“When will we see a story about increasing levels of manmade greenhouse gases being a sign of progress? A story that points out that our use of affordable sources of energy continue to spur increases in global productivity, health, longevity, and quality of life in general? A story about the fact that the wealth that is generated by access to fossil fuels is just what will be required to develop and refine alternative energy technologies in the future?”
That plea for cheerfulness comes from Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA's Aqua satellite. Writing for the TCSDaily, Spencer indulges in some scientific gotcha (water vapour, not CO2 is the number one 'greenhouse gas') and demands that journalists stop all this kvetching about climate change.
It is interesting to note that the TCSDaily, an acronym for “Technology, Commerce, Society” is a website that “believe(s) strongly in the power of free markets,” a belief that is bolstered, no doubt, by its funding partners: ExxonMobile and General Motors.
The problem, for Dr. Spencer and for us all, is that climate change is, in the words of the much ballyhooed new movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The effects on “health, longevity and quality of life in general” that Spencer attributes to fossil fuel will turn suddenly bad if something isn't done. And if “the wealth that is generated by access to fossil fuels is just what will be required to develop and refine alternative energy technologies in the future,” that presupposes that ExxonMobile and GM will turn some of their profits to intelligent research and development, and stop squandering them in a worldwide public relations campaign to deny that climate change is, in fact, “An Inconvenient Truth.”