Energy efficiency, environmental stewardism, "green" HVAC—we've been writing a lot about these topics, and you've been reading about them for several years now. Much of the focus on energy efficiency began as a way to stem our dependency, as a nation, on foreign energy sources (oil), but slowly evolved into a need to reduce the very negative impact of industrialization and carbon emissions into our atmosphere.

Much of this came into the forefront of today's society because of scientific research based on atmospheric modeling that was developed and "perfected" when the ozone hole in the stratosphere was dominating the media.

Back then, the modeling provided just as much evidence debunking the impact of the ozone hole as there was outlining its danger to life on Earth. Over the years, the near-panic-level concern over the ozone faded. Life goes on.

Now we have global warming or climate change to worry about. Much of this concern is based on tons of scientific research from think tanks and laboratories around the world that detail how carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by mankind in the last 200 years are creating a greenhouse effect that is warming the planet, melting the polar ice caps, creating freak storms, and can end life as we know it.

When you boil it all down, much of the data used to come to this conclusion is based on similar computer-simulation modeling that, because of enhancements to technology, may be more accurate than those used during the ozone-hole crisis, but still leave room to question its veracity. Again, there is just as much scientific evidence countering the findings of these studies as there is with the ozone issue.

On Nov. 4, Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein published an article titled "Biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases" (yahoo.it/biggest_jump), saying that carbon emissions today are worse than even the worst-case scenarios predicted by the scientific computer modeling.

He talks about the negative impact this will have on the ecosystem and quotes scientists from MIT, Appalachian State University, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and several others that CO2 emissions in 2010 increased 6 percent (512 million metric tons). No sources were actually cited, but one of the scientists was quoted as saying, "We are building up a horrible legacy for our children and grandchildren."

So I did some research on my own. Here are a few Websites that counter (or at least present alternative theories) on the global-warming claims:

Regarding the information found on these sites, Contracting Business.com columnist Matt Michel, wrote, "Combine this data with the impact of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation, La Nina, and El Nino and it appears that over 90 percent of climate change is explained without people playing a role. In short, the entire climate change industry has had a Galileo event, though the inquisition is still ongoing."

From my view, it is always prudent to be economical and conscientious about the environment. I also think that climate change has its benefits for our industry. I am just tired of the doom-and-gloom reports that point out the folly of man and the destruction of our planet.

Where do you stand on this issue? Where does the science end and reality begin? Do you see climate change as a business opportunity? Or is it all just a bunch of hot air?

Send comments and suggestions to mike.weil@penton.com.