Letter: Money shouldn’t be spent on beliefs | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Money shouldn’t be spent on beliefs

Coincidentally, on Jan. 2, both local daily papers ran articles relating to climate change. The Aspen Daily News ran a story about city greenhouse-gas reductions coming from multitude of sources; The Aspen Times ran Glenn Sliva’s guest opinion, “Whatever you do, don’t offend the bears.”

The Daily News article declared that so-called greenhouse gases “are believed to cause global warming.” That article further explained many measures taken by the city of Aspen, many at great expense, based on that “belief.” Glenn’s piece explains defects in the data and methodologies of some of the analyses that are cited to support the proposition of global warming.

Glenn’s column asked readers not merely to “believe,” but to check out some facts from competing sources and make up their own minds. Had he written that column a few days later, he might have mentioned the irony of a ship full of “global warming believers” who are trapped in summer ice in Antarctica while on their boondoggle to observe and record the absence of Antarctic ice. (Perhaps only an anecdotal incident, but “believers” often cite anecdotes to support their belief.)

Remember the old saying, “You can’t spend a dollar twice?” Efforts to fight alleged global warming involve substantial resources that can’t be spent twice. If they are spent on greenhouse-gas reduction they can’t also be spent to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the nation’s economy, to improve education, to feed the hungry or even to rescue abused animals. A belief system is not the best way to make public policy, to decide how to spend public money or to plan summer Antarctic voyages. Facts, as nearly as they can be ascertained, usually are better.

If you consider yourself open-minded and willing to read scientific information undermining the global-warming belief system, a good start is the report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change entitled Climate Change Reconsidered II, available at: http://climatechangereconsidered.org.

Maurice Emmer