On this week's show we will be tackling one of the most contentious battles on the sustainability scene - climate change denialism. Rush Limbaugh summed up the position like this on December 11, 2009: "When I talk to people who believe in this global warming crap… it's fake science. They may have educations and degrees that say they are scientists, but they're not. They're political hacks and leftists."
The climate denialists have waged a war against sound science for the last decade. They have circulated petitions that ask prominent academics to agree to statements that read, "Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful." Much of this misinformation is spread by media figures like Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck worked in concert with powerful politicians like former President George W. Bush and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and mega-corporations and their front groups like ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute, and the National Coal Council to block sound science and place prominent scientists in virtual kangaroo courts. All because their power is threatened. But they have prevented meaningful action domestically and at the international level.
Our guest this week is something of an expert on these matters. Ed Perry (on the left in picture taken from targetglobalwarming.net) is the Pennsylvania Outreach Coordinator for the Global Warming Campaign of the National Wildlife Federation. The NWF says that "Global warming is the biggest threat to wildlife." Why? What is to be done about it?
Mr. Perry will be joining us to discuss the science behind our understanding of climate change and the unique threats it presents, the history of climate change denialism and the denialist movement's activities. We will also discuss the dust-up over so-called "Climategate" at Penn State is about, something Mr. Perry has said is a piece of "character assassination" of Michael Mann, one of Penn State's most respected climate scientists. Finally, we will discuss what everyday people can and should be doing about climate change, both politically and personally.
For an excellent video on the issue of climate denialism, Mr. Perry strongly suggests watching this piece "The American Denial of Global Warming" from University of California Television. President Lyndon B. Johnson even knew that we were tinkering with the atmosphere: "This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through… a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.”