Friday, October 30, 2009

The Push of Politics into Global Warming

It is with great sadness that I have witnessed the push of politics especially from pro-business and libertarian groups against the science of global warming.

People that I respected in economics or business have been irresponsible in their approach to climate change. They have let their political views or perhaps intellectual laziness color the facts about global warming.

While there may be debate about the solution to global warming, it is completely clear that the world is warming extraordinarily fast. It is quite clear that carbon dioxide emissions are a significant cause.

It is not clear at all what to do about it. The science does not say how to fix the problem, or even if it should be fixed.

My foundation for my scientific conclusion is the American Chemical Society statement on global warming which I think is a well considered, balanced and even conservative reaction to global warming. Of course I have been a member of ACS for sometime, and I consider them to be sound organization, that is not taken to extremism. It is a political lobbying organization, but in this case its position paper does not support its short term best interests.

The ACS statement is based on the less prescriptive statements by the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.  There is even a statement of eleven national academies of science including the AAAS supporting the scientific consensus on global warming.

Climate change is well-estabilished like the atomic theory, or that the earth is round or that the moon orbits the earth. I am concerned that the equivalent of flat-earthers or those who believe the moonlanding was a hoax, have too much credibility in this debate.

In the face of this unified statement of the scientific community, we find rogue economists like Freakonomics authors Levitt & Dubner spinning professional economics with pop science into a disheartening politically prescription.