Cautious scientists reach consensus on climate crisis

LaceyMarch 16, 2013 

Human beings have psychological defense mechanisms that make it hard for us to accept hard realities. It’s hard to accept the reality that the coal, oil and natural gas we have burned in the past few hundred years have put so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that we have caused a “greenhouse” effect that has warmed the planet and disrupted the world’s climates.

Scientists are inherently modest and conservative. They use the best methods to collect and analyze data, and they double-check each other’s work through “peer-review” interactions.

About 50 years ago, scientists reached consensus that smoking tobacco hurts health. The only dissenters were a few who were being paid by tobacco companies. The most respectable climate scientists have reached similar consensus about fossil fuels hurting the climate. Professional organizations of climate scientists and meteorological scientists have issued clear statements that the climate crisis is serious and caused by humans.

As with tobacco decades ago, the oil and coal companies are spending millions on propaganda and oddball scientists to confuse people about scientific truth.

I encourage people to learn about the climate crisis and urge governments and businesses to act responsibly. Either we deal with reality, or else reality will deal with us.

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