Science fiction about global warming.
ITEM: NASA scientist James Hansen used the CBS show 60 Minutes to raise the alarm about how humans are causing the climate to change and how the resulting global warming is fast becoming a catastrophe. In its own news coverage of the Hansen appearance, CBS News reported on March 19 that such human changes "are driven by burning fossil fuels that pump out greenhouse gases like [CO.sub.2], carbon dioxide. Hansen says his research shows that man has just 10 years to reduce greenhouse gases before global warming reaches what he calls a tipping point and becomes unstoppable. He says the White House is blocking that message."
CORRECTION: Lest there be any misunderstanding, Time magazine's own summary of its alarmist special issue actually is less hysterical than the coverage itself--which would have readers believe that planetary devastation and destruction are just around the bend. Global warming hyperbole has become over the top and amounts strictly to scaremongering.
NASA's James Hansen assuredly knows the value of wildly speculative claims. Indeed, he learned this when his stock began a dramatic rise after he testified in Washington in 1988, telling Congress that there was a "cause and effect relationship" between "the current climate" and "human alteration of the atmosphere." This blast in large part won him the role in some quarters as the "father of global warming."
Value in Pushing "Extreme Scenarios"
Years later, following the spending of tens of billions of public dollars on the alleged problem, Hansen had apparently pulled back from the extremists. Nevertheless, he claimed that exaggeration by scientists had its place when it was necessary to mobilize public opinion. As he put it in Natural Science, "Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue." (For more details, see Patrick Michaels' outstanding book, Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media, Cato, 2004.)
Now, it would seem, Hansen has decided to jump back into the doomsday camp. He is hardly alone in believing that there is a need to use distortions. Stephen Schneider, a Stanford professor who has been pushing the man-is-responsible-for-global-warming theory, also has said that attracting public attention necessitates "getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have."
This attitude should hardly be a surprise, though open admissions against interest are a bit unusual.
Another such acknowledgment of the larger game at play came in 1998 from Canada's Environment Minister Christine Stewart: "No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits.... Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."
Meanwhile, the Bush administration--which is actually spending more than $4 billion annually on climate research--is being pummeled for "censoring" federal scientists who are eagerly lining up to promote their theories to a receptive media. If anything, the real pressure is on those scientists who aren't Chicken Littles and don't see the end of the world fast approaching.
Scientific research is more driven by politically correct funding than many are willing to admit, in this country and elsewhere. Consider the remarks of Dr. Jon Jenkins, an Australian member of parliament and scientist who acknowledges that "science has become completely perverted by the 'research grant' mentality of politicians. Unfortunately, politicians are driven by popular opinion and media campaigns and have directed research money almost solely based on this criteria rather than good science. As a direct outcome, almost all universities and research institutions ... now have 'gag' orders on academics and research."
The legislator cited a distinguished scientist who ran afoul of the establishment when he expressed skepticism about the supposed scientific "consensus" about global warming--then promptly found his funding threatened for the Antarctic research program he was running by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
The outspoken Dr. Jenkins has the temerity to use facts. Approximately 96 percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Jenkins notes, "is determined by natural processes that we have absolutely no control over whatsoever.... The large peat bogs around the world produce massive amounts of carbon dioxide and simply dwarf any savings that humans could make into insignificance. A single large geological event such as a volcano eruption produces more greenhouse gas in a few seconds than the whole of civilisation produces in a year."
While the populations of animal species naturally fluctuate, polar bears are actually doing just fine in Alaska and Canada, with large increases annually.
A Lever for "Global Governance"
Despite the fact that almost no signatories are near compliance with the Kyoto Treaty on global warming, it still is being used as a political club. One object of the club is to move us all closer to world government. That isn't a wild right-wing conclusion, but an admission from a top establishment leader. The Kyoto Protocol was French President Jacques Chirac's "first component of an authentic global governance." Yet, even if all the signatories did meet the horribly expensive goals of Kyoto, the environmental result would be paltry, averting perhaps 0.07 degrees Celsius of global warming by the year 2050, according to the assessment of proponents.
Meanwhile, beware of pseudo-scientific extrapolations. Some of us recall during the 1970s when many of the same leftist and establishment organs were trumpeting the dangers of an imminent new ice age (based on minimally cooler Earth temperatures between 1940 and 1970). Now, of course, we are all going to be toast.
Former Delaware Governor Pete du Pont, chairman of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, has been unkind enough to point out that the south polar ice cap is melting ... on Mars. Is this also due to man-made warming? Du Pont notes that, as "far as we know, few Martians drive SUVs or heat their homes with coal."
Writing on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal on March 28, du Pont pointed out that the Kyoto Treaty has a larger agenda. As he said: "Masquerading as a global environmental policy, Kyoto exempts half of the world's population and nine of the top 20 emitters of carbon dioxide--including China and India--from its emissions reduction requirements. It is in fact an effort to replace the world's markets with an internationally regulated (think U.N.) global economy, perhaps better described as a predatory trade strategy to level the world's economic playing field by penalizing the economic growth of energy efficient nations and rewarding those emitting much greater quantities of noxious gasses. Which explains why in 1997 the U.S. Senate voted 95-0 to oppose the signing of any international protocol that would commit Western nations to reduce emissions unless developing countries had to do so as well."
Occasionally, the propagandists reveal too much in the midst of their harmful nonsense. Time claims that China and India can help save the world, or destroy it--though admitting that these underdeveloped nations want the United States to carry the major burden. The idea is to level the playing field by lowering the standard of living in the United States. "Maybe," urges Time, "we can begin by living like the average Chinese or Indian--before they start living like us."
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|Title Annotation:||Correction, Please!|
|Author:||Hoar, William P.|
|Publication:||The New American|
|Date:||May 1, 2006|
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