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A Closer Look at Climate Change Skepticism -- An Interesting Assessment

In an interesting assessment, the author notes:  "Debate over climate change is nothing new. Scientists have been arguing about whether greenhouse gases released by human activity might change the climate since the late nineteenth century, when Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius first proposed that industrial emissions might cause global warming. Fueled by partisan bickering, this dispute now is more bellicose than ever. [¶] Skeptics in the media (typically conservatives) deride global warming as a monumental hoax, while those who believe in the evidence for human-induced climate change (typically liberals) accuse the skeptics of being industry-funded hacks. Meanwhile, efforts to impose cuts on greenhouse gas emissions are failing to get off the ground. Global leaders attending the United Nations Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009 were unable to negotiate a binding agreement on how to reduce these emissions. And despite President Obama's campaign pledge to make climate change a priority for his administration, bills aimed at transforming U.S. energy policy are stuck in Congress.  [¶]  But a closer look reveals that what conservative bloggers, pundits, and politicians say about climate change isn't reflected by what even the more skeptical scientists actually believe. Indeed, scientist-skeptics no longer deny that global warming is actually happening, according to Stefan Rahmstorf, a professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Instead, they have shifted their attention to attribution-meaning what's causing the warming to occur-and whether mandated cuts in greenhouse gases can ever reverse it or should even try."

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