Chill out over global warming
By David Harsanyi
Denver Post Staff Columnist 

You'll often hear the left lecture about the importance of dissent 
in a free society. 

Why not give it a whirl? 

Start by challenging global warming hysteria next time you're at a 
LoDo cocktail party and see what happens. 

Admittedly, I possess virtually no expertise in science. That puts 
me in exactly the same position as most dogmatic environmentalists 
who want to craft public policy around global warming fears. 

The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contends Colorado 
State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never 
actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent 
in the field, agree. 

Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical 
Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global 
warming "hoax" makes him an outcast. 

"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting 
with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare 
will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see 
what a hoax this was." 

Gray directs me to a 1975 Newsweek article that whipped up a 
different fear: a coming ice age. 

"Climatologists," reads the piece, "are pessimistic that political 
leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic 
change. ... The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will 
they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become 
grim reality." 

Thank God they did nothing. Imagine how warm we'd be? 

Another highly respected climatologist, Roger Pielke Sr. at the 
University of Colorado, is also skeptical. 

Pielke contends there isn't enough intellectual diversity in the 
debate. He claims a few vocal individuals are quoted "over and over" 
again, when in fact there are a variety of opinions. 

I ask him: How do we fix the public perception that the debate is 

"Quite frankly," says Pielke, who runs the Climate Science Weblog 
(, "I think the media is in the ideal 
position to do that. If the media honestly presented the views out 
there, which they rarely do, things would change. There aren't just 
two sides here. There are a range of opinions on this issue. A lot 
of scientists out there that are very capable of presenting other 
views are not being heard." 

Al Gore (not a scientist) has definitely been heard 



- and heard and heard. His documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," is 
so important, in fact, that Gore crisscrosses the nation destroying 
the atmosphere just to tell us about it. 
"Let's just say a crowd of baby boomers and yuppies have hijacked 
this thing," Gray says. "It's about politics. Very few people have 
experience with some real data. I think that there is so much 
general lack of knowledge on this. I've been at this over 50 years 
down in the trenches working, thinking and teaching." 

Gray acknowledges that we've had some warming the past 30 years. "I 
don't question that," he explains. "And humans might have caused a 
very slight amount of this warming. Very slight. But this warming 
trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four 
years from now, the globe will start to cool again, as it did from 
the middle '40s to the middle '70s." 

Both Gray and Pielke say there are many younger scientists who voice 
their concerns about global warming hysteria privately but would 
never jeopardize their careers by speaking up. 

"Plenty of young people tell me they don't believe it," he 
says. "But they won't touch this at all. If they're smart, they'll 
say: 'I'm going to let this run its course.' It's a sort of mild 
McCarthyism. I just believe in telling the truth the best I can. I 
was brought up that way." 

So next time you're with some progressive friends, dissent. Tell 'em 
you're not sold on this global warming stuff. 

Back away slowly. You'll probably be called a fascist. 

Don't worry, you're not. A true fascist is anyone who wants to take 
away my air conditioning or force me to ride a bike. 

David Harsanyi's column appears Monday and Thursday. He can be 
reached at 303-820-1255 or [EMAIL PROTECTED] 

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