Now that Fred Thompson has declared that he is running for president a statement of his on global warming that he wrote on the ABC Radio Networks website back in April is receiving a lot of attention. Here is the statement:
Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto. NASA says the Martian South Pole's ice cap has been shrinking for three summers in a row. Maybe Mars got its fever from earth. If so, I guess Jupiter's caught the same cold, because it's warming up too, like Pluto. This has led some people, not necessarily scientists, to wonder if Mars and Jupiter, non-signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, are actually inhabited by alien SUV-driving industrialists who run their air-conditioning at 60 degrees and refuse to recycle. Silly, I know, but I wonder what all those planets, dwarf planets and moons in our SOLAR system have in common. Hmmmm. SOLAR system. Hmmmm. Solar? I wonder. Nah, I guess we shouldn't even be talking about this. The science is absolutely decided. There's a consensus. Ask Galileo.
The statement seems to suggest that Thompson is a global warming denier blaming increased solar activity for the rise in mean global temperature on Earth rather than greenhouse gases from human sources. Perhaps he is? On the other hand there are huge numbers of American voters who believe that increased solar activity is the culprit even though scientists have found not a shred of evidence to support this notion. If I had to make a guess I think that Thompson believes that “the science is absolutely decided” and “there’s a consensus.” The other stuff is probably to get votes by sticking it to liberals. His comments are amusing but for those of us who think that that facts presented in peer-reviewed scientific journals carry more weight than flip remarks by conservative politicians and that taking quick action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is absolutely urgent there is more reason to laugh at Thompson rather than with him.