I feel grateful for Donald R. Prothero’s “How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human Caused” in Skeptic Magazine 17:2(2012) 14-22. Prothero first enumerates the evidence concerning anthropogenic global warming (carbon dioxide increase, melting polar ice caps, melting glaciers, sea level rise), then critically analyses the main arguments of climate change critics (particularly those who will admit the changes but not human responsibility), and ends with the important question “Why do people continue to question the reality of climate change?”.
To answer to this last question he points to the financial power and interests of “right-wing institutes and the energy lobby” and shows that we are facing here “a purely political controversy, rather than a scientific debate”.
I am particularly grateful that the article begins with a quote of Richard Feynman: “Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled”. Amongst scientists there is near unanimity concerning anthropogenic climate warming, while they agree and push that the matter be pursued even more thoroughly than the current Best Science Available (BAS – scientists will always, I think, agree on that point and, therefore, welcome articulate and well founded scientific debate). I fully agree with Prothero that “climate deniers have a lot of (…) things in common with creationists and other anti-science movements”. Let’s hope that political leadership will lend a better and more responsible ear to those scientists who attempt to be true to reality instead of attempting to obscure the facts out of political and financial interests. As a Roman Catholic theologian and Jesuit I also continue to hope that both the Churches and religions as a whole, as well as the worldwide religious institutions will assume their responsibilities and put their capacities at the best use to provide a decent response to the challenges of anthropogenic climate warming.