Traverse City Record-Eagle

Other Views

May 31, 2014

Another View: Climate deniers deflect the real debate

The more time we spend denying science with “beliefs” means less time finding solutions

This could be the year when climate change goes to the front of the line in political debates.

Hedge fund tycoon Tom Steyer is throwing in $100 million against Republican “science deniers” this year especially in key races for the Senate and some statehouses in November.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and potential 2016 presidential candidate has been hammered over earlier statements where he appeared to be denying climate change is occurring. Since then he acknowledged that climate change exists but he doesn’t believe it is man-made as the majority of scientists profess.

But he did say we as a nation could be more efficient with energy use, including developing alternative energy, and be better stewards of our resources. Well, that’s a good first step.

Unfortunately, we still have political leaders with their head in the sand, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Denial has no scientific basis but that doesn’t stop us in our “beliefs.” The Third National Climate Assessment, a study produced by 44 members of the advisory panel after interviewing hundreds of scientists, was immediately attacked upon its release.

It produced evidence that the climate is changing and affecting all regions in the U.S. and the economy. Republican leaders criticized the report saying they just didn’t believe it. And others blamed the Obama Administration as trying to shift the focus away from more urgent issues.

To that last point, they may have a point. A recent Gallup Poll found that climate change is at the bottom of concerns for most Americans. We are not suggesting that climate change be embraced for its urgency but we need to stop spending our time and energy denying that it is occurring.

Text Only