Comments about ‘What would Galileo do? The new EPA guidelines and global warming deniers’

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Published: Friday, June 13 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Thursday, June 12 2014 7:03 p.m. MDT

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Durham, NC

Wow....I am surprised. A well thought out position on climate change on the DN. I think all scientist can agree something is going on. It is the natural state of the planet... change. What is most in debate is cause, mans contribution to that cause (if any), and what we should do about it.

Unfortunately politics gets involved here.... and logic, reasoning, and scientific method all get tossed in exchange for pithy slogans and agenda driven rhetoric. There is considerable yet we need to know, but at the same time there is plenty of actionable evidence to which we should be responding to. We know lead, mercury, all sorts of heavy metals, all are bad for people and the environment. Lets act on what we know, and objectively research what we don't.... and leave political aspirations and agendas out of it.

Louisville, KY

Exactly. Thank you.

clearfield, UT

Yes science needs skeptics. Especially when science and politics are so closely mingled.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

American corporations have a long history of paying slick public relations spokesmen and outlier scientists to promote dangerous products.

The good old petroleum industry fought off efforts to remove the potent neurotoxin lead in gasoline, until 1995. They funded scientists to do alternative research showing that lead was a naturally occurring part of our environment.

Similar tactics were used to allay public fears about the dangers of smoking. (warning label in 1966), asbestos (partially banned in 1989) and lead in paint. (mostly banned in 1978)

It is critical that public opinion be shaped by the best data available, and not by pr campaigns funded by greedy special interests.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

The unfortunate results of these EPA restrictions on energy production will be massive increases in the cost of living, especially for food and higher unemployment (your job will be affected as well)! The poor of the earth will be effected most! You might need your food storage after all, compliments of a climate change hoax! So unnecessary and so contrived, driven by junk science and political agendas! Brace yourselves folks, its going to be very difficult to eat and stay warm.

salt lake city, UT

Excellent editorial and an accurate description of deniers and so many people of power in the GOP. The GOP has become the party where ignorance is revered and a badge of honor. Teddy Roosevelt would have nothing to do with today's GOP.

Buena Vista, VA

I teach college biology. In my nonmajor class we also discuss how science is done. When politics is mixed in, science suffers. Many scientists support AGW because they must "toe the line" to be accepted by peers or even employed. The IPCC reports are authored by bureaucrats, not scientists, many of whom disagree with the conclusions. It is true, some "deniers" may be ignoring evidence, but that is at least as true for ardent supporters, like Gore, who will not even debate the issue (hmm, I wonder what he is afraid of?) Debate is scientific, but refusal to debate is not scientific. Fearmongering is not scientific. Blaming every weather anomaly (too warm, too cold, etc) on AGW is not scientific, since it is not falsifiable. So many people today cite hurricane Sandy as "proof" of AGW. It is no such thing. It was only a category I. Hurricanes have always existed. Contrary to Gore's predictions, hurricanes have DEcreased. The computer climate models have been wrong. They don't explain the 15 years of nonwarming we've had. The gross overstatements of AGW supporters have convinced many skeptics to react by becoming deniers.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

The trouble with "climate change" is the lack of scientific research and having most scientists on board. Not everyone's research matches up. There are too many holes and conflicts in the argument. The other issue is, a scientist can explain how something is happening and other scientists can look at the same data and duplicate it. You look for holes in arguments. Once it is nearly impossible to find a hole, then it is considered fact, until someone can prove otherwise.

The fact is there is little data and consensus among scientist on what if anything is happening. They're still trying to figure out if farting cows are the problem. A volcano produces more emissions than humans. Why don't we focus on plugging up a volcano?

The issue I have, is the climate change side is making big money off the federal government, which is borrowing money on our backs to pay for programs that have had zero progress. We can store millions of songs on a phone, but, can't figure out a better battery or solar power? Exactly what have they been doing with the money?

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT


Even the Chamber of Commerce study couldn't come up with those "massive" cost of living increases, though I'm sure they tried. This is the sort of fear-mongering conservatives are using to try to keep us on the drill, baby, drill program big oil wants.

Lots of people, including some commenters here, claim there is still a big debate going on. But that debate is all going on in a small corner of conservative politics. The scientists are strangely almost unanimous on the issue, and those few studies that point the other direction usually end up being funded by Exxon-Mobil and its friends. Surprise. Barry Bickmore, cited in this article, is a scientist who has looked at the actual science, not simply what is being reported in the news. I'll trust him on this one.

Durham, NC

RG.... the problem is that you did eactly what you complain about by injecting Al Gore into the issue. He hasn't been on the forefront of this issue for some time now. Resurrecting his name is doing exactly what you claim you don't want - inserting politics into the fray. He is not a scientist, never claimed to be a scientist - even after staying at a Holiday Inn.

Al Gore is irrelevant. He is a politician, and that is it.

We know man impacts the environment. This is not in debate. It is to what extent, and the implications of that impact are what is being debated. We know Fukashima has a long term impact on that part of Japan. We know the impact of deceased wetlands on water quality. We know the harm airborne and waterborne mercury has. We know the impacts of smog to the respirator system. There is plenty we agree upon - debating Al Gore is totally unproductive.

We don't know the source, nor the long term impact of global warming. And that is why further research is the justified thing to do.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Liberal Ted: "Not only does volcanic CO2 not dwarf that of human activity, it actually comprises less than 1 percent of that value."--Source: US Geological Survey

Had you been writing prior to the industrial revolution, you would have been correct. At that point volcanic CO2 emissions did exceed that of human activity.

Salt Lake City, UT

Thank you, Mary Barker, Barry Bickmore, and the many others doing what they can to bring some sense and action to the problem.

The good news is that most of the kids - the youth - understand. They may keep quiet, but they are tired of hearing ideologies, obsolete assumptions, and reality denial from their parents, many of their teachers, many of their bishops and priests, and most of our state so-called leaders. The kids know better - they'll come through.

Keep up the good work.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

"... deniers try to minimize the issue and attack the scientific enterprise. Mocking is common. "

Very true. Calling those who do not believe in "Climate Change" deniers is mocking.

The very first thing I ever heard about global warming was "the debate is over". When one party starts a debate by saying the debate is over, I get suspicious.
Turn out that those who fund climate research only give grants to researchers who produce the desired results. In a few years all researchers, doing active research all agree, "There is Global Warming and it is caused by man" (or else I would lose my job).

I could go on, but why.

I wish the Deseret News would simply drop the name calling by stop using the term "Climate Denier". It is an attempt to mock and discredit by calling up a reference to holocaust deniers. Such name calling is beneath the dignity of any reputable newspaper.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Congratulations to the DNews for including the reasoned arguments of Mary Barker. A rare and delightful exception to the typical barrage of right-wing nuttiness that graces your pages.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

There was a report by 50 scientists who agreed 97% on global warming. Thousands of others vote for or against the idea of global warming. I would rather have warming than cooling. lt may also be true that alternatives such as photovoltaic is coming on strong and some interesting research on energy storage. I would love to have my own home energy and storage independent of the power company. I am all for research in this direction. But how do I respond to reports of antarctic melting when the antarctic in other areas shows the greatest ice coverage in history. Or to reports of increased tornadoes in Oklahoma when there are fewer.?

Everett, 00

What would Galileo do? The new EPA guidelines and global warming deniers
By Mary Barker

For the Deseret News

[The most (only?) level headed reporter at the Deseret News -- Thanks Mary!]


Buena Vista, VA
I teach college biology. In my nonmajor class we also discuss how science is done. When politics is mixed in, science suffers.

[Interesting, You do not believe in Global Wrming, fine - you have your opinion --
as a "Scientist" and teaching biology in college --
I have to know your Scientific posititon regarding Evolution...]

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

re: Tucket

You may want to research the claim that total Antarctica ice is increasing.

There definitely is an increase in the seasonal SEA ICE that surrounds the much more massive LAND ICE of Antarctica.

It appears that the loss in land ice is exceeding the sea ice gains for a net loss in Antarctica ice, but don't take my work for it there is plenty of information about it on the internet.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

To the Rock: If the first thing you heard about global warming was that the debate was over, then you didn't listen to anything for decades. Nobel Prize winning Swedish physicist Svante Arrenhuis showed mathematically that increased CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to increased surface temperatures. He did this in 1896. A scientific panel presented a report on the dangers of global warming to president Lyndon Johnson. There have been 20,000+ studies published in peer reviewed scientific journals in the decades since then.

So after many decades of research, we can say the debate is over. Global warming is occurring, it is being either caused by, or greatly exacerbated by, human activity. The only real debate is about how bad things might get. If you didn't start paying attention till recently that's no excuse.

Buena Vista, VA

@Utah Blue Devil,
Gore is only an example of those who zealously promote the AGW hypothesis. I did not inject him into the debate, as you suggested; he injected himself, as have many others who know little about the subject. As you admit, he is NOT a scientist, and it shows. The reason he is still important is that he is the one who popularized the saying “the debate is over.” It is NOT over. Google Wallace Mayo’s May 17 Roanoke Times column (Mayo is a member of the American Meteorological Society) debunking the “97% of scientists agree with AGW” argument. What makes today’s scientists wiser than those in the 1970s who told us a new ice age was coming? Their ideas are based on climate models which have FAILED to predict our current temps or absence of warming for 15 years.

One other issue worth addressing is: Is warming (if it is happening) all bad? Sure it can cause all kinds of harm, but it will prevent all kinds of harm caused now by cold. I've seen studies where it will be a net benefit.

Buena Vista, VA

@ airnaut: you asked for my position on evolution. Not really related to AGW but: The evidence for evolution is incredibly strong, and I believe it happened. However, I also believe that God created the earth and its lifeforms. I don’t claim to know the exact way these two beliefs fit together. I am a bit unsure on how Adam’s body came to be, because I like Bruce R. McConkie’s literal interpretation of Moses 6:22. I agree with NIH director Francis Collins, an evolutionist, former atheist, and current Christian in many ways. I loved his books on the subject: The Language of God and The Language of Science and Faith. Unlike some biology teachers, I don’t require my students to “toe the line” to pass my class, however. They can make up their own minds, but they must know how evolution works.

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