Santa Maria Sun / Commentary
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 18
Put Andy in the hot seatLobbying--against global warming, for instance--isn't activism
BY GALE McNEELEY
Andy Caldwell is well paid by special interest groups to publish, advertise, and promote his and their opinions. Because of his media presence in the community, some people believe he is actually a community activist. That is a false assumption. A real community activist doesn’t get paid for his opinion, and Andy’s columns and ads are just that: opinions. They are seldom, if ever, backed up
His piece on the world conspiracy to make California go green, and supposedly ruin our economy, is the latest and perhaps most egregious of
His simplistic argument that climate is always changing, and that experts no longer call it global warming, is deceptively both true and false. Yes, our climate is always changing, but thousands of scientists around the world have proven that global warming is a fact. They predict that it will destroy many low-lying countries if the world doesn’t work together to decrease emissions. The Maldives, Tuvalu, and Malawi are three countries in great danger.
In a recent article from Reuters on the devastating U.S. wildfires, Michael Oppenheimer, a lead author for the UN’s climate science panel, says, “What we’re seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like. It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster. … This provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future.”
So, what does Mr. Caldwell quote to prove
his point? His own “opinion” of a book he read in college, which he never names, but is titled The Limits of Growth. He tells us that a dastardly plan was hatched by a group called “The Club of Rome.” (See how he tries to scare us by the foreign influences behind this coup.)
Andy claims that a team of scientists wrote this book “to convince the rich countries to lower their standard of living by reducing their economic output.
“How?” Andy asks, and then answers: “By convincing us that we [are] destroying the planet via our energy consumption.”
In truth, The Limits of Growth is a seminal 1972 study that used computer modeling to show the effects of unchecked economic and population growth on an Earth with finite resources, and, yes, that we could destroy the planet with unchecked consumption of non-renewable energy like oil.
Follow-up scientific studies in 2009, 2010, and 2011 have found that the predictions of The Limits of Growth are in line with our current reality.
“The warnings that we received in 1972,” says Ugo Bardi, founder of the Italian section of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, “are becoming increasingly more worrisome as reality seems to be following closely the curves that their scenario generated.”
All reputable climate scientists have proven that we are destroying the planet by our energy consumption. It is not a plot by anyone, except perhaps the oil companies, who want us to believe Andy Caldwell’s unique take on the issue.
Andy says China is the problem, and not California, when it comes to emissions. Then why is China, like California, a leader in alternative energy development? Is this a plot, too, to make us think they are concerned about their country and the planet as much as we are?
It’s really dollars and cents with Andy. He works for COLAB, which is a business group that will soon be asking us to “drill baby, drill” on the Central Coast. He and COLAB will also tell us there is no danger in fracking, when the science is still developing on what dangers it may pose to us and our environment.
Andy Caldwell is a lobbyist disguised as a community activist. He has great platforms in the newspapers and on the radio, but remember he’s being paid to say what he says by people who want a return on their investment.
There are great community activists on the Central Coast: Nat Fast, who has promoted the arts on the Central Coast for many decades; Nancy Johnson, whose work on community planning, for PCPA Theaterfest, and Planned Parenthood has made such a difference; Bill Denneen, who fights to get motorized vehicles out of our dunes to save our delicate ecology; Herb Kandel, who created a native garden in Nipomo, and whose efforts have won the Dana Adobe grants to expand this historic jewel. There is a long list of volunteer activists who do make our lives better.
Andy Caldwell is not one of them. He is an “opinionator” with a “bully” pulpit, and I mean that literally because, as a host, he bullies anyone who calls in with an opposing opinion.
Mr. Caldwell owes it to his readers to check the facts, and not to confuse fact with opinion, when he writes his ads for the Sun. Otherwise, they should all come with this: “Warning! Read these ads with caution. They may have very little to do with the truth.”
Gale McNeeley is a Santa Maria resident. Send comments to the executive editor at email@example.com.
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