The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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April 22, 2014

On climate change, follow the science


It has also been confirmed by nearly 200 scientific organizations worldwide, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the National Geographic Society, the American Meteorological Society, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation.

Because of the stress that climate change puts on the world’s water systems, such highly regarded research institutions as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have expressed grave concerns about the future of our oceans and the life therein.

Further, many U.S. and worldwide health organizations have called for action on climate change, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

Business interests, which have historically been conservative, have taken climate change into account in their future planning and called for government action. These include the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Reinsurance Association of America, and The World Bank.

Thus, those saying that climate change is not occurring or that, if it is, mankind does not have a part in causing it are a tiny minority.

Of course, scientific denial is not new. Galileo was imprisoned for asserting that the earth rotated around the sun instead of vice versa. And there are still those today who claim that the earth is only 6,000 years old or that evolution does not exist.

Because the consensus on anthropogenic climate change is so recent — that is, within the last couple of decades — can we thus blame the denialists for attempting to mislead the general public? Some we certainly can, for example:

n Business interests whose profit motive exceeds their concern for the planet’s future.

n Politicians whose election depends upon donations from those business interests.

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