And it’s much as we on the left have been saying for some time now, despite all of the protestations of the know-nothing conservative pols who refute the charge, all the evidence notwithstanding. Global warming is real, and it’s likely man made.
Richard Muller, a research physicist at the University of California-Berkeley used to count himself amongst the ranks of the skeptics. As a scientist, he didn’t think that the case had definitively been made for global warming. So as any self-respecting scientific investigator does, he conducted his own study to see if there was any merits behind the charge that the earth was indeed getting warming. He concluded, definitively, that it is.
He took 1.6 billion weather readings from dozens of previously conducted studies, and systematically debunked the idea that the earth is not getting warmer, despite his own earlier contentions that that was indeed the case. Naturally, being a scientist, he came to a point where he could no longer ignore the data. The earth is getting warmer.
As of yet, his study has not been peer reviewed, so, theoretically, it’s still in the preliminary stages, but for a such a respected former vociferous skeptic to make such a 180 degree change in his position is telling. The science is there, it’s just politicians at this point that are the ones ignoring the data, opting to play politics with something that they think will earn them a few more hard right votes in whatever electoral contests they enter.
And while that’s sad, it’s more than just sad, it’s dangerous for us. The scientific debate is settled. It’s now just a political phenomenon to see practicioners of politics willfully ignore the writing on the wall. And while they may experience electoral success on this front, to do so for much longer would condemn us to an ever increasingly bizarre (and severe) weather patterns, with more Katrinas, more droughts and overall more suffering for humankind. But don’t tell Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry that. It’s not that they don’t understand it, it’s just that they don’t want it to be true. It doesn’t hew to their view of reality. They’re in over their heads, and soon, water may be over ours.