Paul Douglas

Paul Douglas, a nationally-respected meteorologist,put out a stunning blog post this week at neorenaissance, in which called on his GOP friends to give up the anti-science bluster, and face facts:

I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I am a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters, I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority:  a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up, long-term. It’s ironic. The root of the word conservative is “conserve.”  A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.

The whole thing is worth reading, and even more worth sending to your Republican friends.

He gets into the science, and even more into the politics:

Bill O’Reilly, whom I respect, talks of a “no-spin zone.” Yet today there’s a very concerted, well-funded effort to spin climate science. Some companies, institutes and think tanks are cherry-picking data, planting dubious seeds of doubt, arming professional deniers, scientists-for-hire and skeptical bloggers with the ammunition necessary to keep climate confusion alive. It’s the “you can’t prove smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer!” argument, times 100, with many of the same players. Amazing.

Schopenhauer said “All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally it is accepted as self-evident.” We are now well into Stage 2. It’s getting bloody out there.  Climate scientists are receiving death threats and many Americans don’t know what to believe. Some turn to talk radio or denial-blogs for their climate information. No wonder they’re confused.

“Actions Have Consequences.”

Trust your gut – and real experts. We should listen to peer-reviewed climate scientists, who are very competitive by nature. This is not about “insuring more fat government research grants.” I have yet to find a climate scientist in the “1 Percent”, driving a midlife-crisis-red Ferrari into the lab.  I truly hope these scientists turn out to be wrong, but I see no sound, scientific evidence to support that position today.  What I keep coming back to is this: all those dire (alarmist!) warnings from climate scientists 30 years ago? They’re coming true, one after another – and faster than supercomputer models predicted. Data shows 37 years/row of above-average temperatures, worldwide. My state has warmed by at least 3 degrees F. Climate change is either “The Mother of All Coincidences” – or the trends are real.

Put me in the “trends are real” camp.

And he goes on. He talks about his Christian roots, and in essence calls out those who either don’t read their Bibles or use them to cloak their impulses to rape the planet. “Were we really put here to plunder the Earth, no questions asked? Isn’t that the definition of greed?”

And he goes on. He talks about economics and entrepreneurs, and notes that  climate change is an opportunity for innovators to really make money. Don’t wave Solyndra around, he says, but face the facts of climate change. “We won’t drill our way out of this challenge; we’ll innovate our way into a new, lower-carbon energy paradigm. Something we’re pretty good at.”

And he goes on.

Honestly, he’s got about seven or eight good posts all wrapped up into one. At his own blog, Douglas has a great rundown of March weather stories in a long series of short items, including not just his own observations but those of other meteorologists and climatologists, backed up with charts and graphs and data of all kinds.

Here in Kansas City, my favorite local weather forecaster called out the climate change deniers last year. We need more folks like Paul Douglas to speak up.