Denying climate change

*The views reflected in this article are not those of The Commuter nor its staff.*

Robert Walters is a global warming denier, he doesn’t believe the earth is heading for man-made disaster.

“I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who say it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis,” he said.

Walters is a semi-retired man with a bachelor’s in Chemistry and Psychology. He also holds a Masters in Education, a certificate in Business Analytics and six associates from NCC.

I requested an interview with Walters after hearing his comments regarding the climate strike because I was curious as to how someone with a science degree comes to reject the wider scientific consensus on a topic.

He began the interview by disparaging Greta Thurnberg, a Swedish environmental activist whose campaign for stronger action on global warming led to the recent climate strike, in an attempt to discredit her.

“She has depression, eating disorder, anorexia…what a person to choose as your spokesperson” he said.

He then quickly moves on to data that he’d readied on his computer.

“This data joins two pieces of data, tree ring data and temperature data. What other branch of science do you see two pieces of data forced together like this?” Walters asked me excitedly showing me a graph he’d pulled up on wattsupwiththat.com.

The wattsupwiththat.com is a climate denier website owned and operated by Willard Anthony Watts-also known as Anthony Watts. Watts’s climate science background extends to being a radio weather announcer and most of his projects are funded by Heartland Institute, which in turn is funded in part by oil industries.

“Michael Mann, a Penn State professor whose book NCC uses, lost his lawsuit to Dr. Timothy Ball because he refuses to turn over his raw data,” he says referencing climatologist and geophysicist Michael E. Mann who’s work to identify past climate change patterns helped make significant progress in climate science.

Walters again asks rhetorically which area of science is OK with withholding data. “Even Einstein shared his data.”

Walters believes the earth is cooling rather than warming.

“Sunspots affect the amount of heat the sun radiates and there’s been a slowdown in sunspot activity,” Walters said.

“I’m just a skeptic,” John Steiner chimed in. Steiner is a computer lab tutor here at NCC.

“Back in the ‘60s, it was the ecology movement followed by the first stage of climate change. They believed we were heading for an ice age, but come the ‘90s and global warming came about.” Steiner continues.

Steiner explains that he’s lived through two climate scares to take the current one seriously. “Most of these people are not worried about the global climate, just politics.”