Columns / Discourse / February 1, 2012

Observing America: Ending the climate blacklist

Global warming is a contentious issue. There are those who believe that men cause it; others believe that this strange weather pattern is caused by a natural process and those who are in between.

But there are some organizations that are very exclusive on this controversial debate. For them the science is settled: man causes global warming. The organization that demonizes global warming “deniers” is Forecast the Facts.

This organization is led by 350.org, the League of Conservation of Voters, and the Citizen Engagement Lab. Their main goal is to find meteorologists who believe that global warming is caused by natural means and reprimand them (http://forecastthefacts.org/about/). In other words, their purpose is to blacklist them and remove them from the meteorological community.

ThinkProgress agrees with Forecast. Their publication stated, “These climate denier meteorologists are betraying the public’s trust and distorting America’s airwaves with ideological science denial.” (http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/30/global-warming-activists-seek-to-purge-deniers-among-local-weathermen/#ixzz1l4XgY72i)

Why? Because there is a recent poll that shows that there is no scientific consensus. In fact, there is a scientific discussion. According to a Washington Post poll conducted by George Mason University, 63 percent of television meteorologists believe that global warming is a natural process and 31 percent believe that it is directly caused by human means. The ridiculous thing about this is that meteorologists only track short-term temperature changes. They are not in charge of historical climate data. (http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/30/global-warming-activists-seek-to-purge-deniers-among-local-weathermen/)

Another problem with their campaign is intellectual freedom. Who is to say whether science is right or wrong? Meteorologists have a right to hold different views from others. Plus the science is not settled. There are climatologists who believe that climate change is caused by a natural process. They point out that the sun and the oceans cause temperatures to increase. (http://www.regentsearthscience.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1016&Itemid=119)

For full disclosure, I personally believe in climate change because there are areas in the world where temperatures have increased and others where they have decreased. However, I don’t solely blame human activity for it.

Sure, there are industries that pollute and release gases that damage the environment but the climate change discussion is not done. This doesn’t mean that the U.S. shouldn’t come up with alternative energy sources and diversify the energy market. What it does mean is that, if the government wants to restructure the economy like the Kyoto Protocol then the science has to be settled.

Policymakers need to know whether human activity is the ultimate factor. Since scientists are not fully convinced, the debate should carry on and should not exclude individuals who have differing opinions. It is important to know how the problem is caused before addressing it.

Blacklisting professionals because of their views on climate change is not the answer. Discussion on poignant issues like these should be encouraged. Environmentalists need to be open for debate, as should laissez-faire advocates. But it’s actions like these that add to the toxic political situation. The far left and far right tend to grab the attention. Forecast the Facts grabbed the media’s attention today.

Alex Uzarowicz
Alex Uzarowicz has been a weekly conservative political columnist for The Knox Student for three years. He also writes for The College Conservative. Alex will graduate in June 2013 with a degree in political science, after which he will head abroad to begin his Peace Corps service.


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