But in the area of global warming, Oregon also is a poster child for faith-based science. I can envision a mocking “OSU College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences” T-shirt showing an ostrich with its head in the sand saying, “What global warming? I don’t see any global warming!”
For the Oregon Climate Service is based at Oregon State University. It is headed by the state climatologist, George Taylor, who—as I’ve written about before—is a Pollyanna on global warming.
Actually, “Pollyanna” is too gentle a word, for it connotes a person who is foolishly or blindly optimistic. I don’t think Taylor is blind to the fact of global warming. He willfully chooses to ignore the facts.
There’s a scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is for real. There’s no more controversy about the basic facts of global warming than there is over the basic facts of evolution.
The national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States of America have issued a statement: “Global Response to Climate Change” (this is a PDF file). It says, “There is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring” and “It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities.”
But Oregon’s state climatologist apparently thinks he knows more than the National Academy of Sciences. George Taylor is a tireless spokesman for global-warming deniers, who have as many facts on their side as do evolution-deniers. Namely, virtually none.
It’s embarrassing that an environmentally-aware state like Oregon is being represented by a state climatologist who doesn’t believe that the Arctic is undergoing remarkable and catastrophic climate change.
Taylor and his ten comrades who signed the above-linked letter to Sen. John McCain are precisely the sorts of people the highly reputable RealClimate commentary site on climate science warns about. Noting in December 2004 that the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment has come under attack, these climate scientists said:
“Sadly, in recent years we have become accustomed to a ritual in which the publication of each new result on anthropogenic climate change is greeted by a flurry of activity from industry-funded lobby groups, think tanks and PR professionals, who try to discredit the science and confuse the public about global warming.”
Which is just what George Taylor is doing, using his pulpit as state climatologist to preach that human-caused (anthropogenic) global warming isn’t occurring. However, it is. RealClimate presents the scientific consensus:
(1) The earth is getting warmer
(2) People are causing this
(3) If greenhouse gas emissions continue, the warming will continue and indeed accelerate
Pretty simple. Can’t you understand those 21 words, Mr. Taylor?