By Katharine Hayhoe
The Fourth National Climate Assessment — the work of 13 federal agencies and more than 350 scientists, including me — is clear: The Earth is warming faster than at any time in human history, and we’re the ones causing it. Climate change is already affecting people, and the more carbon we produce, the more dangerous the effects over the coming century. Nevertheless, many people continue to believe and propagate some misleading myths. Here are the five I hear most frequently.
When the second volume of the National Climate Assessment was released on Nov. 23, Rick Santorum, a Republican former senator from Pennsylvania, took to CNN to proclaim that climate scientists “are driven by the money that they receive.” Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) appeared on the network the next day declaring the report to be “made by scientists that get paid to further the politics of global warming.”
I was one of the report’s authors. How much did I earn for the hundreds of hours I spent on it? Nothing. Nearly every day, climate scientists are accused of venality. Our other purported sins include fabricating data, selling out to “big green” — which supposedly tethers our grant money to doom-and-gloom findings — and fanning the flames of hysteria to further our nefarious agenda.
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