I’ll bet some of you remember the children’s story about Chicken Little. In this story, the main character runs around the barnyard declaring, “The sky is falling!” Everyone seeing her panicked behavior believes her. Why wouldn’t they? After all, her delivery is convincing, and she speaks with authority. As her dire warning spreads, fear spreads too.

None of Chicken Little’s close companions question this tiny fowl’s assertion. Nobody steps up to calmly say, “Wait a minute. Let’s look at all the facts before we accept her words as truth.” There’s no sensible search for an answer, nor is there a deliberate discussion or debate about her calamitous claim.

Her foreboding forecast results in her buddies’ blind belief that their world will soon come to a disastrous end. The ultimate cause of all this crazy chaos turns out to be an acorn. One of nature’s nuts fell from a tree, innocently clunking our feathered friend on her head, triggering her conclusion of a falling sky.

Recently, when I heard the televised reading of Swedish teenage global alarmist Greta Thunberg at the UN Climate Change Conference, I did not doubt her sincerity, and I’m certain there are many who agree with her statements. Me? I’m skeptical. I question her factual accuracy, her basic scientific proof and data verification. I’m wondering. Are all current climate change conclusions based on rational environmental evidence or irrational ideology? My hunch is, it’s a bit of both.

In her speech Greta says, “We are at the beginning of mass extinction…” This fits the same doom and gloom narrative of the “Green New Deal.” There are those who claim, if we do not submit to their radical demands, our planet will face total environmental collapse within the decade. So, I’m compelled to ask, “Is it true? Is the sky really falling?”

Let’s take a moment to consider these positive, well documented, scientific observations. A slow warming trend over the past 300 years has opened up more of our planet’s surface to plant growth, resulting in soaring global crop production. Climate change activists push us to believe the Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking, but recent satellite pictures indicate its size is greater than at any other time in recorded history. Believe it or not, objective science also proves extreme weather events have become less frequent and less severe as a result of earth’s modest warming.

Pardon me if once again my skepticism resurfaces, but growing up in the 1960s I witnessed televised ads warning us, earth’s population explosion would cause global upheaval and mass starvation. Following the blizzard of 1978, many alarmists predicted and promised the coming of a new “ice age.” Not so long ago, acid rain was supposed to wipe out most vegetation. Ever wonder what happened to our Earth’s shrinking ozone layer? I read it’s regenerating and has improved by 3%.

When climate change crusaders preach, “We must stop using fossil fuels, or our planet is doomed,” I’m skeptical. Why? Because many actor activists and powerful politicians drive gas guzzling cars, fly private jets, own yachts which gobble fuel at alarming rates, and live in multiple mansions, using more electricity in one month than I use in an entire year.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe we must be serious, vigilant protectors of Earth’s precious resources. I believe nations need to work together to be good stewards of this planet, but I also believe we deserve honest, politically unbiased, factual discussions on this emotionally charged topic. I also expect climate change to be openly debated by experts; not alarmists, not actors and not politicians.

A former head of The American Meteorological Society gave a calming talk stating climate change has forever been a natural part of our planet’s cycles. Scientists with this common sense outlook are rarely placed in front of a television camera. As I write and watch a once threatened bald eagle land in a field across from my office, I’m thinking. Maybe some “sky is falling” skepticism would have been beneficial for Chicken Little and her merry band of barnyard buddies.

Email comments to briank@northwestsignal.net

I started at the Northwest Signal in 1994 and became editor in 2004. I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1994.

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