The sky is falling! Or is it? Modern-day chicken littles would like you to believe that the sky is falling--or, more precisely, that the atmosphere is dangerously overheating. But they are wrong.
One significant example of the ongoing fright peddling is when Senators John Mc Cain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) managed to obtain a commitment from the full Senate that it will, before the year ends, consider their proposal to mandate controls on industrial emissions of carbon dioxide (C[O.sub.2]). The two senators insist that atmospheric C[O.sub.2] must be reduced because it is the main cause of global warming. Predictably. Senator McCain argued that a voluntary approach to this problem wasn't acceptable because it did not "meet the urgency" of the threat.
Almost simultaneously, the governors of 10 northeastern states announced plans to spend the next two years developing a regional strategy to limit carbon emissions at coal and oil-fired power plants in their areas. Their motive stemmed from the supposed need to combat global warming, a condition they too claim results from C[O.sub.2] being pumped into the atmosphere by man's burning of fossil fuels.
Applauding both of these developments, the New York Times editorialized that a great deal more must be done "to slow the warming trend" that is an "issue of great public concern on which the world has spoken clearly."
If leading politicians and the nation's leading newspaper agree that global warming is a serious problem, who dares to disagree? The answer is that a lengthening list of highly trained meteorologists, climatologists, geophysicists, and others in related scientific fields have, for decades, insisted that the political and journalistic doomsayers are wrong and that there is no global warming problem. These individuals continue to issue a stream of scientifically based responses that debunk the C[O.sub.2] and global warming scares. We present only some of their findings by posing questions of our own and letting trained experts supply answers. In some cases, we shall cite the absurdities supplied by the non-scientific doomsayers.
Question: Has any senator risen to combat the McCain/Lieberman proposal?
Answer: On July 28th, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works, delivered an important speech at tacking the claims of global warming alarmists and others who issue warnings about similarly unproved environmental threats. Senator Inhofe cited an array of scientific authorities to debunk the claims of "environmental extremists." He closed his remarks by urging colleagues to reject measures designed to treat nonexistent problems because they are "designed not to solve an environmental problem, but to satisfy the ever-growing demand of environmental groups for money and power...."
Q: What about the House of Representatives? Have its members been provided sound scientific perspective about carbon dioxide emissions and global warming?
A: On May 28, 2003, Dr. John R. Christy testified before the Committee on Resources of the U.S. House of Representatives. A professor of Atmospheric Science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Dr. Christy pointed out that carbon dioxide "is not a pollutant" and that its beneficial effect on plant life "is the lifeblood of the planet." Specifically addressing claims that C[O.sub.2] is causing planetary warming, Dr. Christy added: "Climate models suggest that the answer is yes; real data suggest otherwise." He is only one of a glowing number to point to inaccuracies stemming from reliance on climate models intended to predict the weather many years in the future.
Addressing widespread insistence that man's activity has caused recent warm weather, Dr. Christy, the recipient of awards from both NASA and the American Meteorological Society, pointed to several studies indicating that "the climate we see today is not unusual at all." He noted that, in 2000, "the U.S. experienced the coldest combined November and December" in over 100 years and that "the 19 hottest summers in the past century occurred prior to 1955." He assured the House Committee members, "looking at these events does not prove the country is experiencing global cooling any more than a hot July represents global warming."
Q: Does man's burning of fossil fuels actually account for most of the increased amount of C[O.sub.2] in the atmosphere?
A: The July issue of the Geological Society of America's GSA Today presented the results of independent studies conducted by a Canadian geologist and an Israeli astrophysicist. The two scientists agree that atmospheric C[O.sub.2] is rising, but they contend that interplay between solar activity and cosmic rays from deep space, not man's activity, is the chief cause of this increase. Jan Veizer of the University of Ottawa and Nir Shaviv of Hebrew University of Jerusalem had arrived at this conclusion independently of each other. The two met last October when they discovered their findings to be astoundingly similar. Their conclusions square with the claims of internationally renowned scientists Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, who have maintained for years that solar activity is the principal cause of climate fluctuations.
Q: Is more C[O.sub.2] in the atmosphere actually a good development?
A: If healthy plant life is desirable, more C[O.sub.2] should be a goal because plants consume C[O.sub.2] just as animals (including humans) consume oxygen. Dr. Robert Bailing, the director of climatology at Arizona State University, claims that increased C[O.sub.2], far from being harmful, is extremely beneficial. Referring to literature presented in publications produced for botanical scientists, Dr. Bailing notes that there are "thousands of articles showing that elevated concentrations of C[O.sub.2] will be beneficial for plants." Dr. Balling cited experiments where plants grown with elevated levels of C[O.sub.2] were compared to similar plants grown without increasing the concentration of the supposedly dreaded gas. From New Zealand to America, the results reported in major peer-reviewed scientific journals are the same: Plants grown in the presence of additional C[O.sub.2] showed greater growth, less need for water, greater drought tolerance, and increased ability to deal with plant stresses. Instead of viewing C[O.sub.2] as a degrading pollutant, Dr. Bailing urges fellow Americans to "drive out to the forest and feel good about the C[O.sub.2] coming out of your tailpipe!"
Q: Didn't world leaders agree at 1997's UN-sponsored conference held in Kyoto, Japan, that industrialized nations must reduce C[O.sub.2] emissions to combat global warming?
A: Yes, delegates from many nations accepted the Kyoto Protocol, which would, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, cost the United States as much as $283 billion annually. But, as Cato Institute's Mario Lewis states, adopting the Kyoto guidelines "would have almost no effect on global temperatures." Basing his conclusions on the work of such eminent scientists as Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Dr. Richard Lindzen, Lewis maintains that forecasts of greater warming of the planet "are based on questionable climate history, implausible emission scenarios, and unconfirmed feedback effects." He urges Congress to reject "the flawed science and exaggerated claims of those who predict catastrophic global warming." Yet the House International Relations Committee recently approved a "Sense of the Congress" resolution introduced by Rep. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) that advocates Kyoto-style suppression of domestic industrial activity to prevent impending climate catastrophe.
Q: Recent identical headlines in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times claimed that "Arctic Ice Is Melting at Record Level." Doesn't this indicate global warming?
A: Researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute have compiled data from ships' logs dating back five centuries. These entries show that the current "retreat of ice observed in the Arctic occurred previously, in the early 1700s." In an article appearing in the Toronto Globe and Mail, Chad Dick of the Arctic Climate Systems Study pointed to "natural cycles in sea ice extent" and stated that low levels of ice 300 years ago occurred before there were any significant man-made emissions of greenhouse gases such as C[O.sub.2]. Also, the American Geophysical Union's EOS magazine published an article by Igor Polyakov who examined Arctic ice and temperature records from 1868 onward and found no evidence to back up those sensational claims.
Similarly, the January 2002 issue of Science magazine published the findings of scientists who, after measuring Antarctic ice formations, concluded that the ice near the South Pole is growing thicker. Another article appearing in Nature magazine pointed to the research led by scientist Peter Doran, who discovered temperatures in the Antarctic to have decreased, not increased, over the past 30 years. These scientific findings are among many that prompt Professor Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia's Department of Environmental Sciences to chastise the "liberal media" for badly misleading the public on global warming.
Q: How did the claims about global warming arise?
A: Dr. James Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency is reputed to be the godfather of the global warming scare. From his prominent position at NASA, he claimed in 1988 to be "99 percent sure" that man's activity was responsible for causing a rise in the Earth's temperature. But, by 1999, he backed off from his dire assessment and stated: "The forces that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change." Yet advocates of larger and more intrusive government continue to present global warming as a threat and man's supposed role in causing it as a fact.
Q: Reports coining out of Europe in mid-2003 pointed to a deadly heat wave. Isn't this an indication that global warming is a fact?
A: The summer heat wave throughout much of Europe was indeed severe, with France's Health Ministry reporting on August 14th that the heat wave killed as many as 3,000 people in France. But only seven months earlier, in January 2003, Europe experienced unusually cold weather. During this unusually cold period, a rare snowfall hit central London and more snow surprised southern France. Germany and central Europe were also hard hit with freezing temperatures, snow drifts, and transportation blockages.
In December 2002, a separate cold wave in northern India claimed the lives of 1,500 persons and won designation as one of the top five global catastrophes of 2002. Only a few years earlier, in November 1998, an Arctic cold wave swept into Europe and claimed scores of lives.
The promoters of global warming ignore repeatedly occurring cold spells. But competent scientists don't ignore them; they contend that sharp fluctuations in weather conditions, producing either hot or cold, occur because of nature and are to be expected.
Q: Have responsible scientists ever organized to challenge the claims about global warming and C[O.sub.2] emissions?
A: In 1998, a petition signed by more than 18,000 scientists sought to debunk the claims of global warming enthusiasts and even pointedly challenged the recommendations contained in the Kyoto Protocol. A letter from Dr. Frederick Seitz endorsing its content and an eight-page article reviewing the available research literature on the topic accompanied the widely circulated petition. When pressed, Dr. Seitz, a past president of the National Academy of Sciences, refused to remove his endorsement of the project. The accompanying article, written by physical chemist Dr. Arthur Robinson, stated that "predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in minor greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are in error and do not conform to current experimental knowledge."
The petition, signed by thousands of meteorologists, climatologists and atmospheric scientists, stated in part: "There is no convincing evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."
Q: In a world plagued with terrorism and other crises, just how serious is the global warming problem supposed to be according to the environmentalists?
A: In July 2003, England's John Houghton, a former co-chairman of the highly politicized United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said that he "had no hesitation" in describing global warming as "a weapon of mass destruction." Adding to his hyperbole, Houghton stated, "Like terrorism, this weapon knows no boundaries [and] can strike anywhere in any form--a heat wave in one place, a drought or a flood or a storm surge in another." According to this once-respected former chief of the British Meteorological Office, global warming "kills more people than terrorism."
Q: Have any claimants about the danger of catastrophic global warming expressed any doubts about their theory?
A: Dr. Stephen Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research was quoted by the October 1989 issue of Discover magazine as saying that scientists are "ethically bound ... to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but...." So far, so good. Yet, after claiming that the earth faces "potentially disastrous climate change," he called on fellow global warming enthusiasts to "offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have." Compounding his willingness to deceive the public, he even suggested that colleagues had the option of choosing "between being effective and being honest."
Q: What do these environmental extremists offer in place of the use of fossil fuels ?
A: The "alternatives" usually advanced include solar, wind, and geothermal power. But the minuscule amounts of energy available from these alternative sources will never come close to matching the energy produced by coal, oil, and natural gas, the targeted fossil fuels. Indicative of the blindness and/or moral bankruptcy of most global warming enthusiasts is their almost universally negative attitude about safe, clean and efficient nuclear power.
Only a few weeks ago, however, a group of MIT and Harvard scientists released a two-year study that boldly recommended increasing the number of America's nuclear power plants from 100 to 300. This is good news, even though the group accepts the false notion that carbon dioxide is "a greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming."
Q: What are the true goals of extreme environmentalists?
A: In 1972, Worldwatch Institute leader Lester Brown wrote that "an environmentally sustainable future requires nothing short of a revolution [that would include] restructuring the global economy, dramatically changing human reproductive behavior and altering values and lifestyles."
In 1991, Canadian billionaire Maurice Strong, poised to serve as the Secretary-General of the 1992 UN Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, wrote: "It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class ... involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and 'convenience" foods, ownership of motor vehicles, numerous electric household appliances, home and workplace air conditioning ... suburban housing ... are not sustainable."
In his 1992 book Earth In the Balance, then-senator Al Gore insisted that "the effort to save the global environment" must become "the central organizing principle lot every institution in society." He called for a "wrenching transformation" of society that must include "completely eliminating the internal combustion engine" because it is "the single greatest threat to our civilization." Not surprisingly, he never gave up using his own automobiles, each of which possesses one of those supposed threats to civilization under its hood.
In 1993, the UN released Agenda 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save the Planet. This massive blueprint for regimenting "every person on Earth" calls for "a profound reorientation of all human society." It calls for monitoring and controlling "the environmental consequences of every human action."
Many other examples could be cited showing that the real agenda behind the global-warming scare is about enchaining the planet, not saving it.
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|Title Annotation:||Global Warming|
|Author:||McManus, John F.|
|Publication:||The New American|
|Date:||Sep 8, 2003|
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