Scientists demand meeting to talk climate with head of American Farm Bureau
It’s not just mountaintop removal mining that’s making activists of scientists. Now a group of 40 climate scientists backed by the Union of Concerned Scientists has written a letter demanding a meeting with American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman to discuss his group’s continued endorsement of climate denial and refusal to acknowledge the reality of anthropogenic climate change. For its part, the AFB shows no sign of backing down. According to ag journalist Chris Clayton, the AFB’s annual meeting which starts this weekend will feature the group’s climate denial prominently (sub req’d):
Farm Bureau has been opposed to climate legislation in Congress that would work to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through cap-and-trade, which would cap emissions and establish a trading program for emission allowances and offsets. Farm Bureau’s campaign is “Don’t CAP Our Future,” which is being highlighted at the AFBF convention.
At the convention, Farm Bureau has scheduled a seminar titled “Global Warming: A Red Hot Lie?” which will be given by an attorney from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
And who is this attorney? According to UCS he is none other than:
[C]limate change denier Christopher Horner, who will be the only scheduled speaker addressing climate at the annual American Farm Bureau meeting later this week in Seattle. Horner is an attorney with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an industry-funded, anti-regulation think tank that has received millions of dollars over the last decade from the auto and oil companies, most notably ExxonMobil, to try to block federal action on climate change.
Sigh. The climate scientists on the other hand beg to differ. From their letter (PDF):
Climate change is already changing our world. According to the National Climatic Data Center (NOAA), the ten hottest years on record (since comprehensive temperature records began in 1880) have all occurred since 1990. Even though this year has been relatively cool in some parts of the United States, 2009 is on track to be the 6th warmest year on record in terms of global average temperature, and this decade will be the warmest on record.
While it is true that Earth experiences natural warming and cooling cycles, scientists have accounted for these cycles in their analyses and in their models of the physics, chemistry, and biology affecting the Earth’s climate system. The evidence clearly shows that the primary cause of the observed warming in recent decades is a result of increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, which come from human activity.
Given this vast scientific consensus on climate change, we are disappointed that the American Farm Bureau has taken the inaccurate and marginalized stance that “there is no generally agreed upon scientific assessment on the exact impact or extent of carbon emissions from human activities, their impact on past decades of warming or how they will affect future climate changes.”
Your organization’s position does not reflect the consensus opinion of the science community or the scientific literature. Your stance represents the position taken by a relatively small number of climate change deniers, whose opinions and misrepresentations of the scientific data are typically not published in peer-reviewed scientific literature, but are instead shared in arenas that are not subject to rigorous scientific review.
The need to take climate change action is more urgent than ever. The latest science indicates that many climate impacts are happening faster than previously projected. Fortunately, we can still avoid the worst consequences if we take action soon. With that in mind, we hope to meet with you in the next few weeks to discuss this important matter.
What say, Bob? Are you man enough to meet with climate experts who actually know what they’re talking about?
Get Grist in your inbox