The Trump administration on Black Friday released a legally mandated update to the federal government's ongoing monitoring of climate change. The analysis, suffice to say, was bleak, particularly for Florida.
According to this fourth edition of the National Climate Assessment, the Sunshine State can expect greater risk of drought coupled with more frequent "extreme rainfall events"; flooding along the coasts, wildfire in the middle; collapsing infrastructure; contaminated or depleted fresh water supplies; economic distress.
Undoubtedly, the federal government's report is a cause for concern and should be welcomed in light of efforts to document evidence about this phenomenon.
Yet, perhaps, before we concede to activists and politicians who demand a radical overhaul of our society and our economy for results that seem dubious, those who deploy such language should seek to better understand why folks who more accurately should be called skeptics remain, well, skeptical.
For example, the repeated end-of-times rhetoric only creates doubt, confusion or indifference.
Less than two months ago, the United Nations released a report that warned "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes" in our behavior "across all of society's main sectors" were needed within 12 years to cap escalating temperatures. But in 2010, a survey of 14 leading climate scientists conducted by Carnegie Mellon University indicated the world would hit a "tipping point" on emissions in 50 years. In 2009, Karl Mallon, a top scientist with Climate Risk, wrote a report on climate change for the World Wildlife Fund in Australia that predicted 2014 was "the point of no return" to begin reversing the effects of global warming. In January 2006, former Vice President Al Gore announced a "true planetary emergency," and added that "unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return."
Then, there's the hypocrisy: Last week in France, which is supposed to be far more green-friendly and evolved on this issue than we are, people are in open revolt over the government's carbon tax plan. Last year, as Gore was set to release a sequel to his famous documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," we learned that each month he used 20 times the electricity of the average American.
Additionally, few "deniers" understand why this expensive burden is America's to shoulder alone. When that U.N. report came out, a spokesman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said America has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent since 2005. Yet Forbes reported in June that, over that same period, global emissions have increased 19 percent. The primary culprits: "Developing countries — even those that are embracing renewable energy."
Pope Francis once wrote of evangelization, "It is not by proselytizing that the church grows, but by attraction." If climate change activists want to grow the ranks of their followers, they should tone down the alarmism, quit the shaming and work on a more convincing argument.
REPRINTED FROM THE PANAMA CITY NEWS HERALD