Why does Kauai’s local paper keep publishing this propaganda from international fossil fuel industry lobbyists like Tom Harris? “Failure inevitable for pro-coal rally” (Aug. 14).
He’s an invited speaker at Heartland Institute events, funded by fossil fuel, tobacco, and big pharma industries.
In the 1990s, Heartland was similarly denying the science linking smoking with lung cancer. The same people, same tactics, same lack of morals: defending moneyed interests despite the harm they cause.
Every major, relevant scientific organization in America has an official position that human-caused climate change is real, it’s a problem, and it’s only going to get worse (AAAS, AMS, AGU, AIP, etc). Add government scientists at NASA, NWS, and USGS to list.
Ninety-seven percent of all climate scientists, the ones actively doing peer-reviewed research, agree. This is about as much as consensus as you can get among scientists (e.g. a small minority medical researchers still think HIV doesn’t cause AIDS; a few Ph.D.s in biology deny evolution, etc.).
Scientists concluded in the late 1800s that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. You can test this yourself. Fill a bottle with air and another with CO2 and shine a heat lamp on them. The one with CO2 gets hotter. (you can see it done here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwtt51gvaJQ) The scientific evidence is rock solid. The warming we see today is essentially and consistently what was predicted 20, 30, 40, even 50 years ago.
The oceans are storing the majority of the heat from global warming and ocean heat content has risen dramatically. In 2014, the planet saw the hottest June on record on the heels of the hottest May on record. Globally, 13 of the 14 hottest years on record occurred in the 21st century. These are easily verifiable facts. And, it will keep getting warmer.
What to do about it? Simple: Cut fossil fuels and go with renewable energy. Sure, some coal jobs will be lost but more green jobs will be gained. Multiple studies have concluded this. Kauai residents would rather have local jobs and local green energy sources than continue shipping our money to the Middle East. Coal and oil companies will lose money but the rest of our economy will do better. Isn’t it obvious that coal and other fossil fuel companies will fight this transition, even if it’s better for everyone else?
Steve Taylor, Ph.D. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Asst. professor of physical sciences at Kauai Community College.