Climate change: 97% of scientists agree


There has been a heated battle for years between the backers of scientific climate change and the deniers.

A much cited peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11,944 climate abstracts from 1991 to 2011 matching the topics “global climate change” or “global warming” determined that among abstracts they expressed a position on, 97.1 percent endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.

Wow, I would think only the theory of gravity may have a higher consensus.

I realize that almost everything of merit has been politicized and polarized to the point that “only 47 percent of the public hewed to the scientific consensus” (and even less for scientists in general — 35 percent). Could it be due to the overall dumbing down and apathy of America or the consensus trance of mainstream media and (un)reality TV?

In a recent published paper, “U.S. Students Slide In Global Ranking On Math, Reading, Science” American 15-year-olds continue to turn in flat results in a test that measures students’ proficiency in reading, math and science worldwide, failing to crack the global top 20 (despite American spending the most money per capita on education).

I donate money to The Union of Concerned Scientists ( which began as a collaboration between students and faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 and is now an alliance of more than 400,000 citizens and scientists. UCS members are people from all walks of life: parents and businesspeople, biologists and physicists, teachers and students.

Their members understand that scientific analysis, not political calculations or corporate hype, should guide their efforts to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices. This organization has the greatest number of scientific Nobel Prize winners of any organization in the world.

They overwhelmingly concur with the evidence for human activity since the industrial revolution leading to climate change.

Beyond the scientific evidence or consensus I simply distill it down to this: do we side with corporate profits/money/power which is at stake with any changes in legislation and the six major corporate news organizations (depending on these same corporations for advertising) controlling 90 percent of our media for information, or the integrity and brain power of thousands of independent, multinational people in the scientific community/Nobel Prize winners.

Ask one question which side, if your life depended on it, would you trust more? Who has the most to lose in this debate?

Try and wrap your mind around this: In a 2012 study Of the world’s 100 largest economic entities, 51 are now corporations and 49 are countries.

The other factor is corporate lobbyists in Washington. Last year over 12,000 lobbyists spent $3.21 billion for influence ( Where did this money go? To political coffers.

The average congressman has to raise $1.1 million (call it $10,000 a week), while the average senator had to secure $10 million (call it $100,000 a week).

The general public of “we the people” is not being properly represented in this. What’s most alarming is what is potentially at stake here, and life as we know it, with man potentially going the route of the dodo bird.

Numerous scientists are stating that Earth’s creatures may be on the brink of a sixth mass extinction, comparable to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. Is this something worth risking and arguing about? Many claim the die has already been cast regarding climate change and that forces have been put in motion that will play out for hundreds to thousands of years.

OK. let’s even pretend that it is not determined what is causing climate change, man or long cyclic processes. Is there any doubt that we live on a planet of finite resources? That not only is our global population at a staggering 7 billion people (which was only a billion in 1800, 2 billion in 1930 and 3 billion when I was born in 1960) a new 235,000 will join the global dinner table today. We are growing towards an estimate 8-10 billion this century.

Can we not see that with hundreds of millions of people like Chinese and Indians (India has a middle class larger then our whole country), our planetary neighbors not only want what we have (cars, electronics, disposable products, etc.) but are quickly moving up the economic scale.

Is not all this population growth and consumerism having no effect on our planet (pollution, environmental damage, resource wars, etc.)?

Our planet has a carrying capacity (how many people it can safely accommodate) and an economically infinite growth paradigm. Logically, which will give first?

Hopefully enough of the minds of American citizens, politicians and policy makers to make a difference.

Joseph Garofalo
Peachtree City, Ga.