Friday, December 5, 2014

I'm not a scientist

Climate scientists are certainly seen by most laypeople as boring, and sometimes even irrelevant, when they describe increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and other “greenhouse gases,” the decreasing pH of oceans, Milankovitch cycles, climate forcings, positive and negative feedbacks, etc., without saying why we should care.
 But when these same scientists put their findings in context relative to current and projected consequences of global warming, e.g.: melting ice sheets and rising sea levels, the bleaching of coral reefs and die off of the aquatic life they support, extended droughts, dwindling ice pack, water shortages, increased prevalence and extent of wildfires, extreme weather events, and the attendant human and economic impact of anthropogenic global warming, they are labeled, "alarmists."
If climate scientists venture to suggest government action to address climate change, politicians (primarily but not exclusively on the right) tell them to stick to the science and leave policy to the "experts," that is, politicians. These same politicians when pressed on why they refuse to address global warming invariably begin their reply, "I'm not a scientist..." My response to that sort of dissembling is, "Then shut the fuck up and listen to the scientists."

No comments: