As an engineer/scientist that has done significant research and development related to alternative energy sources I come away from the article and subsequent comments with the following perception.
1) Both sides of the argument seem to be engaged in politicizing and name calling.
2) There is scientific data available that would assist the argument of each side.
3) I do not believe as Al Gore stated, "The debate is over". I believe this debate is still in progress and no true scientist would make such a rash statement.
4) I also believe that these e-mails and the fudged data do not prove that man made global warming does not exist. It does show, however, unethical behaviour by some of the scientists involved in the studies/presentation of data. Fudging data, deleting correspondence that does not support the end game and other such activities does not provide transparency and confidence in the methods used.
Of course we should take the obvious steps of encouraging alternative energy sources (one example is that the U.S. has extended significant tax breaks for the installation of solar / wind / other alternative energy sources) through the year 2016 - the tax breaks are tangible, extensive, and the new federal law does not pose a cap. This is common sense as renewable energy sources should be exploited wherever possible and a reduction in the consumption of non renewable sources will result in greater political stability, global security, and of course a better environment.
On the other hand I do not think we should pursue a global (or localized type of ) Cap and Trade type carbon tax, which will enrich Goldman Sachs and similar interests. The folks trying to dictate to us how we should live will continue to fly their private jets around the planet, ride in limos, live the high life while we are told to conserve and reduce.
International treaties that do not involve all nations will not result in environmental improvement....only result in polluting activities being transferred to those exempt countries. This has been proven again and again.
Continue the research. Open up all the data. Allow for an open and transparent debate and keep encouraging alternative energy sources and quit the name calling and labeling of people that disagree. Disagreement and debate is a part of the scientific process.
Find those guilty of tampering with or deleting data and exclude them from further activities related to this issue.
Alternative energy is getting cheaper by the year and more available. If you are in Japan go to some of the trade shows (such as the big PV show in Yokohama in June 2010) and see first hand what is going on related to alternative energy. I think you may walk away encouraged and confident that we are making great strides .... without the imposition of additional taxes and tarifs, which will most adversely affect those that can least afford them.
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