Up until quite recently I had been inclined to credit the hysteria in the scientific community about global warming as legitimate.
After all, I believe in good science and I had no reason to doubt that these climate experts were rational, reasonable and responsible individuals. Moreover, my own observations about the global climate seemed to confirm what the scientists were saying.
Sure, there were some convincing climate-change skeptics. But they mostly seemed to be right-wing buffoons funded by corporate special interests. When the hand that feeds you requires contrary research, you produce contrary “research.”
But a couple of events of recent weeks and my own more recent experience of climate have given me cause to pause.
The first event was the revelation that former U.S. vice-president Al Gore has become a billionaire off of his climate-change scaremongering endeavours.
Anytime a failed former politician becomes extremely wealthy off a “worthwhile cause,” the worthiness of the cause comes into question. And anytime a “worthwhile cause” becomes a stream of corporate profits, the worthiness of the cause comes even more into question.
For some, like Al Gore, scaremongering about global warming has become a very profitable profession.
The second event that gave me cause to pause in my assumptions about global warming was the revelation that an Internet hacker had accessed more than 1,000 e-mails among top “climate-change experts” proving that the scientific community has been fudging the facts on global warming. Specifcally, they have attempted to conceal more recent data suggesting that the earth may no longer be warming.
And, finally, my own experience living in southwestern Ontario in the last few years has dispelled any notions that my own particular neck of the woods is warming up very rapidly.
All that is not to say that climate change is not occurring. The reality is that climate change has been a global phenomenon since time immemorial. At all time, the Earth has oscillated to and fro between ice ages. Those gargantuan climate swings largely occurred long before man walked the face of the Earth and certainly long before man could be a significant contributor to climate change.
Mankind probably does have some small effect on climate. But compared to the massive solar and galactical influences, mankind’s effect is probably quite minimal.
That is not to say, however, that we should cede all efforts to create a greener global environment. Whether or not the Earth is warming, it is certainly becoming extremely polluted and poisonous.
And let us not forget that most of the leading climate-change skeptics are financed by corporations with a vested financial interest in maintaining the environmental status quo and thwarting any effort to limit their ability to pollute and despoil the Earth.
Certainly, the corporate environmental criminals should not be let off the hook. But nor should we become consumed by a panic over global warming.
The ultimate conclusion is that we should all beware petty profiteers posing as climate prophets and all act a little more responsibly toward our shared planetary home.