5-0 win over Northwest of Washington on Reese Field Saturday afternoon.
TMU Men’s Soccer Blanks Northwest in Season Opener
The Master’s University women’s soccer team’s 2017 record improved to 2-0 after beating the No. 8 ranked Northwest University Eagles 3-1 on Saturday morning at Reese Field.
TMU Women’s Soccer Team Grounds Eagles 3-1 Saturday
CalArtians Mathieu Libman (Film/Video BFA 19) and Aram Sarkisian (Film/Video BFA 17) are among the seven finalists for Student Academy Awards in the Animation category.
Two CalArtians Named 2017 Student Academy Awards Finalists
Western singer and songwriter John Zipperer headlines the next episode of "SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series" at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall the evening of Friday, August 25.
August 25: John Zipperer Headlines ‘SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series’
The Lancaster JetHawks clinched a franchise-record sixth consecutive winning season with their 71st victory, a 7-2 win over the Inland Empire 66ers, on Sunday afternoon at San Manuel Stadium.
JetHawks Sweep Sixers Sunday, Secure Winning Season
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the city of Santa Clarita launch the “Heads Up” campaign this week to combat distracted driving and increase pedestrian safety.
City, Sheriff’s Station Launch ‘Heads Up’ Safety Campaign
An 18-year-old man from Lancaster surrendered to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Special Victims Unit Monday morning in connection with an alleged sexual assault earlier this month on College of the Canyons' Valencia campus.
Suspect Arrested in Alleged COC Sexual Assault
The Lancaster JetHawks scored seven runs in the fifth inning, propelling themselves to a 9-4 win over the Inland Empire 66ers on Saturday night at San Manuel Stadium.
Seven-Run Fifth Inning Carries JetHawks to Win Saturday
Hundreds of drivers were screened in a DUI checkpoint in Stevenson Ranch Friday night, but no arrests were made, CHP officials said.
CHP DUI Checkpoint Screens Hundreds of Drivers
1961 - CalArts grad (MFA '92) and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob SquarePants, born in Oklahoma; developed prototype for Spongebob while studying at CalArts in 1989. Estimated net worth in 2012: $90 million [story]
The Santa Clarita Public Library invites residents to view the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 at the Old Town Newhall Library starting at 10 a.m.
August 21: Solar Eclipse Viewing at Newhall Library
1967 - New Town of Valencia dedicated; homes sell for $25,000 [story]
1879 - Newhall civic leader Charles Henry Kingsburry born in Missouri [story]
Alerted by a concerned citizen Friday, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies once again rescued dogs the owner left in a car with the windows rolled up and no water.
Deputies Break Window, Rescue Dogs Locked in Car
40 oz. to Freedom arrives in Santa Clarita as part of its anniversary tour at Concerts in the Park at Central Park on Saturday, August 19, with showtime at 7 p.m.
August 19: 40 Oz. to Freedom Rocks Central Park
Two local environmental groups filed a complaint in L.A. Superior Court Thursday regarding the approved plan to provide water to the Newhall Ranch development, set to break ground in 2018.
Environmental Groups File Complaint Against Newhall Ranch Water Plan
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has provided $143,000 in funding to extend the season of youth and adult swim programs offered at the Castaic Aquatic Center through October 31.
Castaic Aquatic Center Programs Extended to October 31
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Los Angeles County firefighters and government leaders welcomed back the Super Scoopers Friday morning. Plus, the Old Town Newhall Library helped get the community ready for it as well by handing out free eclipse viewing glasses. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, August 18, 2017
CalArts alumna Audrey Chan (Art MFA 07) will host a free, all-ages interactive arts workshop in Little Tokyo on Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20, as part of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center’s 2017 Nisei Week activities.
August 19-20: Nisei Week Arts Workshop with CalArts Alum Audrey Chan
Habitat for Humanity SFV/SCV is honored to have received a $25,000 grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, which will fund trauma workshops.
Habitat for Humanity Receives $25K Grant from Disabled Veterans
Here are agenda highlights for the next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, set for Tuesday, August 22, starting at 9:30 a.m..
August 22: Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda
Ashley Olivier, a student worker at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, summited Mt. Whitney with her dad, a lieutenant at LASD's Monterey Park station.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Student Worker, LASD Dad Top Mt. Whitney
Looking to enter the win column for the first time in 2017 on day two of the Summer Slam volleyball tournament, the TMU Mustangs squared off against 11th-ranked Eastern Oregon but lost in straight sets.
Mountaineers Spike Mustangs at Summer Slam
Caltrans has released "Rail and the California Economy," a research report investigating how the state’s vast passenger and freight rail system contribute to California’s economy, as well as an overview of opportunities for rail to address the state’s needs and challenges in the future.
New Report Details Rail Role in State Economy
The Master’s University women’s soccer team soared to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Eagles from Sierra Nevada College Thursday.
Lady Mustangs Soccer Win Opener 7-0
The Master’s University women's volleyball team concluded their first day of HIU Summer Slam tournament play with a five-set thriller against the Southern Oregon University Raiders on Wednesday evening, dropping the fifth set 15-9.
Lady Mustangs Fall in 5 to Raiders at HIU
A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against claims by a state workers’ union that California’s pension system unfairly changed the terms of a pre-existing collective bargaining agreement.
Court Upholds Increase in CalPERS Retirement Age
Friday's alert from the South Coast Air Quality Management District that air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley has been extended through Saturday.
Updated: SCV Air Quality Unhealthy Saturday
Four annual crime reports, which provide law enforcement agencies and the public with statewide data on crime statistics, were released Friday by California's Attorney General.
AG Releases 4 California Crime Reports for 2016
The Master’s University women’s volleyball team lost their 2017 season opener Wednesday at the HIU Summer Slam in straight sets against the Warriors from national powerhouse Corban University (OR).
Warriors Drop TMU Lady Mustangs in Straight Sets
Here's the Castaic/Val Verde (Zone 2) Crime Information and Public Safety Report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of August 7 to August 13.
Crime Blotter: Assault, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
Two Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station employees will be recognized at the City Council meeting to be held on August 22 at 6 p.m.
City Council to Honor 2 SCV Sheriff’s Station Employees
The city of Santa Clarita’s Youth Sports program has seen measured success thus far in 2017.
Santa Clarita Youth Sports Program Sees Spike in Participation
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center’s new building campaign now only has $1.3 million remaining to raise before groundbreaking on the site can begin.
New SCV Senior Center Needs $1.3M to Break Ground