In my position as environmental manager for one of the largest university systems in the U.S., I regularly make it a point to ask scientists and engineers working in the real world, solving real day-to-day problems and stewarding our natural resources and environment, about their professional views on the issues of climate and energy. Their responses almost uniformly reflect disagreement with, practically a disdain for, the climate alarmists’ and sustainability activists’ premise that manmade climate change is an imminent danger. Many further contend that humanity’s small contribution to a naturally warming world may be a net benefit. They also largely reject renewable energy, particularly wind, solar and biofuels, believing these to be currently unsuitable and costly alternatives to safe and affordable fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
Fear is a powerful emotion, and it is being used by environmental activists to try and manipulate the public conscience and political discourse. However, just as many other past doomsday predictions about impending environmental collapse have proven false, so shall the current climate alarmism likely prove unfounded, as is already being borne out by recent decades of unremarkable climate data. Precisely because the world in which we live is a vastly complex place full of complex processes at all scales from the subatomic to the global, mankind’s ability, even among the scientific community, to understand and reliably predict the future is weak at best. In that light, the arrogance (or ignorance) of the climate alarmist position is apparent. Wisdom and discernment do not require a college degree, and most people with significant life experience already smell a problem with climate hysteria. So don’t buy the snake oil.
Beyond that, why should you and I care? Unfortunately, this is not a mere academic exercise or Hollywood script. Climate alarmism leads to bad public policy which leads to poor energy decisions that harm many people, disproportionately the poor in this country and around the world. But climate is merely the tip of the political iceberg. Sustainability activists, under the cover of climate change fears, also promote an unbalanced and unjust social, economic and environmental legalism bent on degrading the moral fabric of our society and infringing on our natural and Constitutional rights and liberties as Americans.
Then what should you do about it? Don’t just believe what I say, but neither should you accept the carefully-woven myths and narratives of environmentalists, government agencies and even, regrettably, some formerly-esteemed scientific institutions. Ignore the brazenly biased, so-called environmental journalists. Dig deep. Question and examine. Challenge and debate. Offer civil and respectful discussion, even in the face of name-calling and ad hominem attacks. Vote at the ballot box and with your pocketbook. Tell others. Fear not.