VPIRG Member: Stop Denying Climate Change

In an editorial on Nov. 2,The Caledonian Record argued against building renewable wind projects in Vermont because “the science behind Shumlin’s ‘global warming’ fanaticism is, at best, unresolved.”1 In response, we ran an ad in their newspaper (politely) letting The Caledonian Record and its readers know that climate change is real, and that it is already contributing to unimaginable destruction in places far away and close to home.

Here’s another call for civility and honesty.

Food for Thought

Reprinted from the Caledonian Record
December17th, 2013

Marion Mohri of Wheelock is a VPIRG member. 

We can talk about global warming in the Caledonian Record until the cows come home and we’ll get no where. But let’s hope both sides can remain civil and stick to the truth. Unfortunately I’ve read some statements/opinions in the Caledonian Record that have given the truth a run for its money.

First, contrary to what Mr Sawhill says, the Vermont Public Interest Research Group did not accuse “the folks of the Northeast Kingdom” of anything! They expressed their opinion that the Caledonian Record, by denying the science of climate change, is promoting a lie. Mr Sawhill said he “looked” and found out the 300 signatures were VPRIG staff members. No, no, no! Those 300 names are some of their 25,000 members. VPIRG has a staff of 13. This illustrates the importance of checking one’s facts thoroughly.

In his column on Sept. 25, 2013, the Caledonian editor could hardly contain his joy to say that a “… leaked report, from International (I think he meant Intergovernmental) Panel on Climate Change, which reportedly contradicts many of the most influential claims made in its 2007 report — namely that the world has stopped warming.”

Did the editor bother to address the entire report when it was released? Not in a million years! Here is one of many conclusions in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers: “Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes. This evidence for human influence has grown since AR4. It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

Our editor also cites the 2014 Old Farmers Almanac as saying this winter is going to be really cold. It may be the “longest continuously published periodical in the county,” Mr Editor, but it is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal! Plus you seem to display a lack of understanding between climate and weather. Yes, Fox News loves to say, “So much for global warming,” every time there’s a cold spell, but that simply displays ignorance. Climate is about long term trends and weather is what’s happening day by day. This week’s cold spell in Dallas does not mean global warming in a hoax!

And yet John McClaughry insists: “Believe me, I have tested that statement (i.e., there is no evidence that human release of greenhouse gases has any detectable effect on global temperatures) for most of a decade, and if I could find any evidence, I wouldn’t be repeating that statement.” You must not be looking in the right place, John, because the evidence seems pretty overwhelming.

Follow the money! Who are the global warming deniers? Just like seven presidents and CEO’s of America’s largest tobacco companies who swore under oath in Harry Waxman’s Congressional Hearing in 1994 that “Cigarettes are not addictive,” it is the CEO’s of oil, gas and coal companies who insist that, even if the globe is warming a little bit, it is not related to human activity and certainly has nothing to do with fossil fuels! The infamous oil industry brothers, Charles and David Koch, who have assets of $78 billion, are big climate change deniers. Follow the money!

Does mankind treat the earth with respect? Remember when the Cuyahoga River started on fire in 1969 (for the 13th time)? Look at photos of our American cities full of smog. Drive along Vermont’s highways when the snow melts and see beer cans, garbage, Christmas trees and trash beyond belief. We treat the earth as though it is an expendable commodity. We show little respect for it.

Perhaps everyone on both sides of the climate change issue should ask this question: What if I’m wrong? If the global warming deniers are wrong and we do nothing, the consequences may be catastrophic.

If the global warming “fanatics” are wrong but we’ve put pollution controls into place, what harm have we done? On the issue of global warming, I choose to err on the side of caution!

 

¹ Caledonian Record, Editorial: “A Wind Shift?” Published 11/2/2013.