Originally Published: June 30, 2016 6 a.m.
Ah, the Great American Global Warming debate! The recent letter from Mr. J. Mike Byrd, “CO2 & climate change,” states 31,000 scientists say no to global warming. Unfortunately, Mr. Byrd did not identify who these scientists are.
Could they be scientists from the oil, gas and coal industries? Facts not in evidence! And that is the problem with this debate. Humanity is facing an event that has no historical facts to fall back on.
Therefore, “scientists” and “experts” can kind of make up the “facts.” I can find websites that state “facts” that the earth is going into another ice age. Some people explain away the current events that are happening, melting glaciers, weird weather, rising seas, etc. saying these events have been happening for centuries. The only reason they appear so prevalent today is due to storm chasers and cellphone cameras.
But there is one historical event that somewhat parallels this debate; 60 to 100-plus years ago man decided to deposit hazardous waste onto the earth. One would assume there was a group of people back then who advised against these actions, but those doing the dumping believed that no harm could come from their actions. Now the facts prove them wrong. As of 2014, the EPA has identified 1,300 Superfund sites across the USA. Estimated cleanup costs? Incalculable, but probably in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
So here is an example of a group of “deniers” from the past who thought they knew what they were doing, but failed miserably. And we have factual events happening today from these past actions; a) The reported 2015 mine waste pollution of Colorado’s Animas River, and b) the reported Flint, Michigan, lead problem from the Flint River. There are countless more.
Another fact is that the deniers of global warming, including Mr. Byrd, will not be around to know if they were right or wrong, kind of like our past polluters. Our grandchildren and great great-grandchildren are the people who will look back and judge the proponents and deniers of global warming.
I think it is truly disingenuous to take a position on something that you will have no accountability for your position while you are alive. The majority of humanity on earth sincerely hopes and prays that the global warming deniers are correct. But they also fear, for the sake of future generations, that these present day deniers are following the same path as the pollution deniers of the past, and all hell will break lose in 100 plus years.
If the Superfund total cost cleanup is in the hundreds of billions of dollars, one can only imagine the cost to “fix” the impact of global warming in 150 years.
William Von Rohr