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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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No more debates: It’s time to face the heat

By David Servatius

Forget the latest offering from Stephen King. You want to feel real horror? Curl up with a hot cup of tea and a copy of Climate Change and Utah: The Scientific Consensus. It reports the findings of a study on climate change conducted by a panel of local scientists and was recently presented to Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s advisory council on the subject.

I won’t recite the litany of disasters predicted this time around. There’s been a lot of coverage of the details. They’re basically the same in every report on climate change that comes out. The big difference in this region, according to the Utah report, will be in the severity of the effects. It’s predicted they will be worse here.

So including this one, the tally of credible academic studies sounding the alarm on climate change is now well into the hundreds. By credible, I mean rigorously researched and peer-reviewed, with protocols in place to eliminate political influence. The tally of the same type of credible studies finding that everything is just fine is exactly zero.

Of course, reports and studies are impressive — but not really necessary to understand what is happening. Did anyone spend any time outside this summer? I did. I was outside a lot during the three solid months of 10-degrees-above-normal temperatures, which resulted in the hottest summer ever recorded in the state. Was anyone planning on going skiing this past big opening weekend? How’d that work out?

Folks, it’s clearly time to declare that the debate over the existence of climate change is over. There are no longer two reasonable sides to this issue, and trying to pretend that there are only wastes valuable resources. It’s long past time for the discussion about solutions to get underway.

Those who persist in calling climate change a convenient myth or junk science should not be allowed to participate in this discussion. When they try, they should be met with ridicule. At this point, anyone denying the existence of climate change either has a vested financial interest in the status quo or is simply not educated enough to think for him or herself. Such ideas should no longer get one bit of air time, news space or credibility.

Think about it. When there is a story in the media about the Holocaust, is there ever anything in that story about the views of people who deny that it happened? Do we see a split screen on CNN with a rabbi on one side and Mel Gibson and his dad on the other?

If an airplane mysteriously drops out of the sky and crashes into a populated urban area, do we include equal space in the local paper examining the point of view of those who are not yet convinced of the law of gravity?

If there is coverage of a solar eclipse on television, do we spend time hearing a competing description of what is happening onscreen from people who still believe that the sun revolves around the earth?

When there is a report released on smoking deaths with more evidence that smoking causes lung cancer, does media coverage of that report seek out and include the views of tobacco industry experts who swear that the habit is actually a healthy one?

No. If what is described in each of these cases were to actually happen, it would be pure comedy. This is the company to which people who deny the existence of climate change belong. It is time to sweep them and their discredited views into the wastebin of history.

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