November 27, 2011
By Karin McQuillan
Global warming became a cause to save life on earth before it had a chance to become good science. The belief that fossil fuel use is an emergency destroying our planet by CO2 emissions took over the media and political arena by storm. The issue was politicized so quickly that the normal scientific process was stunted. We have never had a full, honest national debate on either the science or government policy issues.
Everyone "knows" that global warming is true. The public has no idea of the number of scientists -- precisely one thousand at last count of a congressional committee -- who believe that global warming is benign and natural, and that it ended in 1998. We have not been informed of the costs to our economy of discouraging fossil fuel development and promoting alternatives. The public need to know the choices being made on their behalf, and to have a say in the matter. We are constantly told that the scientific and policy debate on global warming is over. It has just begun.
What is never discussed is this: the theory of global warming has catastrophic implications for our economy and national security. Case in point: Obama's recent decision to block the Keystone pipeline in order to placate global warming advocates. Key Democrat supporters fear the use of oil more than they care about losing jobs or our dangerous dependence on the Mideast for oil. The president delayed the pipeline by fiat, and the general public has had no say. (For the impact on our economy, see my article, "The Whole Country Can Be Rich.")
President Obama has spoken out passionately on the danger of developing oil and gas because of man-made global warming. "What we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to a point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to global catastrophe."
Obama calls for the debate to end. He cites hurricanes as proof: "dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real -- it's here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster."
Happily, our president is wrong. The worst hurricanes were in 1926, the second-worst in 1900. The world's top hurricane experts say that there is no evidence that global warming affects storms. There is no such thing as a man-made hurricane. Storm cycles and long patterns of bad weather are entirely natural. Yet this good news is suppressed by our politicized media. We hear only one side.
More and more scientists are revolting against the global warming consensus enforced by government funding, the academic establishment, and media misrepresentation. They are saying that solar cycles and the complex systems of cloud formation have much more influence on our climate, and account for historical periods of warming and cooling much more accurately that a straight line graph of industrialization, CO2, and rising temperatures. They also point out that the rising temperatures that set off the global warming panic ended in 1998.
It takes a lot of courage. Scientists who report findings that contradict man-made global warming find their sources of funding cut, their jobs terminated, their careers stunted, and their reports blocked from important journals, and they are victimized by personal attacks. This is a consensus one associates with a Stalinist system, not science in the free world.
Here is how it has worked. The theory that entirely natural sun cycles best explain warming patterns emerged years ago, but the Danish scientists "soon found themselves vilified, marginalized and starved of funding, despite their impeccable scientific credentials." Physicists at Europe's most prestigious CERN laboratory tried to test the solar theory in 1996, and they, too, found their project blocked. This fall, the top scientific journal Nature published the first experimental proof -- by a team of 63 scientists at CERN -- that the largest factor in global warming is the sun, not humans. But the director of CERN forbade the implications of the experiment to be explained to the public: "I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them. That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate."
As more and more scientific evidence is published that debunks global warming, the enforced consensus is ending. The Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific institution -- whose previous president declared that "the debate on climate change is over" -- "is being forced to review its statements on climate change after a rebellion by members who question mankind's contribution to rising temperatures. ... The society has been accused by 43 of its Fellows of refusing to accept dissenting views on climate change and exaggerating the degree of certainty that man-made emissions are the main cause." Most of the rebels were retired, as one of them explained, "One of the reasons people like myself are willing to put our heads above the parapet is that our careers are not at risk from being labeled a denier or flat-Earther because we say the science is not settled. The bullying of people into silence has unfortunately been effective."
In America, Dr. Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize-winner in physics, resigned in protest from the American Physical Society this fall because of the Society's policy statement: "The evidence is incontrovertible: global warming is occurring." Dr. Giaver:
Incontrovertible is not a scientific word. Nothing is incontrovertible in science.
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?
The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this "warming" period.
In 2008, Prof. Giaever endorsed Barack Obama's candidacy, but he has since joined 100 scientists who wrote an open letter to Obama, declaring: "We maintain that the case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated."
Do a Google search: you will find this letter reported in Britain and even India, but not in America.
Fifty-one thousand Canadian engineers, geologists, and geophysicists were recently polled by their professional organization. Sixty-eight percent of them disagree with the statement that "the debate on the scientific causes of recent climate change is settled." Only 26% attributed global warming to "human activity like burning fossil fuels." APEGGA's executive director Neil Windsor said, "We're not surprised at all. There is no clear consensus of scientists that we know of."
Dr. Joanne Simpson, one of the world's top weather scientists, expressed relief upon her retirement that she was finally free to speak "frankly" on global warming and announce that "as a scientist I remain skeptical." She says she remained silent for fear of personal attacks. Dr. Simpson was a pioneer in computer modeling and points out the obvious: computer models are not yet good enough to predict weather -- we cannot scientifically predict global climate trends.
Dr. Fred Singer, first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, and physicist Dr. Seitz, past president of the APS, of Rockefeller University and of the National Academy of Science, argue that the computer models are fed questionable data and assumptions that determine the answers on global warming that the scientists expect to see.
Recently we've had a perfect example of the enforced global warming consensus falling apart. Berkeley Professor Muller did a media blitz with the findings of the latest analysis of all land temperature data, the BEST study, that he claimed once and for all proved that the planet is warming. Predictably, the Washington Post proclaimed that the BEST study had "settled the climate change debate" and showed that anyone who remained a skeptic was committing a "cynical fraud."
But within a week, Muller's lead co-author, Professor Curry, was interviewed in the British press (not reported in America), saying that the BEST data did the opposite: the global "temperature trend of the last decade is absolutely flat, with no increase at all - though the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have carried on rising relentlessly."
This is nowhere near what the climate models were predicting," Prof Curry said. "Whatever it is that's going on here, it doesn't look like it's being dominated by CO2." In fact, she added, in the wake of the unexpected global warming standstill, many climate scientists who had previously rejected sceptics' arguments were now taking them much more seriously. They were finally addressing questions such as the influence of clouds, natural temperature cycles and solar radiation - as they should have done, she said, a long time ago.
Other scientists jumped in, calling Muller's false claims to the media that BEST proved global warming "highly unethical." Professor Muller, confronted with dissent, caved and admitted that indeed, both ocean and land measurements show that global warming stopped increasing in 1998.
Media coverage on global warming has been criminally one-sided. The public doesn't know where the global warming theory came from in the first place. Answer: the U.N., not a scientific body. The threat of catastrophic warming was launched by the U.N. to promote international climate treaties that would transfer wealth from rich countries to developing countries. It was political from the beginning, with the conclusion assumed: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (U.N. IPCC) was funded to report on how man was changing climate. Its scientific reports have been repeatedly corrected for misrepresentation and outright fraud.
This is important. Global warming theory did not come from a breakthrough in scientific research that enabled us to understand our climate. We still don't understand global climate any more than we understand the human brain or how to cure cancer. The science of global climate is in its infancy.
Yet the U.N. IPCC reports drive American policy. The EPA broke federal law requiring independent analysis and used the U.N. IPCC reports in its "endangerment" finding that justifies extreme regulatory actions. Senator Inhofe is apoplectic:
Global warming regulations imposed by the Obama-EPA under the Clean Air Act will cost American consumers $300 to $400 billion a year, significantly raise energy prices, and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is not to mention the 'absurd result' that EPA will need to hire 230,000 additional employees and spend an additional $21 billion to implement its [greenhouse gas] regime.
Former top scientists at the U.N. IPCC are protesting publicly against falsification of global warming data and misleading media reports. Dr. John Everett, for example, was the lead researcher on Fisheries, Polar Regions, Oceans and Coastal Zones at the IPCC and a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) senior manager, and he received an award while at NOAA for "accomplishments in assessing the impacts of climate change on global oceans and fisheries." Here is what he has to say on global warming:
It is time for a reality check. Warming is not a big deal and is not a bad thing. The oceans and coastal zones have been far warmer and colder than is projected in the present scenarios ... I would much rather have the present warm climate, and even further warming...No one knows whether the Earth is going to keep warming, or since reaching a peak in 1998, we are at the start of a cooling cycle that will last several decades or more.
That is why we must hear from all the best scientists, not only those who say fossil fuel use is dangerous. It is very important that we honestly discuss whether this theory is true and, if so, what reasonable steps we can afford to take to mitigate warming. If the theory is not based on solid science, we are free to develop our fossil fuel wealth responsibly and swiftly.
Instead, federal policies are based on global warming fears. Obama has adopted the California model. The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 has shed a million jobs in that state. California now has almost 12% unemployment, ranking 50th in the nation.
The country could be following North Dakota, where oil development has led to a 3.5% unemployment rate, or Texas, which has created 40% of the jobs nationwide since the 2009 economic crash thanks to its robust energy sector. These are good jobs. An entry-level job on an oil rig pays $70,000 a year. A roughneck with a high school diploma earns $100,000 a year in Wyoming's Jonah Fields. Brazil's new offshore oil discoveries are predicted to create 2 million jobs there. We have almost three times more oil than Brazil.
When we treat oil and gas companies like pariahs, we threaten America's economic viability. For global warming alarmists who believe that man-made CO2 threatens life on earth, no cost is too high to fight it. They avert their eyes from the human suffering of people without jobs, with diminished life savings, limited future prospects, and looming national bankruptcy.
This is not all about idealism. There are crasser reasons of money and power for wanting to close the debate. Billions of dollars in federal grants and subsidies are spent to fight global warming. The cover of fighting to save the planet gives the government unlimited powers to intrude into private business and our individual homes. The government can reach its long arm right into your shower and control how much hot water you are allowed to use. In the words of MIT atmospheric scientist Dr. Lindzen, "[c]ontrolling carbon is kind of a bureaucrat's dream. If you control carbon, you control life."
Warming advocates persistently argue that we cannot afford to pause for a reality check; we must not ignore the possibility that global warming theory might be true. Limiting fossil fuels and promoting green energy are presented as a benign, a "why not be on the safe side," commonsense approach.
There is a lot of emotion and little common sense in this argument. If a diagnosis is based on a shaky and partly fraudulent theory, ignores much more convincing evidence, and has terrible negative side effects, you don't perform major surgery. We do not have to run around like Chicken Little on the off-chance that the sky may be falling.
There has been a high economic cost to limiting our oil and gas wealth, with much human anguish because of government-imposed economic contraction. Responsible government policy requires honest media coverage, unfettered scientific inquiry, and robust political debate. Our country cannot afford the costs of foolish energy policy based on politicized science and fear.