One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is this developing sense of community within the blogosphere. You “meet” so many people of different walks in life, share ideas, argue and just generally expand your knowledge of the world around us. This morning I was greeted with a nice email from RangerX thanking me for the reasoned response I had to his updated post on the Grand Canyon issue. I started perusing his blog and stopped on the entry discussing global warming and Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth. I haven’t seen Gore’s movie, but after reading RangerX’s blog, I’ll be adding it to my Amazon list:
But in the new documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” directed by Davis Guggenheim and featuring Al Gore, I learned that "out of 925 recent articles in peer-review scientific journals about global warming, there was no disagreement. Zero.” I also learned that while there is a 100% agreement by scientists, 57% of non-scientific newspaper and magazine articles question the fact of global warming and 43% support it. The energy industry, much like the tobacco industry, waged a disinformation campaign to “reposition global warming as a debate” when there is no serious debate.
The last line is particularly telling. Substitute “creationism” and “intelligent design” for tobacco/energy industries and “evolution” with global warming and the same thing can be said about the war over Darwinian theory today: anti-evolutionists have created a debate where there is none. I have not spent a significant amount of time on the global warming issue, but the actual “science” that I’ve read indicates no real controversy over the issue – global warming is real its primary cause is anthropogenic (humans). One need only read Chris Mooney’s Republican War On Science to begin to comprehend the incredible distortions of science the Republicans have promoted, solely to benefit their business or fundamentalist backers.
Interestingly, RangerX also draws what I believe to be an appropriate analogy between the demise of past civilizations and our current environmental problems:
I remember a guided hike I conducted in Zion National Park called “In the Footsteps of the Ancients?”. In this program, I compared our modern society with that of the extinct Anasazi, or Ancestral Puebloans if you will, and asked if we, too, might be literal following their same path of climate change and environmental disaster. On my hike, I referred to global warming and said that while we ultimately cannot know what the results will be, we do know that we are having an impact and that our every action has a result. I stepped in the sand for effect and said that we can’t walk without leaving a footprint.
Our archaeological research increasingly demonstrates that civilization collapse is significantly linked to environmental abuse coupled with environmental change. I once remember conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh referring to what he considered to be irrelevancy of environmentalism. He stated that humans cannot possibly destroy the earth. Absolutely true, but that’s never been the issue with environmentalism. What we can do, quite easily with today’s technology, is render the planet inhabitable for humans; minimally we can shift the environment to such a degree that hunting and gathering might become more productive than industrialization.
RangerX ends his post with this comment by Roger Ebert on his review of Gore’s movie:
As Roger Ebert wrote in his review, “In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to.”
Sounds like good advice.