CHRIS A RUSNAK
mated the polarizing nature of featuring
Mr. Gore on our cover and of running his
article on alternative energy. Included on
these pages is a sampling of the comments
contact Fred Singer, the most knowledgeable of the climate-change “deniers,” to write
a balancing piece for you.
Letting Gore go unanswered would be a
grave disservice to your customers.
We took your advice. See below.—Ed.
Gore and hot air?
[Mr. Gore’s] overwhelming goal, in my
opinion, is to further line his pockets with
cash for carbon offsets, something he will be
unable to do once the “other field” of noted
scientists are allowed into the public forum to
offer evidence that climate control “Gore
style” will do practically nothing to reduce
the cyclical climate changes the Earth has
experienced for the past hundreds of years.
In fact, over the last 11 years, the Earth has
What might have been
When I saw Al Gore on the cover, my first
thought was “What might have been.” Almost
10 years have passed, yet I have not forgotten
that he was the real winner. I’m just an ordinary American, but I feel certain that war
would not have been a priority (and where all
our money is going) and that we would not be
in this economic or environmental situation
had we had his leadership, which he won fair
Al Gore is a great American. And
America lost out from 2000 to 2008.
Seeking to understand
I know of some friends who said they’d
consider canceling their Costco membership because Mr. Al Gore’s picture (and
article) appeared in the November Costco
I don’t understand why anyone would
do that just because they differ with his
views. If people don’t like him, they can simply choose not to read the article. I don’t
agree with him 100 percent, but so what?
This is not the hill to die on. I would never
give up my Costco membership over Al
Gore (or George Bush, for that matter).
Karen and Brad Yeung
Wow, have you guys evolved! I used to
just skim The Costco Connection and now
read it cover to cover. This month’s issue
was especially interesting. Loved the articles on Al Gore, Barbara Kingsolver and
Mitch Albom. The articles on researching
our family history and creating life stories
were especially useful. Thanks for a great
issue. Keep up the good work!
A scientist’s view on climate change
A lthough Al Gore’s article in The Connection did not go into specif- ics, part of its premise is that there is
a “climate crisis.” Scientists seem to be in
disagreement about that. One respected scientist who says there is no crisis is Dr. S.
Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia
and director of the nonprofit Science and
Environmental Policy Project. We asked
him for his comments, presented below.
Climate change is a major political issue
with many conflicting claims of causes and
possible solutions. We attempt to separate
what is scientifically known from what is
not, and what is economically practical
from what is not.
Is the climate changing? Yes! Climate is
always changing. For the last 2 million
years, nearly 20 ice-age periods have dominated the Earth’s climate, interrupted by
warm periods lasting 10,000 years or so.
During the current warm period the climate has been both warmer and cooler
than today. For 3,000 years it was about 5
degrees F warmer.
Is global warming real? Yes! But not in a
way indicating carbon dioxide is the cause.
Thirty years of comprehensive satellite observations show a warming in the northern part
of the globe, little warming in the tropics and
the southern portion—and a distinct cooling
of Antarctica. Global warming stopped a
Are you saying there is no climate crisis? Yes!
There is no scientific basis for concluding the
climate is doing anything unprecedented or
Isn’t there a security crisis from our dependence on foreign oil? According to the
Congressional Research Service, the U.S. has
more fossil fuels than any other nation. If
energy security is a pressing issue, we should
be developing our coal, oil and gas resources
and clearing the regulatory minefield that prohibits nuclear power plants. Instead, we are
going the other way.
Don’t we need new sources of energy to get us
out of the economic crisis? American prosperity was built on affordable, reliable energy,
particularly electricity. Electricity will be even
more important in the 21st century. No rational business would shut down productive
assets before more productive ones are avail-
able, but that is what is being proposed.
Shutting down coal, which produces almost
50 percent of our electricity, without
equally productive sources in place makes
no economic sense.
Why are national and international politicians demanding that carbon dioxide emissions be controlled? Many well-meaning
politicians are in the grips of a mania fed by
political, not scientific, studies. These studies ignore past warming and cooling periods. Science must never ignore physical
evidence. Politicians believing these political documents believe they can control climate by controlling human activity. The
strongest opposition comes from China
and India, which realize such controls are
fruitless and economically destructive.
Are any groups challenging the UN and
EPA climate reports? Several distinguished
scientists formed the Nongovernmental
International Panel on Climate Change
(NIPCC) to study these reports. The 2008
NIPCC report concluded that the government reports and their models are biased,
obsolete and wrong and that nature, not
human activity, rules the climate (www.