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Climate Change Denial: Scientists Respond

Many people out there are still skeptical about the science behind global warming. Heck, you may be one of them. How do climate scientists respond to questions such as, "What about the Bible?"

John Vechey of PopCap Games recently joined The Motley Fool for a climate change summit. His first panel guests were Dr. Rachel Cleetus, a climate economist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Dr. Joe Casola, program director for science and impacts at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. They address some denialist comments tweeted during the discussions by invoking Christian values, points of economic agreement, and good old-fashioned common sense.

Dr. Casola reminds participants of three key opportunities in addressing climate change:

  1. Energy efficiency: General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) is one of the pioneers of energy efficiency solutions, with its fingers in nearly all of the new energy pies. The massive conglomerate offers an entire array of products that improve the efficient operation of power plants, airplanes, railroad systems, and wind turbines, just to name a few.
  2. Enhanced oil recovery: BP (NYSE: BP  ) is pioneering efforts in enhanced oil recovery, a technology that improves the efficiency of a drilling site by extracting the maximum amount of oil from it.
  3. Water efficiency: Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) has an insatiable thirst for pure water in its chip manufacturing processes, so much so that the company started managing municipal water systems to secure its supply in the most efficient manner possible.

Check out the video to hear the scientists' response to climate denialists, as well as their take on opportunities in energy.

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Read/Post Comments (15) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 11, 2013, at 8:40 PM, tigerade wrote:

    Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming:

  • Report this Comment On July 11, 2013, at 9:30 PM, BillFromNY wrote:

    Of course there exists a thing called climate change. Didn't the Great Lakes get scooped out during the last Ice Age?

    It's another thing entirely to believe that we poor humans are overriding natural climate change in a way that will cause specific changes in temperature and tides that will result in disasters. Science can't accurately predict tomorrow's weather (where were all those storms that were supposed to pass through all day Thursday), but they can tell give us the change in temperature and ice thickness at some place five hundred years from now.

    With the national media and Hollywood regarding climate change disaster as gospel, and lots of climate change scientists basking in the praise and attention, what critical scientist is going to stick up his head and have it bashed in?

    We would be much better off if they spent all that energy on the one really scary threat to our lives and our planet: nuclear proliferation.

  • Report this Comment On July 11, 2013, at 9:42 PM, tigerade wrote:

    BillFromNY - here are your rebuttals:

    Claim: "Scientists can't even predict weather"

    Claim: "Arctic sea ice loss is a natural cycle"

    Claim: "It's just a natural cycle"

  • Report this Comment On July 11, 2013, at 10:20 PM, JohnRennie wrote:

    It is interesting but not surprising that non-scientists such as Dr. Rachel Cleetus would say that "there is no argument from real scientists" on this issue. This is an oft-heard statement from lay people unfamiliar with how science works; for the record, it is never by consensus and the science is never all in.

    The use of "real" in Dr. Cleetus' description of scientists that happen to disagree with the "concensus" on AGW is shameful, intentionally pejorative, and precludes the possibility that the dissenters may in fact be correct. This is a tactic often used by the uninformed and lay people to squelch dissent; science on the other hand encourages debate,

    Having such obviously biased content on the MF website rather than staying confined purely to investment advice is a great disservice to an otherwise excellent resource.

  • Report this Comment On July 11, 2013, at 10:23 PM, tigerade wrote:
  • Report this Comment On July 11, 2013, at 11:21 PM, Netspiker wrote:

    If we Americans just establish the appropriate irrigation system for the existing national forest parks, the forests will grow ten time faster than non irrigated ones. That means the forests can easily sequester all of carbon dioxide relase by the whole nation around the clock, or about 1000 billion tons of biomass a year (10% of those is carbon).

    If we cover the tornado alley area with steady forests, we can easily eliminate the tornado damages to that area.

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 12:14 AM, zjk1018 wrote:

    It seems pointless to worry over what we might have caused or what might happen. Instead I just use efficient appliances, led lights, I don't drive, I recycle, and I don't smoke. I feel good about my simple lifestyle and if it has a positive impact on the planet great most of it I do because it saves me a lot of money. Then I can invest in companies like GE, MMM, Sunpower, and waste management. I know I can't change the world, but I can control how I live and how I invest. Apple also generates all the power for their facilities from renewable sources.

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 12:55 AM, CrazyDocAl wrote:

    Sorry, I don't pay much attention to people, scientists or not, who have a political or monetary motive.

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 8:43 AM, feanor51 wrote:

    tigerade, here is your rebuttal

    And I don't think it's a consensus

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 8:47 AM, Snakepit456 wrote:

    Such an interesting word: "deniers." Redolent of religious extremism, it derives from the same psychogical root as "heretic," "blasphemer," and "apostate." It is designed to be isolating, moralistic, and most importantly, damning.

    What it actually accomplishes is to remove "global warming" from the realm of the purely scientific and move into the religio-political spectrum. That so many of the warmers are completely illiterate in terms of science it comes then as no surprise that absent technological sophistication, and given the fascist underpinnings of their belief system, it has taken on all the trappings of a primitive religion complete with saints and devils.

    It is the logical outgrowth of a class of population which has no belief in the supernatural, but still possesses the need to sense something greater than itself and to divide the human population into good and bad complete with a political solution for eradicating that part they view as insufficiently docile.

    In their system, "deniers" serve Satan and little greenies serve God. Watch out deniers - they'll be after you with updated versions of Torquemada and the Iron Maiden next!

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 10:58 AM, cwon14 wrote:

    "Skeptical Science" is pretty much a fraud driven blog;

    "Consensus" is an appeal to political authority not science.

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 1:50 PM, tigerade wrote:
  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2013, at 6:18 AM, voelkels wrote:

    If you believe the scientists, earth’s climate has been changing for the last 4 point something BILLION years. If you believe that the world was created 9 or 8 thousand years ago, you still have to believe in climate change. A prime example being when Eric the Red settled in Greenland, that land was axe-u-lee green and the climate was warmer than a few hundred years later.

    O.k., let us assume that the climate is warming and its caused by mankind burning fossil fuel, pumping all that CO2 into the atmosphere. So what are you going to do about it? The liberals in D.C. wants to tax the fuel to reduce its use. That would be great except for the fact that China, India and the other “developing nations” around the world won’t decrease their fossil fuel use just because we do. Until you can get an iron clad international treaty for ALL countries to cap and, eventually decrease, their CO2 emissions what we do in North America won’t make much difference for climate change but it will just hurt our economy.


  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2013, at 11:44 AM, tigerade wrote:
  • Report this Comment On September 10, 2013, at 4:44 AM, thidmark wrote:

    What in the hell is a "real" scientist???

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