Those Democrats are out to get us. They are using fear of the unknown to draw us over to the dark side. In other words, they want us to believe that the world will overheat from unstoppable global warming if we don't listen to them and do exactly what they say by voting them into office. I'm sure of it.
At least, I'm sure that's what Ned Scarlet in his March 20 opinion would have you believe.
Being neither a Republican or Democrat, it's difficult for me to traverse the waters that divide these two dated parties, but that's partly because the gulf appears more like a gutter's stream worth of difference, not the gaping ocean some would have me believe. Global warming is not a political issue. It's a scientific one. Permit me a moment to look at it from that perspective.
Mr. Scarlet quotes only one person in his opinion...Thomas Sowell. What great scientific university did Dr. Sowell graduate from? Give up? Trick question...Thomas Sowell is not a scientist. He's a conservative political commentator. In the words of Nick Naylor in 'Thank you for Smoking', "[he] doesn't exactly sound like a credible expert, now does [he]? I'm not so sure Thomas Sowell is exactly an unbiased viewpoint in the Global Warming debate. At the very least, he is certainly not free from political bias as Mr. Scarlet accuses the Democrats.
I am led to believe from Mr. Scarlet's comments that he believes there is a great Democrat conspiracy in the scientific community. Apparently to Mr. Scarlet most every scientist in the world is:
1. a Democrat and
2. in on the conspiracy.
Unfortunately, contrary to Mr. Scarlet's point, much of the cited research is from international groups and none of it from the Democratic National Committee. They are groups that, like me, care little to nothing about the petty differences between Republicans and Democrats. In fact, one of the largest bodies to chime in on the debate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has been generally accused of holding a conservative bias and understating environmental danger for fear of begin "alarmist". Who are these great Democrat conspirators that Mr. Scarlet points to? If the findings from IPCC are what are being discussed (which they are), and they generally hold a conservative bias (which they do), and the anti-alarmist findings point to an "alarmist" viewpoint (which they do), where is the great Democratic Illuminati Cabal?
Mr. Scarlet states, "I do not believe we are responsible for any substantial global warming. Since proof of man made global warming is based on what some or many scientists believe, not what is fact, my belief is as sound as their belief."
There is a large distinction between theory and belief. According to science, gravity is a theory, but we all stick to the ground, don't we? But gravity is definitely not a belief. Theories are theories because they must undergo a rigorous peer-review process and because of this, there is some room for inconclusiveness. (Which means there is about a 10 percent chance for inconclusiveness on global warming, because the evidence points to a 90 percent or greater chance that current scientific thought is correct.) Scientists on both sides of the political spectrum must chime in with their best evidence (not belief) and hold it to the light of those who would disagree (and yes, that group even includes Republicans). The process is founded on evidence, repeatable testing, and proven facts.
It is probably safe to say that Mr. Scarlet does not hold his own beliefs to the same rigorous peer-reviewed process (though I commend him for writing into the opinion column, a form of peer-review). Therefore, I would conclude that his "belief" on global warming is not as "sound" as the scientific community's "theory".
And speaking of "theory", I'm the first to admit that scientific theories can be wrong. But you don't disprove a scientific theory with "sound belief". You disprove it with a better scientific theory. You don't argue away peer-reviewed scientific findings with a conservative (or liberal, for that matter) economic commentator such as Thomas Sowell. You argue it away with scientific fact.
Consequently, the greatest myth in the global warming debate is just that: there is a debate. There are very few scientists, Republican or Democrat, who disagree with the findings. There is no great conspiracy. To publish scientific research, a scientific theory must undergo rigorous scrutiny. That includes people from both sides of the political spectrum. Or is Mr. Scarlet saying that there are no Republican scientists?
Mr. Scarlet concluded with, "Folks are just going to have to realize the weather is one thing we can not control or change". I have one word to refute this sentence: chlorofluorocarbons. I enjoy the ozone layer too much to come to Mr. Scarlet's "realization". Of course, the erosion of the ozone was just a theory as well. Perhaps Mr. Scarlet would have us rely on "sound belief" rather than scientific theory for that one, too.
He says, "If the earth heats up or cools down, rest assured we will adapt." Thank you for your reassurance that we will adapt, Mr. Scarlet. That will help me to feel so cozy at night knowing that I've been "rest assured" by a "sound belief". Oh wait, I won't need your reassurance to feel warm and cozy...there's greater than a 90 percent chance that I'll have the temperature to do that.