Don Williams
Photo by Justin Williams

Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at Opednews.com and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: http://www.mach2.com/williams/. Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email DonWilliams7@charter.net.


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Don Williams comments

Don't Be A Party to the Attack on Gore
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   06/09/2006)

Now that you mention it is a deceptively powerful phrase. It suggests permission to proceed; subject broached, time to take off the gloves. I bring it up because the most shameless critics of Al Gore's new film, “An Inconvenient Truth” have mentioned things that could come back to bite them.

“Gore believed in global warming almost as much as Hitler believed there was something wrong with the Jews,” hurricane specialist Bill Gray said, according to The Washington Post Magazine of May 28.

“You don't go see Joseph Goebbels' films to see the truth about Nazi Germany,” said Sterling Burnett on Fox News, May 23, referring to Hitler's minister of propaganda. “You don't go see Al Gore's films to see the truth about global warming.”

Now that you mention it…

Who are the real ministers of propaganda? Who's in denial about the most serious threat to our world? The time is fast approaching when history will make comparisons between the Nazi Holocaust and Global Warming, and those who continue to deny man's role in climate change will find themselves relegated to history's hall of shame.

The science is in, more or less, it's past time to act.

Science magazine conducted a survey of all articles on climate change that ran in peer-reviewed science journals between 1993 and 2003, and found that over 99 percent of them concluded global warming is real and that it bears man's fingerprint. “Peer-reviewed” means other scientists examined the methods and conclusions presented in the articles and signed off on their integrity. Think about that ye deniers of global warming.

It's a shameful fact of our times that most articles in the popular media—media not peer-reviewed by scientists—suggest there's still significant doubt about the reality of climate change, Gore said on a recent Public Radio appearance. It's as if Fox News and the Wall Street Journal were still giving equal time to both the Flat Earth Society and true science organizations.

The American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Union of Concerned Scientists all have issued statements in recent years concluding that global warming is real and bears man's fingerprint. At a meeting in January, six former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency condemned the Bush Administration for lack of environmental leadership. Five are Republicans. When asked to raise their hands if they thought global warming was real, all six did so, the Washington Post reported.

Yes, the science is basically in. The Earth is basically round, and this beautiful world is basically in trouble. Coral reefs are dying. Glaciers are melting. Hurricanes are intensifying. Species are perishing. Many cultures and communities are imperiled. Several studies suggest we're rapidly reaching a point of no return.

The process of global warming isn't uniform. Yes, it's likely tied to sunspots. Yes, it's cyclical. Yes, anomalies persist. Volcanic eruptions and other things disrupt warming trends from time to time. But after adjusting for all those factors, the overwhelming number of scientists who seriously study the process say mankind is changing our world's climate by pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Anyone who cares to know the truth about this, knows it already--save for a few scientists on the fringe and a long shameful list of polluters and sympathizers—many funded by Exxon-Mobil and others who've deliberately nurtured a state of confusion about this central tragedy of our time. History will harshly judge those who sold out the planet for a pocket full of gold, political power or simply to remain smug in their sense of American entitlement. History will remember just who tore solar panels off the White House, who derided Gore as “Ozone Man,” who censored government scientists, who placed foxes in charge of henhouses, who scuttled mileage standards for big cars, who distracted the public with eye candy and “reality programming” and fear-mongering about gays and the United Nations when we might've built a consensus for tackling real problems.

On the other hand, history will remember Al Gore in the same breath as Carl Sagan, J.E. Lovelock, Svante Arrhenius, Roger Revelle and other prophets who cried out from the melting mountaintops that something is going wrong with the planet. Those who deny their truth will hold a shameful place in future history, for they imperil the world.

Please, don't be a party to it.