Out-of-state climate-change deniers attack Vicki Walker

By Eric Stillwell of Eugene, Oregon. Eric describes himself as a 'writer who lives in Eugene, where he graduated from the University of Oregon in 1985 with what he believes was an ironically appropriate "BS" in Political Science.' He spent 20 years working in Hollywood on shows like "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "The Dead Zone", and returned to Eugene in 2005.

It seems odd to me that so many out-of-state climate-change deniers would be interested in Eugene’s local newspaper. Even I didn’t read The Register Guard after I graduated from the University of Oregon and moved to Hollywood in the late 1980s. But now that I’m back, I’m a subscriber.

Still, the steady stream of letter writers who’ve come out of the woodwork to defend George Taylor of the Oregon Climate Service and his doubts about the degree of human responsibility for global warming, don’t seem to be the kind of people who drop into Marché Café each morning for an espresso and the latest edition of Eugene’s daily.

I mean, seriously.

One of the letter authors this week was a Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and another one was a Consulting Meteorologist from Sacramento. Maybe Taylor called in a few favors from the last handful of scientists left on Earth who don’t believe that humans have played a significant role in climate change. Or perhaps there is a secret society of climate-change deniers who track these things and then respond en mass like the operatives of a campaign war room during an election cycle. It makes one wonder if they would all make a pilgrimage to Tehran if President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were to sponsor an international conference for climate change deniers.

Apparently these out-of-state “scientists” were offended when our State Senator Vicki Walker (D-Eugene) made remarks, published in the same newspaper, criticizing Taylor for his atypical beliefs on global warming. I imagine they were really upset when the world’s leading scientists released their new report on climate change last week in Paris.

It hasn’t been a good year so far for climate change deniers. First the Democrats regained control of the U.S. Congress and the Oregon House, then Al Gore was nominated for an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to educate the world about the adverse effects of global warming.

Now Vicki Walker criticizes one of their own. What is the world coming to?

The debate about whether there has been human influence on climate change is over.

There is no reason to waste any more time or newsprint writing to The Register Guard to try and convince us otherwise.

Besides, what harm could possibly come from an effort to reduce greenhouse gases in our atmosphere? Even if we spent a trillion dollars on our collective efforts and it turns out humans really don’t have any influence on climate change, still the money would have been better spent than fighting wars in the Middle East. And the result would be bluer skies, cleaner air and healthier lives for the 6 billion people already living on the planet, and the next 3 billion that will be joining us by mid century.

The success of green industries will create millions of new jobs and become the leading indicators of a healthy, growing, and sustainable economy. And at the very least, any effort to reduce our dependency on foreign oil will bring us a real step closer to insuring our own national security and eliminating the need to fight wars over petroleum.

Personally, I’m very pleased to have Vicki Walker as my State Senator, and I appreciate her leadership in fighting global warming at the State level.

I encourage Blue Oregon readers in the southern Willamette Valley to come out and show your support for our State leaders. Senator Walker will be co-hosting a Town Hall Forum with Eugene’s State Representatives Chris Edwards and Nancy Nathanson on Saturday, February 17th. They will be joined by Lane County Commissioner Bill Fleenor. The forum will begin at 1:00 PM at the Irving Grange, 1011 Irvington Road.

  • lin qiao (unverified)

    In the blogosphere, and on newspaper editorial pages, there are exceedingly few scientifically motivated "rejectionists". I think what you have instead are people with political and ideological axes to grind, who seize whatever tool meets their needs, and who attack anyone and any idea that stands in the way. What I really see a lot of are doctrinaire quasi-libertarians who worship "free markets" and oppose anything in the way of government involvement in, well, just about anything. They hate on principle the idea that government, and especially INTERNATIONAL bodies, might do anything that goes against their doctrine. Well, the unavoidable inference from climate-change science is that things need to change and that governments need to be involved. They hate this, but instead of saying, OK, the science seems sounds but we disagree with the policy, they attack the science. Of course, they don't do this by intelligently critiquing the science, but by attacking the messengers, nitpicking the scientific literature that they have seen (on some 3rd/4th....party website somewhere), and trying to force all discussion into a "debate" format.

    Then there's the hate-Al-Gore crowd, more or less synonymous with the hate-the-Clintons crowd. They can't stand Gore and refuse to believe that anything he's associated with could be worth their consideration.

  • Al (unverified)

    President Ahmadinejad's real views are summarized on this website: ahmadinejadquotes.blogspot.com

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)

    "...The debate about whether there has been human influence on climate change is over..."

    Yeah, just like the origins of the universe, evolution, causes of cancer, obesity, mental illness, microbiology, quantum mechanics, etc...

    Nice to see all the tolerant and open-minded global warming alarmists wanting to stifle debate and alternative opinions.

  • Eric Stillwell (unverified)

    Science isn't an opinion.

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)

    I'll give you that. "Opinion" was a bad word choice on my part.

    However, there are multiple theories that attempt to explain all kinds of scientific phenomenon. It's very ignorant to say "Humans caused global warming" when there are all kinds of competing theories out there.

  • (Show?)

    Hey, I found a righty who's worried about climate change:

      Rep Mark Kirk, R-Ill., said taking a bigger air force plane "appears to remove any spending controls from our operations and dramatically increases our impact on the environment, especially climate change." —All Headline News
    I suppose Kirk's next step will be to propose that Pelosi commute by bicycle. Yeah bikes! What an opportunity for bipartisanship!

  • Eric Stillwell (unverified)

    Chris: I didn't say that humans caused global warning. If you re-read your own post quoting me (above), you'll note that I said that humans have had an influence on climate change. An entirely different point entirely.

    However, if you believe that humans have had no influence on climate after more than a century of pumping millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere, then you'll have to forgive me if I think that "opinion" is ignorant.

  • (Show?)

    "It's very ignorant to say "Humans caused global warming" when there are all kinds of competing theories out there."

    Really? What are they, and which credible climatologists claim that to be the case?

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)

    Take your pick:


  • (Show?)

    Been there, done that. The proper page is actually this one, and I found a mere 2 climatologists, period. You'll have to substantiate why they're credible.

    Most of the rest are utter crackpots like Frederick Seitz, whose bosses at RJR Reynolds Tobacco fired him in the EIGHTIES because they said he'd lost the ability to think rationally.

  • Anthony (unverified)

    Great piece - and I'm still wondering just how one gets to call themselves "State Climatologist", as George Taylor is listed, on the Oregon Climate Service website. The title implies some sort of association with state government, which apparently does not exist. The OCS, according to their website, is "affiliated" with OSU's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences (COAS) and part of their mission is "To educate the people of Oregon on current and emerging climate issues". I think it's scary that a group affiliated with a major university, and a mission to educate, can ignore so much scientitic data on global warming.

  • jim karlock (unverified)

    lin qiao: In the blogosphere, and on newspaper editorial pages, there are exceedingly few scientifically motivated "rejectionists". torridjoe Really? What are they, and which credible climatologists claim that to be the case?

    JK: Have you checked realclimate.org, the web site run by (or for) the well respected “scientist”, Michael Mann, the father of Al Gore’s hockey stick? It has a pretty good debunking of the CO2 link - you see, there is this little problem that, in the past, CO2 has NOT risen until AFTER 800 years of warming, making CO2 NOT the cause of warming. Check out this BS explanation, apparently from Al Gore’s source:

    At least three careful ice core studies have shown that CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature during glacial terminations. These terminations are pronounced warming periods that mark the ends of the ice ages that happen every 100,000 years or so.

    Does this prove that CO2 doesn't cause global warming? The answer is no.

    The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.

    The 4200 years of warming make up about 5/6 of the total warming. So CO2 could have caused the last 5/6 of the warming, but could not have caused the first 1/6 of the warming.

    It comes as no surprise that other factors besides CO2 affect climate. Changes in the amount of summer sunshine, due to changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun that happen every 21,000 years, have long been known to affect the comings and goings of ice ages. Atlantic ocean circulation slowdowns are thought to warm Antarctica, also.

    From studying all the available data (not just ice cores), the probable sequence of events at a termination goes something like this. Some (currently unknown) process causes Antarctica and the surrounding ocean to warm. This process also causes CO2 to start rising, about 800 years later. Then CO2 further warms the whole planet, because of its heat-trapping properties. This leads to even further CO2 release. So CO2 during ice ages should be thought of as a "feedback", much like the feedback that results from putting a microphone too near to a loudspeaker.

    In other words, CO2 does not initiate the warmings, but acts as an amplifier once they are underway. From model estimates, CO2 (along with other greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O) causes about half of the full glacial-to-interglacial warming.

    from: realclimate.org/index.php?p=13

    Of course, another possibility is that CO2 comes out of the oceans as the oceans warm due to something unknown (maybe the sun?)- just like the fizz comes out of a carbonated drink when it gets warm. Occam’s razor anyone?

    Thanks JK

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