Dateline: Conyers, GA, April 1, 2009 -- I’m at one of life’s many turning points. This past weekend, I sequestered myself inside my Secret Mountain Laboratory to fully digest the peer-reviewed literature of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and other scholars with strong feelings on climate change.
OMG, they’re right! And I’m wrong!
First of all, I’ve really come to mistrust Big Climate. You know, the cabal of scientists that keep trotting out peer-reviewed research and on-the-ground observations to press their claims that the climate is changing. It’s the oldest trick in the world: Get virtually every relevant scientific body in the world to verify what you’re saying, and people will inevitably start to buy into it. What a scam. These scientists have clearly had their heads turned by the promise of research grants to study climate some more. The oil and coal industries have tried their best to grow their own research, but there’s no way they can keep up with the bottomless resources on the scientists’ side. The fossil fuel guys are just trying to make an honest living; they can’t possibly compete with a global conspiracy of coldblooded scientists who are just in it for the money.
Secondly, there are just some things I don’t want to be associated with. Back in 2003, Senator Jim Inhofe first exposed Big Climate as “the greatest hoax ever played on the American people.” You go, senator.
In this 2006 interview, the senator played the Fuhrer card, revealing that climate change proponents were taking their cues from the “Big Lie” theory espoused by Hitler in Mein Kampf. So if you believe in climate change, you’re for Hitler. Count me out. That guy was a jerk.
So anyway, for the sake of argument, let’s say global warming is real. Here’s the worst that could happen. The Greening Earth Society was a group that played this game: Yep, CO2’s increasing. Absolutely, it’s going to make things hotter. But this is a good thing. Agriculture will boom. People in Winnipeg and Oslo will be able to grow their own citrus fruit. And this is bad? Unfortunately, the Greening Earth Society disappeared in 2005. Its boss, Fred Palmer, had to go back to his day job as a coal lobbyist.
Then I took another look through the “Petition Project,” a gathering of 31,000 postcard signatures of scientists who don’t believe climate change is a problem -- and that, like the Greening Earth Society, altering the chemistry of our atmosphere might actually be a good thing. This is doubly reassuring. 1) It’s not going to happen and 2) when it happens, it will be pretty cool. No pun intended.
The petition doesn’t get hung up on credentials -- science degrees in just about anything are given equal weight. Now that’s diversity. I focused on one of the signers, Chris Bern, a small-animal veterinarian right here in Georgia. He’s a blogger, and it’s clear that he really cares about animals. Seems like a nice guy. And he’s a scientist, so he knows what he’s talking about on climate. Who am I to disagree?
Well, I have to go. We have a fifteen year-old arthritic cat, and I have to bring him to the climate scientist’s office now.
Happy April Fool’s Day.
Peter Dykstra is the former executive producer of CNN's Science, Tech and Weather Unit. He writes three columns for MNN: Media Mayhem on Mondays, Political Habitat on Wednesdays, and Green States on Fridays. (Yes, he writes a lot.)