1. The planet is heating up. (Science magazine, Dec. 2004, surveyed 928 articles from peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate change and showed no disagreement on this point.)
2. It is, at least in part, caused by human activity. (See 700-plus peer-reviewed articles cited in the Science magazine article, statements by five former and present Republican Environmental Protection Agency chiefs, quoted in the Washington Post, statements issued by The American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more).
3. The consequences could be dire. Global warming might have killed many thousands already--in European heat waves, increased hurricane activity, flooding, African droughts and tribal warfare and disease brought on by drought. Moreover, glaciers are melting, coral reefs are dying, ocean temperatures are increasing. These very probably will influence future food production, quality of water and air, geopolitics, etc. (See sources cited in Points 1 and 2.)
5. A growing body of world leaders, including 90-plus signers of the Kyoto Accords, presidential candidates John McCain, Al Gore, Joe Lieberman, Lamar Alexander and Bill Clinton, etc., have acknowledged the findings of scientists and urged action to curb pollution that contributes to global warming. (Email me for voluminous citations).
6. It is impossible to demonstrate that benefits of anthropogenic global warming (that portion attributable to us) will out-weigh the dire consequences. (Given).
8. Millions or billions of people and other creatures with whom we share this planet could suffer if we dont. (See Point 3.)
9. It is immoral and perhaps suicidal to permit this to happen. (Given).
* Conclusion: We must act to counter the dire consequences of global warming.
Now, a few observations: If you look at the above syllogism as a scale for measuring public opinion, Id wager a majority of Americans would more or less agree all the way through to the conclusion. Where the syllogism breaks down among more conservative critics is at Points Three and Seven, and even then its a matter of interpretation. Many on the right still deny that global warming is bad news even when presented with video of drowned and starving polar bears, migrating Eskimos, widespread droughts, fires, the drowning of New Orleans, Hurricane Rita, famine in the Sudan and so on (Point Three).
And while my critics might agree that its a given one should ere on the side of caution (Point Seven), many interpret old saying to suggest we should take no action that might dampen the economy, which could also result in bad effects. They suggest, rather, that we put our faith in the free market to solve all our problems, or else gamble that the benefits of global warming will outweigh the bad effects.
Finally, each of us must address these issues in our own hearts and minds. As for me, I'm on the side of saving Mother Earth. This is not silly or alarmist. Its a response to state-of-the-art science as near as I can determine from consulting a broad spectrum of sources. I have a duty to tell my version of the truth to anyone who will listen, because the stakes couldnt possibly be higher. Everything we know and love could be at risk of dying.
Yes, I believe the threat of global warming could be many times worse than the Nazi Holocaust in its eventual results-billions could die because were in denial, just as Nazi Germany was in denial--but you must decide for yourself. I wish you Godspeed in your quest for the truth.
Thanks for listening.