Lack of Intellectual Integrity Harms the Case for Global Warming

or “Why I’m Still A Climate Change Skeptic”

It must be great to be a climate change believer.You get to boldly declare your alignment with the “A” team, the smartest minds and greatest strategic thinkers of our time, or so we’ve been told.You get praise from big government (at least under the current US administration) and get to hang out with old hippies who sail up and down the Hudson River playing folk music and singing songs about Mother Earth and fighting the good fight.

Unfortunately, I can’t count myself in, but I’m not exactly out either.I’m on the fence and that’s a problem for me.My science and engineering education taught me enough about pv=nrt and the partial pressure law of gasses to know you can’t just keep dumping airborne crud and gasses into a fixed volume of anything without changing it’s composition.I’ve also been around long enough to see changes in the planet, but are those being caused by progressive man-made climate change or a normal natural cycle?

I know a lot of very smart people I admire greatly who are staunch climate change believers, and almost an equal number of equally smart engineers and scientists who swear it’s the greatest hoax ever perpetuated on modern humanity.I’ve been reading a great deal on the topic lately because I really DO want to understand both sides of the argument with the hope that it will become clear and I’ll be able to join one crowd or another.

I’ve come to realize a big reason I continue to be a climate change skeptic is I question the integrity and the motives of the most vocal climate change advocates.I simply do not trust they are telling the truth.This is why:

  1. If the real goal were to reduce greenhouse gasses, then it would be logical that environmental leaders would advocate policies to reward low carbon behavior and penalize high carbon endeavors, regardless of the technology involved.Instead, environmental and political leaders have already chosen “winning technologies” of conservation, wind and solar energy. Insistence on these creates the impression that social redesign are the real goal, not saving the environment.If leaders were really serious about reducing carbon emissions they would create a technology neutral playing field that punishes carbon emissions and rewards low-carbon and carbon-free energy sources.

  2. Many of the most vocal proponents of man-caused climate change insist on solutions that won’t work.Despite massive investment in solar, wind, and conservation, there remains not a glimmer of hope that these can provide sufficient energy to replace fossil fuels, much less accommodate the energy requirements of the world’s growing population.The math just does not work.This virtually assures growing emissions from oil, gas, and coal.These facts cause me to wonder if the environmental movement created climate change as a means to promote their social and political agendas.

  3. The anti-nuclear movement creates a huge credibility problem for global warming advocates.Many of the same people who accuse “climate skeptics” of ignoring science are themselves ignoring facts that show nuclear fission is the safest form of large-scale energy production.They also continue to over state the dangers associated with radiation exposure even though growing evidence suggests old theories about the risks of low-level radiation exposure are flat out wrong.

  4. Governments are using the climate change mantra as an excuse to increase taxes and regulation, while spending tax revenues in ways that have nothing to do with reducing greenhouse gas emissions.In other cases they turn a blind eye to or even subsidize the worst CO2 emitters.

  5. I know I’m getting away from science in my last reason, but emotions can be just as great a factor in our beliefs as facts.I confess: I have such huge distrust in Al Gore that I have a difficult time believing in anything he says.Gore preaches conservation yet lives a lifestyle that is hundreds of times more carbon intensive than the average American.He tells people to buy carbon credits without disclosing his financial relationship with a company that sells them.He flies around the globe on CO2 spewing private jets when commercial air travel could do just fine.Finally, he promotes the carbon reduction “wedge” strategy yet intentionally omits one of the most important wedges of all: expanding nuclear energy.

On a side note, fortunately whether or not I believe in man-made climate change has little bearing on my support for nuclear energy. Even without the risk of global environmental collapse from the buildup of CO2 in our atmosphere and oceans, there are plenty of reasons we should be building more nuclear power plants, including

  • Reducing air pollution that causes mercury poisoning, acid rain, and airborne particulates blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide each year.

  • Reducing reliance on expensive imported petroleum products, and the negative impact that has on our nation’s economy.

  • Reducing reliance on a fuel supply that will become increasingly scarce and in demand as world population explodes.

  • Good jobs for more people. Nuclear energy facilities employ far more people than power plants that burn coal, oil or gas. The expense of operating a nuclear plant is chiefly in the salaries of the people who work there.  By contrast, most of the cost of operating a gas or coal plant is the cost of the fuel.

With this in mind, you can help me get off the fence on man-made climate change.Whether you are a climate change believer or a climate change denier, I’m interested in hearing from you.Please take a few minutes to post a comment here or on the Facebook fan page to share your thoughts – do you believe in man-caused climate change and why? If there was a turning point in your belief, what was it and how did it come about? When possible provide links to references that make the case supporting your position.

Thank you for your help!

John Wheeler

This Week in Nuclear

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Author: John Wheeler

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