This article was last modified on March 8, 2008.


On Global Warming

The following letter was sent to Marty Thompson at radio station WVBO on March 8, 2008.

On Global Warming

Mr. Thompson,

I was listening to WVBO last evening (Friday, March 7) around 9:50. I didn’t catch the DJ’s name, but as this is your scheduled time, my assumption is that the man I heard was yourself.

I wished to express my disappointment with your presentation of a news story concerning “global cooling”. You had stated global cooling was a new theory, which it is not (it has been around since the 1970s).

You said some scientists think global warming is false because 2007 had a near-record snow fall in Canada and Siberia. While it is true “some” scientists think this, it does not represent the majority opinion or the general consensus. The basic conclusions of global warming have been promoted by more than thirty scientific societies and academies of science, including every national academy of science of the major industrialized countries. Some individual scientists, such as the ones you referenced, have voiced disagreement, but the overwhelming majority of scientists working on climate change agree.

And you — perhaps jokingly — implied that Al Gore ought to return his Nobel Prize. I am no fan of Al Gore, but on the issue of climate change he has been a leader for several decades. If the scientific community wishes to honor him, I support that decision.

I am not an environmentalist. In fact, until recently, I didn’t understand global warming (more properly “global climate change”, as it involves both warming and cooling) and wasn’t convinced it was largely anthropogenic (man-caused). But after examining the
science, I now have no doubt of its reality.

What is bothersome to me is two things: first, the idea that “global warming” is thought of and presented as a political issue. I don’t know your political leanings, but I have found WVBO — especially Rich Allen — to be conservative to the point of being
unable to consider any alternative ideas. Those who don’t believe in it often think it’s part of a “liberal agenda”. Global warming is not a liberal or conservative thing — it is a human thing. How believing in climate change aids a liberal agenda is beyond me.

More specifically, my concern was that I feel media personnel have a responsibility to their audience to present information accurately. I don’t know how many listeners WVBO has on a Friday night, but those listeners deserve to be pointed towards truth rather than ignorance. The manner in which you presented the news story was out of context, one-sided and coming from a perspective of someone with no background in science. (I don’t mean that personally or as an insult. As I said, I recently was uninformed and I think most people in general don’t have the scientific background they should.)

I am sorry to have carried on at such length, and believe me — I love your program. The 1960s and 1970s are incredible years for music, particularly the early years of “yacht rock” — Michael MacDonald and Kenny Loggins. I could listen to “What a Fool Believes” all day. I simply wanted to express my thoughts and remind you that radio DJs can be influential and that this power really calls on the individual to use it wisely.

Thanks for reading and keep the music smooth,

Gavin Schmitt

Also try another article under Letters to ...
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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