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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
91°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 22
1898 - Birth of Mary S. Ruiz, eldest child of Enrique & Rosaria Ruiz of San Francisquito Canyon; all died in 1928 dam disaster [cemetery census]


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...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Bobbi Jean and her husband Jim Bell, whose OutWest clothing store and popular TV concert series celebrated all things Western and equestrian and helped revitalize Old Town Newhall over the past decade, will soon ride east into the sunrise: They’re moving to New Mexico.
OutWest Owners Jim and Bobbi Jean Bell Ride East Into the Sunrise
1898 - Birth of Mary S. Ruiz, eldest child of Enrique & Rosaria Ruiz of San Francisquito Canyon; all died in 1928 dam disaster [cemetery census]
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,000 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a sexual assault suspect was arrested Thursday night. Plus, some great weekend events. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 20, 2017
Forever Fit SCV, a Santa Clarita sports and personal fitness training company, will host a "Pumpkin Workout" at its Centre Pointe location on Saturday, October 28, starting at 9 a.m.
Oct. 25: Pumpkin Workout Benefits American Cancer Society
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Hart School District Governing Board Meeting
The LA County Public Defender has won the Silver Eagle Award for its Public Defender Jail Liaison Program during the 31st Annual Productivity and Quality Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
LA County Public Defender Soars with Silver Eagle Award
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, October 23 through Tuesday, October 24.
Heat Alert for SCV, L.A. County on Monday, Tuesday
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has received three major gifts toward the creation of the museum in Los Angeles, bringing fundraising to more than $300M, nearly 80 percent of its $388M campaign goal.
Motion Picture Museum Nears $388M Campaign Goal
Caltrans added nearly 1,200 lane miles of pavement repair and 66 bridges to its growing list of projects to be delivered sooner than planned, thanks to the imminent influx of revenue from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1), the transportation funding and reform package passed in April.
Nearly $3.4 Billion in Transportation Projects to Be Accelerated
The city of Santa Clarita and SCV Veterans Memorial, Inc. invite the public to attend a special ceremony unveiling the new Fallen Warriors Monument at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall on Wednesday, November 8 starting at 10 a.m.
Nov. 8: City Unveils Fallen Warriors Monument in Newhall
Crime Prevention deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station along with Los Angeles County Probation Department officers conducted probation compliance searches Friday throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Deputies Check Probationers, Aid in Domestic Violence Call
Here is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's public safety report for Canyon Country (West), aka Zone 7, for October 2 through October 8, 2017
Crime Blotter: Robbery, Grand Theft in Canyon Country West
A suspect has been arrested in the investigation of an alleged sexual assault, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials.
Suspect Arrested in Alleged Sexual Assault
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States and a concern the California Highway Patrol addresses with its "Start Smart" program.
CHP Helps New Drivers with ‘Start Smart’ Classes
The California High-Speed Rail Authority punted one of the most important decisions during its monthly meeting Thursday, stoking concerns the entity is not moving quickly enough on the $64 billion project.
California’s Bullet Train Board Delays Award of Key Contract
An extensive investigation by the county of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs in conjunction with the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has resulted in a lawsuit announced today by the Attorney General against retailer Curacao.
AG Sues Retailer Curacao for Allegedly Preying on Consumers
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco for $33,000 (75 cents an acre) in a sheriff's sale [story]
CHESTERFIELD, MO — NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential design-build firm, recently teamed up with Logix Federal Credit Union to work on a large scale facility project, a new corporate headquarters building for the full-service credit union in the Burbank, California area.
Valencia Will Soon be Home to Logix Federal Credit Union Headquarters
The CSUN women's volleyball team (10-9, 4-3 Big West) opens the second half of the Big West season this week as the Matadors head up the coast this week for road tests at No. 23 Cal Poly (17-2, 7-0 Big West) and UC Santa Barbara (4-15, 3-4 Big West). CSUN, coming off a tough five-set loss to Hawai'i at home, is 3-4 in seven road matches this season but has won two of three Big West road contests.
Matadors Volleyball Testing Their Skills on the Road
No. 5 College of the Canyons defeated L.A. Mission College 3-0 on Wednesday to earn its eighth consecutive match and fifth straight sweep. Set scores were 25-15, 25-11, and 25-20.
Cougars Volleyball Earns Fifth Straight Sweep
CSUN Women's Soccer (7-4-5, 3-1-1 BWC) looks to move up in the Big West standings this week as it hosts UC Irvine on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Matadors Get Ready for Big West Matchups
Behind Julio Rubio's goal in the 11th minute CSUN defeated UC Riverside 1-0 in Big West Conference men's soccer action Wednesday night.
Matadors’ Lone Goal Enough to Hold Off UC Riverside
Northridge, CA – CSUN Athletics officially opened its new satellite athletic training facility on Thursday at an event featuring Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Steven Grech, student-athletes, coaches, staff and campus partners.
Matadors Student-Athletes Welcome New Training Facility
Want unique gifts and a shopping experience unlike any other?
Nov. 18-19: City’s Annual Two-Day Fine Craft Show
City officials gathered Wednesday for the Grand Opening of "Three Oaks," the first 100 percent affordable family development in Santa Clarita.
Affordable Housing Comes to Santa Clarita
The Gibbon Conservation Center will celebrate Halloween for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 28: Gibbon Conservation Center Celebrates First Halloween
California State University, Northridge is partnering with the California State University Entertainment Alliance to host a morning of workshops designed to offer students and members of the public advice on building successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Oct. 23: CSUN Workshop; Succeeding in Entertainment Industry
Spotlight Arts Center, a local non-profit that provides free performing and visual arts classes to children in the Santa Clarita Valley, will hold its Fall Festival, Sunday, Oct. 22 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Oct. 22: Fall Festival Spotlight Arts Center
The College of the Canyons Athletics department is inviting all players, coaches and cheerleaders associated with a Santa Clarita Valley youth sports league or cheer organization to attend Saturday's Cougar football game free of charge.
Oct. 21: SCV Youth Teams Invited to Free COC Football Game
College of the Canyons freshmen Joanna Roecker and Cassandra Lee both turned in scores of 79 to lead the Cougars to a second place team finish at the Western State Conference (WSC) event hosted by Glendale College at Brookside Golf Course on Monday.
COC Falls Short at WSC Glendale
Beginning Monday, October 23, 2017, the city of Santa Clarita will increase the frequency of street sweeping throughout all areas of the City.
Oct. 23: City Begins Increased Street Sweeping Frequency
In a battle for Western State Conference, East Division supremacy, it was College of the Canyons that came out on top Tuesday night, as the Cougars scored two second half goals to secure a 2-0 win against visiting Antelope Valley College. Justine Hoeft and Jennifer Roney collected goals for the Cougars (11-2, 2-0).
COC Secures Win Against AVC With Two Second-Half Goals
The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Buckweed Fires offers Santa Clarita residents a reminder of the ever-present fire danger in Los Angeles County, as blazes ravage the northern half of the state, as well.
Officials Reflect on 10-Year Anniversary of Buckweed Fires
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, with help from a Smartphone GPS system, were able to locate a lost hiker Wednesday night at Towsley Canyon.
Smartphone GPS Locates Lost Towsley Canyon Hiker