Climate change is undeniable, Victoria College prof says in new book

Sara  Sneath By Sara Sneath

May 13, 2014 at 12:13 a.m.
Updated May 14, 2014 at 12:14 a.m.

Evidence of climate change is no longer only accessible to scientists, according to a recently published e-book by a former Victoria College professor.

Greenhouse gases are on the rise around the globe, and the effects are evident: The earth is getting warmer, sea levels are rising, and ice caps are melting.

These facts are undeniable, said Christopher Keating, a retired Victoria College physics professor.

"In the general public, we see this huge disparity. Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree climate change is real, but only about 55 percent of the general public believe in climate change," Keating said. "There's no longer a debate among scientists. The debate is going on in the general public."

Keating's e-book, "Undeniable: Dialogues on Global Warming," was released within a week of a government report finding that climate change is no longer a concern of the future but is presently affecting human health, agriculture and water management.

The 255-page book is written in the style of emails between three friends: Tom, Fred and Aileen. Keating said the dialogues are modeled after those in books of Galileo Galilei.

In Keating's book, Tom plays the role of a climate change denier, Fred is on the fence, and Aileen schools the other two throughout the book on the science and effects of climate change.

Keating taught physics at Victoria College for one year before going back into retirement last week. Before teaching at Victoria, Keating served 35 years in the Navy and taught at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

He wrote the book because he's very passionate about the public's perception of climate change, he said.

In addition to his recent book, Keating holds an ongoing $10,000 climate change skeptic challenge on his blog. Keating will give anyone 18 years or older $10,000 if they can prove, via the scientific method, that man-made climate change is not occurring.

There is no entry fee to partake in the challenge, and participants can submit entries as many times as they would like, he said.

"I have the money, but I'm not worried," Keating said. "It doesn't even have to be original. They can cut and paste."

Several studies surveying peer-reviewed science reports about climate change have found 97 percent of those reports that discuss the cause of climate change link it to human activity.

While the scientific community has rendered its verdict on climate change, it will take a shift in public opinion to create policy to reduce human emissions.

While some will choose not to agree because of their political stances, Keating hopes those who are still on the fence won't let the fear of dealing with the issue scare them away from the facts.

"No one is going to turn off your lights. That's not what any of this is about," Keating said. "The cost of climate change is here right now. It's affecting the cost of your food, insurance, fuel, utilities, and when anyone makes a product or provides a service and these costs go up for them, they pass it on as a higher price in their product. The end users are the ones that end up having to pay for all the extra costs. And they are here, they are real, and they are affecting us in the pocketbook right now."



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