LETTER: Wrong side of climate science
June 6, 2017
The Trump administration is on the wrong side of climate science, public opinion and economic facts about clean energy. Ninety-seven percent of climate experts worldwide agree humans are causing global warming. This is based on an overwhelming body of rigorously vetted scientific evidence built on direct measurements of many different parts of the climate, past and present. Gallup's 2016 environmental poll reports that now 64 percent of U.S. adults say they are worried a great deal or fair amount about global warming and 59 percent believe the effects of global warming have already begun. Sixty-five percent say human activities, rather than natural causes, are increasing global temperatures. Only 10 percent say that global warming effects will never happen.
Since the 1970s there has been a well-organized and generously funded (mostly by Big Oil) denial industry whose mission is to refute global warming, confuse the public and manufacture doubt. The primary deniers are the fossil fuel industry, right-wing media pundits, the GOP, most Republican legislators, conservative think tanks and 43 deceptively named denier organizations worldwide, such as the Global Climate Coalition. The deniers' "facts" come from pseudo scientists, anti-science ideologues and non-scientists. The news media has aided deniers by focusing on the controversy rather than the science. However, the deniers have never produced an alternative argument that has held up to intensive scientific scrutiny. The skepticalscience.com website gives scientific answers to 195 denier arguments.
President Trump is a denier. He has filled his cabinet and staff with deniers. Now he has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord and has rescinded, by executive orders, most of President Obama's climate policies. The U.S. could be the world leader in the manufacture and use of alternative energy, which would create numerous jobs (currently more than the fossil fuel industry), but Trump still embraces and promotes dirty energy. Our withdrawal from the Paris Accord now cedes world leadership of the green revolution to China with the support of all the remaining countries in the Accord. Fortunately there is hope. U.S. cities, States, businesses and citizens are poised to fill the void created by Trump's anti-environmental policies and move forward without the federal government.
– Melinda McWilliams, Fraser