Editors' Blog
April 29, 2008

How Green is Golf, cont'd

Dick Carver of Clifton, Virginia, is another reader who takes exception to our "How Green is Golf?" package. He brings up a provocative piece by Patrick Michaels in the Wall Street Journal.

I have been a golfer since I was twelve, and it has remained a real important part of my life. I personally believe Golf has an obligation to always maintain the environment. However, I am disappointed in teh "advocates" you chose to make the case for the issues related to the current condition of our environment and the steps everyone in the golfing world need to take as a commitment to our Earth. In the April 18 edition of the Wall Street Journal is an op-ed by Professor Patrick Michaels, who is a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. John Barton should have begun by talking to people like Professor Michaels instead of people with little science background, who promote the anecdotal approach to the current claims about global warming.

As Professor Michaels points out, these problems, including the role of golf, need to be based on honest, scientific examination, not "political concepts. >

I recommend the Michaels piece. From his conclusion:

There's a photograph in the journal "Arctic," published in 1953 by R.H. Katz, captioned "River disappearing in 40-foot deep gorge," on Greenland's Adolf Hoels Glacier. It's all there in the open literature, but apparently that's too inconvenient to bring up. Greenland didn't shed its ice then. There was no acceleration of the rise in sea level. Finally, no one seems to want to discuss that for millennia after the end of the last ice age, the Eurasian arctic was several degrees warmer in summer (when ice melts) than it is now. We know this because trees are buried in areas that are now too cold to support them. Back then, the forest extended all the way to the Arctic Ocean, which is now completely surrounded by tundra. If it was warmer for such a long period, why didn't Greenland shed its ice?

This prompts the ultimate question: Why is the news on global warming always bad? Perhaps because there's little incentive to look at things the other way. If you do, you're liable to be pilloried by your colleagues. If global warming isn't such a threat, who needs all that funding? Who needs the army of policy wonks crawling around the world with bold plans to stop climate change?

But as we face the threat of massive energy taxes â¿¿ raised by perceptions of increasing rates of warming and the sudden loss of Greenland's ice â¿¿ we should be talking about reality.

--Bob Carney