Commentary by James Shott
It seems that every few weeks we hear or see some scientific data that seriously challenges the politically correct notion that the activities of man, burning fossil fuels for energy, are irreversibly and catastrophically damaging the Earth’s atmosphere and causing global temperatures to rise to dangerous levels.
There are two competing ideas about the last two decades of global temperatures: One says temperatures have plateaued for the last 18 years, but the other that says the rising temperature trend has continued through that period.
According to a CNS News story Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at the University of Alabama/Huntsville, argues that there has been no global warming for at least the last 18 years, and bases that position on actual raw temperature data he and fellow University of Alabama/Huntsville professor and NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer collected from 14 instruments aboard various weather satellites.
However, in a story in The Washington Post, a group of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say that based upon their analysis of new surface temperature data and corrections to old data that NOAA knew were imperfect, there has been no break in global warming.
Some questions arise from these diametrically opposed opinions.
• Which of the two methods of measuring global temperature – surface temperatures, used by the NOAA team, or satellite observations, used by Drs. Christy and Spencer – is the most accurate? Or is some combination of the two, or some other method, more accurate?
• If trained scientists do not, cannot or will not agree on what the truth is about whether temperatures are rising or not, how can the rest of us understand climate changes?
• Since the outcome of its analysis confirmed NOAA’s previously held idea about global temperatures increasing, and in light of previous manipulation of data by some well-known scientists, should we be concerned about NOAA “correcting” data it “knew were imperfect?”
Just last month The Daily Caller reported on a paper stating that the global temperature change observed over the last hundred years or so is well within the natural variability of the last 8,000 years.
What this means is that even if the global temperature has risen as the global warming faction says, it shouldn’t be a cause for concern, since global temperatures have been in the current range before, and long before man started doing the things the global warming gang thinks are responsible for the increase.
The paper was written by Dr. Philip Lloyd, a South Africa-based physicist and climate researcher, who examined ice core-based temperature data going back 8 millennia. Dr. Lloyd is a former lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC), the body that is perhaps the most honored authority for climate opinion, and an organization that supports manmade global warming.
The work of Dr. Lloyd, Dr. Christy and Dr. Spencer is out of the mainstream of climate opinion, a mainstream that is shrinking, as more of its members question the “settled science” of rising global temperatures due to the burning of fossil fuels, and recognize the failure of dozens of flawed climate models that predict warming that many scientists argue hasn’t occurred. More and more, this line of thinking appears more political than scientific.
One danger of politically influenced science is that some ideologically motivated government agency will use it as an excuse to impose draconian measures to achieve political goals, some of which are unachievable, and others that are dangerous to our economic system and well-being. Enter the Environmental Protection Agency, arguably the most harmful of the abundant federal bureaucracies that increasingly control our every word, thought and deed.
In its headlong effort to crush the economies of coal mining states and destroy businesses that rely in whole or in part on coal, the EPA has overdriven its headlights with a scheme that depends upon faking science.
The EPA attempted to impose a rule that mandates the use of so-called carbon capture and storage, where CO2 from burning coal would be injected underground instead of being released into the air. The agency was quite content to put this rule into effect, despite knowing that the method does not work.
“We submitted comments for the record explaining that EPA had made a mockery of the interagency review process, ignoring the government's own experts in order to push an ideological agenda,” the Energy and Environment Legal Institute’s Chris Horner said. Mr. Horner’s organization has forced the EPA to back down on imposing the rule, but a report by Inside EPA says that the White House may force the EPA to go to court and defend a process that it had to admit doesn’t work and is thereby legally indefensible.
Here is a multiple-choice question: Why would a federal agency attempt to impose a process on coal burning facilities that it knows doesn’t work?
A. It believes it has unlimited power
B. It cares little about the repercussions of its actions
C. Its employees serve ideological and political masters instead of the American people
D. All of the above
The EPA is upside-down.
Cross-posted from Observations