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Quotes

Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it.

TONY BLAIR, speech, Sept. 27, 2005

People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global warming is something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.

ELIZABETH KOLBERT, The New Yorker, Apr. 25, 2005

Some of the scientists, I believe, haven’t they been changing their opinion a little bit on global warming? There’s a lot of differing opinions and before we react I think it’s best to have the full accounting, full understanding of what’s taking place.

GEORGE W. BUSH, presidential debate, Oct. 11, 2000

Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming.

AL GORE, speech at National Sierra Club Convention, Sept. 9, 2005

Global warming is indeed a scam, perpetrated by scientists with vested interests, but in need of crash courses in geology, logic and the philosophy of science.

MARTIN KEELEY, BBC News, Dec. 6, 2004

All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it's here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.

BARACK OBAMA, speech, Apr. 3, 2006

I don't mean to imply that we are in imminent danger of being wiped off the face of the earth - at least, not on account of global warming. But climate change does confront us with profound new realities. We face these new realities as a nation, as members of the world community, as consumers, as producers, and as investors. And unless we do a better job of adjusting to these new realities, we will pay a heavy price. We may not suffer the fate of the dinosaurs. But there will be a toll on our environment and on our economy, and the toll will rise higher with each new generation.

EILEEN CLAUSSEN, speech, July 17, 2002

With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it.

JAMES M. INHOFE, speech in U.S. Senate, July 28, 2003

As best as can be determined, the world is now warmer than it has been at any point in the last two millennia, and, if current trends continue, by the end of the century it will likely be hotter than at any point in the last two million years.

ELIZABETH KOLBERT, The New Yorker, Apr. 25, 2005

Most meteorological research is funded by the federal government. And boy, if you want to get federal funding, you better not come out and say human-induced global warming is a hoax because you stand the chance of not getting funded.

WILLIAM GRAY, interview, Sept. 12, 2005

Yes, there is still much about global warming we have to learn and research should continue. But the longer we delay, the more CO2 will build up in the atmosphere. It stays there a long time. If we wait too long before acting, we will pass a point of no return and lock ourselves into centuries of global warming. We could pass one of those dangerous tipping points that could make life very difficult. It's a risk we shouldn't take.

JIM DIPESO, speech, May 1, 2003

Global warming -- at least the modern nightmare vision -- is a myth. I am sure of it and so are a growing number of scientists. But what is really worrying is that the world's politicians and policy makers are not.

DAVID BELLAMY, Daily Mail, July 9, 2004

The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences.

AL GORE, speech at National Sierra Club Convention, Sept. 9, 2005

The good news is we know what to do. The good news is, we have everything we need now to respond to the challenge of global warming. We have all the technologies we need, more are being developed, and as they become available and become more affordable when produced in scale, they will make it easier to respond. But we should not wait, we cannot wait, we must not wait.

AL GORE, speech at National Sierra Club Convention, Sept. 9, 2005

We have many advantages in the fight against global warming, but time is not one of them. Instead of idly debating the precise extent of global warming, or the precise timeline of global warming, we need to deal with the central facts of rising temperatures, rising waters, and all the endless troubles that global warming will bring. We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great. The most relevant question now is whether our own government is equal to the challenge.

JOHN MCCAIN, speech, May 12, 2008

One disappointment I would raise is if you look at the understanding of climate change by scientists -- let's be generous -- 95 percent of scientists say we understand the process and we are convinced there is global warming. The media reports it, like a lot of other stories, as 50-50. They want to always show the other side. That's good, but I'm disappointed that the media does not reflect that there is a 95-5 percent discussion. It sounds like it's 50-50. The public reads this and they can't make up their mind usually.

KONRAD STEFFEN, interview, May 18, 2007

There are very few objections to the theory as a whole; everyone in the scientific community agrees that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is on the rise, and almost everyone believes that it cannot help having some effect. To declare, as some editorialists have done, that the warming has not yet appeared and therefore the theory is wrong is like arguing that a woman hasn't yet given birth and therefore isn't pregnant.

BILL MCKIBBEN, The End of Nature

There will always be those who challenge disturbing facts no matter how good the science. Many Americans don’t believe in evolution; some geologists don’t accept plate tectonics, and some think the NASA Moon missions were a hoax. Self-interest can also create cogitative dissonance between what one wants to believe and what is. Some smokers kept insisting smoking doesn’t cause cancer or heart disease after the Surgeon General’s Report. An African leader who perhaps can’t afford proper drugs holds that the HIV virus doesn’t cause AIDS. Should people die from disinformation and delusions? So what if some don’t believe in global warming? They’re wrong. Survival of high tech civilization is at stake. Time to stop dithering and get serious about policies that could make a difference.

MARTIN HOFFERT, interview, Aug. 22, 2007

I have not seen Al Gore's movie.

DICK CHENEY, ABC interview, Feb. 23, 2007

I think that the Greenhouse situation is a lot like alcoholism. It isn't one moment or one single drink that does you in. Can there be a single "a-ha moment' when you realize that civilization has moved from social drinking (of oil and coal) into a substance-dependent, blackout situation? As an individual, when you're on that slippery slope, there probably is some moment of revolt when your sense of dignity is offended. You wake up in a pool of your own vomit for instance, or find your clothes ripped off by some total stranger. Time to put the cork in the bottle. Find something more life-affirming to do with your time. Unfortunately our society can't rally the way a person can. So instead, we're ending up with these grotesque affronts massive heat waves, dying coral reefs, huge floods and so on, popping out across the face of the planet like an alcoholic's veins. But we're in denial about the Greenhouse thing.

BRUCE STERLING, interview, Aug. 9, 2009

The size of our global warming problem requires a large-scale solution. To meet that challenge, a small group of scientists and entrepreneurs is pursuing what they call geoengineering.... Ideas include seeding the oceans in order to increase algae uptake of CO2, injecting chemicals into the upper atmosphere to cool the poles, blocking sunlight by making clouds more reflective, and stationing heat-deflecting mirrors in space. These schemes, however, are the scientific equivalent of a Hail Mary pass--to be pursued only after all other earth-bound solutions have failed. After all, tinkering with a complex system such as the biosphere can generate unintended consequences, and not necessarily positive ones.

BRIAN DUMAINE, The Plot to Save the Planet

Many scales of climate change are in fact natural, from the slow tectonic scale, to the fast changes embedded within glacial and interglacial times, to the even more dramatic changes that characterize a switch from glacial to interglacial. So why worry about global warming, which is just one more scale of climate change? The problem is that global warming is essentially off the scale of normal in two ways: the rate at which this climate change is taking place, and how different the "new" climate is compared to what came before.

ANTHONY D. BARNOSKY, Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming