Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The weak “climate change” hypothesis gets two more serious blows

Commentary by James H. Shott

More bad news for environmental alarmists came last week when 16 more well known and well respected scientists signed on to a Wall Street Journal article titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming: There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy,” adding their names to a large and growing list of scientists opposing manmade climate change dogma.

From the article:
In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: “I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.' In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"

Despite a long and arduous campaign to persuade the world that “greenhouse” gases and increasing amounts of carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, and in the face of heavy pressure from their colleagues to jump on that bandwagon, more and more scientists agree with Dr. Giaever that stubborn scientific facts argue against the alarmists’ position.

The climate change argument, originally called “manmade global warming” until that title fell into disrepute when recent years have been cooler rather than warmer, has suffered credibility problems in recent years. Perhaps frustrated that many people, including many scientists, did not get all sweaty over the idea that mankind is killing our world with pollution-causing fossil fuels and excessive bovine flatulence, the climate change alarmists resorted to data manipulation and outright fraud to promote their version of “The Sky is Falling.”

The idea that climate change endangers the environment benefits a special few, but it does great harm to many. Funding for research – totaling tens of billions of dollars over the last two decades – is aggressively sought after among researchers in academia and elsewhere. Indeed, without billions in research funding many professors would be forced back into classrooms all across the country, putting hundreds of graduate assistants and doctoral students out of work.

Misplaced fears of climate catastrophe have unleashed horrors on the populace, which as a result has been condemned to burn gasoline polluted with ethanol, the manufacture of which has diverted countless tons of corn out of the food chain, raising food prices, and to replace perfectly good incandescent light bulbs with something called CFLs, a replacement bulb that puts users at risk of mercury poisoning, and requires a HazMat team to dispose of the things. And it allows true believers like Barack Obama to throw away millions of taxpayer dollars on boondoggles like the Solyndra loan, and on ideologically pleasing, but expensive and inefficient hybrid autos, like the Chevy Volt.

An excellent summary of the current mania is contained in this statement by Dr. Richard Lindzen, an MIT Atmospheric Sciences professor, a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and also a former lead author of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early twenty-first century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.” Dr. Lindzen is one of the 16 signatories to the  Journal article.

No doubt some readers will dispute the professor’s position—despite his experience, training and expertise—but that does nothing to lessen the impact of his words and the truth they represent.

Back in the summer of 2006, fully 74 percent of participants in a Pew Research poll thought global warming was a serious problem, while 24 percent thought it was not a serious problem. Last November those numbers were 65 percent and 33 percent, showing that despite the one-sided coverage of this argument, the people are turning away from global warming/climate change as a serious threat. The pro-climate change side lost 12 percent, while the anti-climate change faction gained 29 percent.

More interesting, however, is this from the Daily Mail of London online last weekend: “The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years. The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.”

A real crisis may be on the horizon. It is fair to wonder how these climate change scientists will react to this, a real episode of climate change, one that is not caused by humans. Maybe they will determine that we really need fossil fuels, after all, to combat global cooling.

Drill, baby, drill.
Cross-posted from Observations

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