Texas state climatologist: Fossil fuels are evil

From an interesting Q & A in an MIT alumni pub with John Neilsen-Gammon, the former Texas state climatologist: 

Slice: What do you think is the single most effective thing we as a country could do to address the problems posed by man-made climate change?

Nielsen-Gammon: Acknowledging that potential problems exist would be a great start.  There’s a lot of scientific debate about how bad those problems might be, but much of the public has been completely fooled into thinking that the scientific debate is about whether or not there will be any problems at all.  

True. But how can we discuss "potential problems" when leading voices in the "debate" — such as Senator James Inhofe — claim global warming is a "hoax?"  

Neilsen-Gammon discusses just such a case in Canada, where one climate scientist, Andrew Weaver, is suing a retired geographer, Tim Ball, for libel. According to The New York Times, Ball wrote numerous pieces for a right-wing site, and alleged that Weaver didn't understand climate science, and would not be invited to participate in the IPCC's upcoming report. The claims were demonstrably false. After the suit was filed, the site (called Canada Free Press) that had run hundreds of Ball's stories apologized, printed a retraction, and no longer associates itself with Ball. 

That's one case where the public appears to have been misled. But that's not always the case, as in oil-rich Texas, as Neilsen-Gammon says: 

Texas has a traditionally oil-based economy, so there’s naturally a lot of resistance to the idea that fossil fuels are evil.  I think this has led a lot of people to tilt too far in the other direction and accept the argument that massive releases of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere are harmless.

What if we could push a button and strip all influence of money out of the debate? Wouldn't that be interesting to see? 

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

6 thoughts on “Texas state climatologist: Fossil fuels are evil

  1. Pollution is a major disadvantage of fossil fuels. This is because they give off carbon dioxide when burned thereby causing a greenhouse effect. This is also the main contributory factor to the global warming experienced by the earth today.


  2. Fossil fuel is good, but what’s bad is pollution. So i think try to ease the pollution problem first before you try to endure your problem regarding fossil fuels.


  3. Fuel fossils are not that harmful in the environment it matter most to the vehicle and the owner itself they should take care and always monitor their cars well.


  4. We all know that our world is experiencing lots of changes. It is all because of the discovery of human that are harmful. As a solution for this we must use alternative sources of energy that are Eco-friendly.


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