A Dangerous Call to Inaction

On December 27, 2018, The Eagle ran an op-ed piece by a retired oil and gas lawyer named Cullen Godfrey which basically said that global warming is a hoax, climate science and climate scientists are wrong, and that we should all just stay calm. Godfrey goes so far as to say there is a “global warming hysteria”. To prove his point, Godfrey mentions several historical examples in which scientists and scientific theories were ultimately proven to be wrong. Needless to say, Godfrey fails to mention even one of the countless examples of scientists being correct. After reading his piece, I felt as if my grandfather had patted me on the head as a child, told me not to be frightened, and to go back to sleep.

If you are predisposed to believe that a warming planet is not a problem, or that man is not causing it, or that it is already too late and too expensive to do something about it, or that climate scientists and scientists in general are wrong or worse, crooked, then Godfrey’s message will give you comfort.

On the other hand, for those of us who are truly worried about this issue, Godfrey is another example of someone who has life-long ties to the oil and gas industry and no scientific background, knowledge or credentials whatsoever, purposefully spreading disinformation and sowing doubt about what may be the most important issue facing mankind.

As luck would have it, on the same day The New York Times ran a 12 page special report, “THIS IS OUR REALITY NOW”, which details at great length the many serious environmental problems we are facing and the Trump Administration’s rollback of environmental rules and regulations. The Trump Administration has either changed (rolled back) or has pending proposals to change 78 important environmental protection rules and regulations whether by executive order or through the regulatory authority of the EPA, the Interior Department and other executive branch agencies. Another 11 rules were changed and then reinstated following legal challenges. The Trump Administration has not proposed a single rule or regulation intended to protect the environment.

 I urge you to read this outstanding piece of investigative journalism. A short synopsis of all the regulatory rollbacks is available in the report. It’s frightening as heck, but unlike Mr. Godfrey’s opinion, it’s based on facts.