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Human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels to power our homes and businesses and changes to the land caused by the rise of modern cities and expanded agriculture, undoubtedly affect the global environment. It is the extent of that effect and how it relates to changes in the modern climate which is the subject of current scientific debate.

Wise, effective climate policy flows from a sound scientific foundation and a clear understanding of what science does and does not tell us about human influence and about courses of action to manage risk. Many of the temperature data and computer models used to predict climate change are themselves as uncertain as are our understanding of important interactions in the natural climate.

Are calls about the uncertainty in the state of scientific knowledge a call for no action? Nothing could be further from the truth. The message to policy makers is not to delay actions until uncertainties are reduced. Rather, actions should flow from the state of knowledge, should be related to a long-term strategy and objectives and should be capable of being adjusted- one way or the other- as the understanding of human influences improves. There is a sufficient basis for action because the climate change risk is real. Yet it is equally true that actions must not be predicated on speculative images of an apocalyptic vision of life in the near future.

Latest Climate Change Articles

Environmentalists Promote Poverty and No Economic Growth

There is a long history demonstrating that free trade promotes economic growth and that as nations move up the economic latter and become wealthier they invest more in environmental protection. Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership is very short sighted. The basic objective of the agreement is to remove barriers to trade, improve investment opportunities, and […]

Correspondent of the Day: Column disguises opinions as facts

The following is a letter by William O’Keefe, CEO of the Marshall Institute published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Editor, Times-Dispatch: It is distressing that Mona Sarfaty and Marybeth Montoro use their medical and public health backgrounds to mask a political agenda. In their Op/Ed column, “Climate change is harming our health,” they assert that allergy […]

President Obama, consult Groucho Marx

President Obama recently stated that climate change was personal to him because it caused his daughter’s asthma. He has also made a number of other claims to justify his crusade to reduce CO2 emissions and suppress fossil fuel use. If he only made one factual error it would be easy to dismiss because no one […]

Exposing the Fraud

The Steyer Next Gen Climate campaign is built on a misleading foundation that uses climate change to mask an extreme environmental objective that is its anti-fossil fuel agenda. Candidates can expose this with a few indisputable facts and that could produce a backlash against NextGen and its leadership. In the 1960s, the late historian Daniel […]

What We Are Reading

McCarthy Remarks Obscure EPA’s History of Turning a Blind Eye to Economic Impact

Regardless of the EPA’s cheerful and optimistic talking points, the reality of the agenda in action is defined by gross underestimations of the economic cost of EPA regulations, drastic impact on our nation’s economic prospects, and – too often – a profound lack of clarity when it comes to the manner in which the regulations pursued can even be implemented.

Scientists pore over warm West, cold East divide

One key question Hartmann is keen to better understand is how the overall warming of the planet might affect the climate cycles that potentially put the divide in place. In the historical records, he noticed that the NPM has been more prevalent since the 1970s — about the same time that the global temperature rise really took off. That raises the question of whether this pattern might become a more common influence on U.S. weather in the future. It’s a difficult question to answer, though, because climate models “are not in agreement on what should happen in the Pacific as a consequence of global warming,” Hartmann said.

Throwing the Carbon Capture Baby Out with the Coal Bath Water

The environmental advocacy group Greenpeace recently released a report lambasting carbon capture and storage (or “CCS”) as “a false climate solution” that “[i]n no uncertain terms…hurts the climate.” The Greenpeace analysis, however, made a number of assumptions that fit the conventional wisdom surrounding CCS, but when analyzed with greater scrutiny turn out to be deceptively misleading.

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