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  Tuesday January 27th, 2015    

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Planetary priorities (02/11/2007)
From: Paul Schollmeier

Rollingstone, MN

A couple of weeks ago my wife (Chris Meyer), wrote a letter to the editor about her concerns for global warming. The next week H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, Texas, wrote a strong letter telling her she had her head in the fog. Never mind the fact he assumed she was a he. Mr. Burnett wanted to correct her implication that a Dr. Deming, an American geophysicist often writing against global warming, worked for the NCPA.

Does Dr. Deming work for the NCPA? I'm confused since the NCPA website lists him as one of the expert members of their e-team and they feature 4 anti-global warming articles by him on the site.

Why would a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, Texas, be interested in a letter to the editor published in a local small town paper?

Because the National Center for Policy Analysis is a conservative advocacy group promoting political ideology not facts about global warming. The self-proclaimed right wing organization "People for The American Way" tout the NCPA as a "right wing think tank," receiving funding from other self-proclaimed conservative foundations. As my wife noted, this includes almost 400,000 dollars from Exxon-Mobil. The NCPA web- site lists the various methods that they use to disseminate information such as talk shows, opinion columns, the Internet etc. A google of Mr. Burnet returned over 577,000 hits. I was able to see editorial articles authored by Mr. Burnett in quite a few papers (Charlotte Observer, Central Utah Daily Herald, Pittsburgh Tribute Review, The Hawaii Reporter) as well as his articles posted to NRA websites and interviews he did on Fox news, all against global warming and gun control (his other specialization). Which simply emphasizes the point my wife made, the NCPA is promoting a political agenda and not interested in the facts about global warming.

In a 2006 posting on the NCPA website David Deming himself states, "The world will eventually leave the age of oil, but there is no geologic reason for this to happen until near the end of the 21st century." Other articles found on the website strongly encourage expanded exploration for other oil reserves including the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, and offshore drilling. This sentiment is echoed by Burnett himself with his recommendation to vastly expand the use of coal for generating electricity. Thus denying the potential economic and environmental benefits of technologies that do not rely on fossil fuels.

This is typical of many conservative ideals, placing self-interest pocketbook agendas ahead of global issues that will define the human species. This leads me to ask, "just what are conservatives conserving?"

This week the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met in Paris. You've probably heard the news reports that their findings are even stronger than the last report. There is more evidence of global warming and it's more certainly because of human activity.

Some experts believe we still have time, some feel we've already created a runaway problem and we're damned. I attended the presentation by Will Steger as a part of the Frozen River Film Festival. He is advocating a 60% - 80% CO2 emissions reduction by the year 2050. And the consequences if we don't are a planet in 50 years that we won't recognize and where the human population would have an almost impossible time trying to survive on. Is an 80% reduction possible in 40 years? Is Mr. Steger an expert on global warming? Perhaps not, but he has witnessed firsthand the effects of a warming planet and shared his observations with the public.

My wife and I have no children and are keenly aware that what we chose to do, or not do, will have a profound impact on future generations. We are morally compelled to act, not in our own self-interest, but in the interest of those who will inherit the Earth.

To help you decide:

For information and views from Will Steger and Global Warming 101


For information and views from the Union of Concerned Scientist:


For information and views from the National Center for Policy Analysis:


To get the United Nations report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change



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