Open letter to Peter Harms re oped published December 16:
People seem to be quick to believe whatever they want to hear.
Had I not believed differently, I likely would have jumped on with the numerous skeptics who leapt at the opportunity when Climategate, ‘confirming’ their skepticism, became available to the public.
We can all go back to our normal, happy, luxurious lives because climate change isn’t actually happening.
Obviously, coming from the other side, I was curious to figure out what this whole thing was about too.
So I have searched myself, and made use of the internet that feeds to our every fascination. There is evidence supporting both sides.
So when looking at the Climategate scandal, whatever you want to believe you’re going to find proof on the internet.
Just to clarify; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change consists of many more bodies than merely scientists from England’s Climatic Research Unit.
And there are many more scientists not on this panel who support climate science.
It has been said, time and again, the issues involving our environment and the way it is changing are not a topic that is easily explained.
There are grey areas surrounding the topic of climate change, with a high level of uncertainty for the future.
We have yet to find a cure for AIDS, and it seems like every day something new is proven to have carcinogenic qualities.
So is the research attempting to find answers to these questions, and the millions spent on that research, wasted because of the uncertainty?
Even as a denier, as you claim to be, there is no way that you can convince me our actions are not having some effect on our environment.
And someone hacking into a research e-mail network could not sway me from the facts I have heard from many other scientists, stating there is no doubt this is occurring.
We do not yet know the future outcomes, so is it not wise for money to be put forward in order to discover what the possible outcomes might be?
Money always seems to be this inhibiting deciding factor.
Natural disasters are deemed ‘natural’ for a reason, in this you are right.
Darn those poverty-stricken, developing countries for wanting a bit of what we have.
They are obviously selfish, trying to find an excuse since all they have to do when a massive flood strikes is walk through water up to their waists for five days, unable to find their homes, and steadily losing hope of ever finding their family again.
Yes, I heard this exact story told by a girl close to my age from Mumbai, India.
But because I can, I might as well just sit on my couch, watching an LCD TV or driving my gas guzzling Ford F150 because these people just want to scam me out of my money.
The girl hasn’t attached herself to climate change because she’s an institution or a corporation seeking money. She is connected because it is a frightening reality for her.
So, in a time where unity is a necessity and empathy will be the most desirable quality, even some who are educated and respected by the generation who will be dealing with this issue in full force Ã assuming the majority of the IPCC is correct Ã would rather point fingers at those who are incapable of creating change themselves, because we are safe from the storm and in the process living happy, high-class lives.
We really came out of this life deal lucky, didn’t we Harms?
We can decide to be skeptical about climate change and chose not to believe because of our convenient geographic location and the financial stability.
I have no idea how it happened, but somehow I was born in a developed nation and somehow it’s supposed to be right that I would not want to trade places with someone in the South Pacific.
Even though I am true to the scientific theories of anthropogenic climate change, these figures, if proven to be fraud, would not deter me from wanting to make changes.
No matter how we look at it, we cannot survive without our planet and, right now as a species, we are too freely acting as if we can.
I see a broader image out of this whole ‘climate change trend.’
The population is growing at a rate that is already unsustainable.
Because of climate change research, a great array of possibilities have opened up for all of us to live more sustainable lives.
Please forgive me if I appear naive, for I am only 17.
Ultimately though, this is going to be necessary for my generation, which has a momentous number of committed youth who actually care, and for future generations, whether Mann and Jones made some extra cash off of it or not.
Cassandra Andrew, former student of Peter Harms