Global warming?

The words “global warming” provoke a sharp retort from Colorado State University meteorology professor emeritus William Gray: “It’s a big scam.”

And the name of climate researcher Kevin Trenberth elicits a sputtered “opportunist.”

At the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where Trenberth works, Gray’s name prompts dismay. “Bill Gray is completely unreasonable,” Trenberth says. “He has a mind block on this.”

Only 55 miles separate NCAR’s headquarters, nestled in the Front Range foothills, from CSU in Fort Collins. But when it comes to climate change, the gap is as big as any in the scientific community. —Mark JaffeGlobal warming? (Denver Post)

Dissent and personal attacks make compelling stories, so I’m a bit leery about a science article that makes the issue so personal. Nevertheless, it’s rare to see journalism cover a scientific controversy with such depth, so this article is worth adding to my list of related global warming entries.

2 thoughts on “Global warming?

  1. Thanks for the link. My understanding of the phenomemon is that an increase in global temperature has been recorded over time, but that there is some disagreement over how much of that climate change is the result of human activity.

    I agree that conspicuous consumption is bad for the planet and bad for our communities and bad for our souls. Yet only sloppy journalism emphaiszes the worst-case scenario (the kind of figures Al Gore talks about) without fully expressing the range of scientific opinion.

    A journalist has to be careful not to give fringe minority views as much visibility as mainstream accepted opinion, so I wouldn’t argue that a hard science magazine article about the scientific search for life on Mars has to give equal time to NASA conspiracy theories. But I did think this article did a good job covering the controversy.

  2. The blog: is one of the best sites that I know of concerning global warming. I read it fairly regularly. I am presenting on “nature writing and sustainability” at the EAPSU Conference in Mansfield on October 21st. The extent of global warming is debateable; however, I believe that it is a real phenomenon.

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