Climate Change: Proven Fact or Just An Excuse For More Government Control and Increased Taxation?

Climate Change Debate Heating Up

The debate over global warming and climate change has many facets, all claiming that truth is on their side and offering facts to support their views. Climate model scientists and their backers, including the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), contend that the science points toward a general warming of the earth, which has been accelerating over the past century. Many of the supporters of this argument point toward the increased burning of fossil fuels and other human activities as the main cause of the accelerating warming of the planet. Climate skeptics, as they’ve become known, state that the science may be biased, or misinterpreted, and that, with only 50 years of observation in most cases, there’s no clear evidence supporting man-made allegations of climate change.

ClimateGate - What Do Scientists Want You To Believe?

In the wake of hundreds of emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in England known as ClimateGate, in which scientists appeared to be brainstorming ways to skew their data in favor of human caused global warming, the incentives of science have been called into question. It appears that, whatever is actually going on in our environment, all players in this debate stand to gain, both monetarily and politically, from winning their side.

Climate science researchers and modelers could lose funding for their projects if their research brought back inconclusive or weak results as to the causes and even existence of global warming. Their incentives to bring in funding depend on their research providing results, and to that end some, such as the CRU in England, chose to create conclusions in favor of global warming using data that did not conclusively prove their findings. As Mike Hulme, a former employee at the CRU during the time of the emails, acknowledged this pressure in the Wall Street Journal, noting that “it has become difficult to disentangle political arguments about climate policies from scientific arguments about the evidence of man-made climate change”.

Both Sides Of The Argument Have Something To Gain

In the political and economic arenas, acting on global warming using cap and trade legislation, carbon credit markets, and regulating energy and manufacturing industries to reduce national emissions levels would bring a new commodities market into existence. Some politicians, companies, and industries stand to benefit from such actions and legislation, including renewable energy companies, carbon credit registries, and political supporters. Other players, such as the fossil fuel and mining industries, coal plants, car manufacturers, and their political supporters, could potentially lose millions or more if such legislation swept changes through their industries.

The facts involved in the important issue of global warming may be too saturated by political will, industry competition, interest-funded research, and money in general to be taken at face value. It remains a complex and charged issue for which answers continue to be tainted by the beliefs of their providers. Action is uncertain, although the lack of political will, direction, and global agreement witnessed at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009 could be an indicator that this issue is dead in the water.

Consumers Should Not Lose Focus On The Importance Of Conservation

Regardless if man-made global warming is fact or fiction, it should not cause consumers to lose focus on energy conservation. Even if everything we've been told about man-made global warming is wrong, energy conservation and finding clean renewable energy sources are still important. These things lead to increased savings and a cleaner environment.

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