How Much “More Science” Needed about Climate Change?

Gov. Chris Christie says he’s skeptical that global warming is caused by humans. Rush Holt, physicist and congressman, has a few words to say about that. – promoted by Rosi

This year, Republican candidates up and down the ballot questioned the science of climate change and opposed any policies to address it. This widespread platform was summed up well by the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia who spoke about the “myth of global warming and the other myth that man is causing global warming.”

Doubting or even denying the scientific consensus about climate change evidently now is a “must-do” for all ambitious Republicans, right up there with such Far Right orthodoxies as There’s Never a Bad Time to Cut Taxes for the Wealthy (or pay for those tax cuts), Keep Your Socialist Government Hands Off Medicare, and Drill, Baby, Drill.

I was disappointed to see Governor Christie join the growing list of prominent Republicans giving voice to skepticism about climate change and its causes. As quoted by the Associated Press, the Governor told a town hall audience that he believes “more science” is needed to convince him. He added that he’s not a scientist and doesn’t know what’s true on the issue – only that nothing has been proven.

If the Governor doesn’t know much about the subject, maybe he shouldn’t talk about it. The reason science is regarded as reliable is because it’s not subject to the political winds. We should look to evidence, not ideology.

In this instance, the overwhelming consensus of science in the world – including 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences – is that climate change is real and that human activities are contributing to it. According to NASA data released last month so far 2010 has been the hottest year on record so far.

We need “more science” to convince us that climate change is real as much as we need more science to convince us of the realities in Newton’s Theory of Gravitation, or Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Instead of trying to tear apart the science and engage in a false debate largely driven by corporate interests, we should be discussing how we can address the reality of climate change.

Comments (10)

  1. leslie6042

    Christie and his ilk are using the same technique successfully used by tobacco companies and their lobbyists and propaganda machine for decades – say that there’s no proof that smoking causes cancer,  and that more study is needed because there’s still a dispute -notwithstanding 50,000 studies to the contrary.  In the case of global warming, there is no dispute among every legit. scientist that humans cause or contribute strongly to global warming.  The only legit. dispute is the amount of time it will take to flood the whole planet. The few scientists on the other side are being paid handsomely by the polluters.

  2. Hopeful

    Although I feel an overwhelming urge to make a  “Gravity Probe B” comment after than comment about Relativity.  ðŸ™‚

    (Move along, non-nerds.)


  3. Ed Potosnak

    Human induced climate change needs to be addressed–the Governor is playing to the far right outside of NJ instead of focusing on ensuring our state leads the world in finding solutions for our energy crisis.

  4. NNadir

    for you and I have always considered it an honor to have been one of those absentee ballots in 2000 that helped you to defeat Dick Zimmer, but to be perfectly honest, your position on climate change leaves me a little cold.

    You say that you oppose nuclear energy on the grounds that “no one has ever convinced you that nuclear materials diversion to weapons is impossible.”

    This is a most disingenous statement, especially from someone who knows what an expectation value is.

    Actually, nuclear wars are not observed.   Oil wars are.   In fact, the very first – and only nuclear war – started, as far as the Japanese and the Americans were concerned, and quite possiibly where the Russians and the Germans were concerned – as an oil war.

    Climate change is a dangerous fossil fuel waste problem, which means that nuclear energy’s so called “waste” problem is trivial, since used nuclear fuel can be contained indefinitely.

    Nuclear energy is the world’s largest, by far, source of climate change gas free energy.

    It has been the fastest growing form of climate change gas free energy for more than 40 years, even in this country.

    China announced a $180 billion dollar in new reactors, has 24 under construction and plans 80 before this decade is out, 200 in 20 years, and 400 in 40 years.   The amount being proposed is actually larger than their annual military budget.

    In other words, they plan to emulate France.   Everybody whines about their coal, but they will phase out coal long before we do.

    Great Democratic Scientists including Glenn Seaborg adamantly supported nuclear energy.   He iwas, possibly even more than Gibbs, the greatest American physical chemist ever.   Afterall the periodic table looks like it does because of Glenn Seaborg.

    George Olah supports nuclear energy.

    Hans Bethe supported it.

    If you cannot support nuclear energy, I wish you would at least extend the same criteria to oil.   Specifically, I wish that you would declare that unless one can convince you that it cannot be diverted to weapons of mass destruction – something that is constantly observed – it be banned.

    That would be a fine day.

  5. Couch Potato Politics

    It isn’t surprising that Mr. Christie takes this stance as he is in ideological opposition with any idea that has even the remotest tinge of being a liberal agenda item.

    It doesn’t matter that any progress towards a greener, cleaner environment only improves living conditions and long term economic growth. All that matter is that no right leaning politician be caught in agreement with anything even narrowly perceived as being liberal. It would be a deviation from the mandated platform of belligerence and intractable defiance that defines the Republican party.

  6. Jersey Shore John

    a man with his own gravitational pull would have more of a belief in science.


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