Monday, July 23, 2007
Cold or Hot, it's Always Our Fault
Lorne Gunter writes in the National Post on Monday, July 23,
"If you haven't been following Lawrence Solomon's brilliant, reader-friendly Financial Post series on the scientists who are skeptical of the coming global warming crisis, you really must check it out. It's called Climate change: The Deniers, and there is a link to the 29 profiles he as written so far on the National Post's homepage. (Go to www.nationalpost.com, and scroll down to the "Current Features" section.)
In one instalment -- Forget warming -beware the new ice age -- published in June, Lawrence reminds readers that as recently as the 1970s, the scientific consensus was that earth was entering a new ice age.
If geological history is any guide, we're long overdue for one. And in the 1970s, the world was in the throws of a 30-year phase of especially cold weather. So naturally, scientists put two and six together and came up with impending disaster.
Politicians appointed high-level international commissions to determine when and how bad the coming peril would be. Extensive reports were funded citing this or that disaster as proof of an approaching deep freeze. The popular press was quick to run alarming stories about the disaster that awaited mankind.
In 1975, Newsweek ran a feature story entitled The Cooling World, the first sentence of which insisted: "There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production -- with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth."
Extreme weather would increase. Drought would grip huge regions of the planet. Crops would fail and tens of millions would starve. Wars would be fought over diminishing resources.
And the evidence for all this? Well, according to Newsweek it had "begun to accumulate so massively" there was no denying it. The scientific world had spoken. Don't bother to voice alternative theories.
Reading Lawrence's piece, though, I was struck by another similarity between the alarmism then and now: The proof for each was/is almost entirely circumstantial.
In theory, both global cooling and warming are possible. But all we can see are potential effects. We then look backwards to determine if we can discern a cause.
The scientists and activists who believe the globe is currently warming dangerously don't have any direct proof that carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases are the cause. They merely have a stack of potential consequences that they have convinced themselves amount to incontrovertible proof.
Today, effects such as big hurricanes, spring heat waves, rising levels of atmospheric CO2 and melting polar ice are pointed to as proof that a single cause (man-made carbon emissions trapping solar energy in the atmosphere) exists. As Lawrence reminds, in the 1970s the effects that were used to "prove" the cause included a killing winter freeze in 1972-73, followed by a severe summer heat wave in the United States, "anomalously low precipitation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest during the winter of 1972-73," the failure of the Soviet wheat crop in 1972, the failure of the Peruvian anchovy harvest the same year, even changes in Pacific ocean currents that scientists had never before seen.
So why, in the absence of direct proof, is the UN, along with thousands of scientists and environmentalists worldwide, currently so adamant that our activities -- humans' --are causing a climate meltdown?
British filmmaker Martin Durkin, whose documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle has already aired in the U.K. and Australia (and will soon be available here on DVD), thinks it is because "global warming is first and foremost a political theory." [Editor:as we told you here on Windbag-Energy, this is further evidence of what we call "GLOBAL SWARMING" like bees leaving a hive gathering together in a giant swarmball!]
Those who buy into it -- including most scientists who back it -- have a particular worldview that Durkin believes can be "summed up in the oft-repeated phrase 'we consume too much.' " He calls this "backward-looking bigotry," and claims it has "found perfect expression in the idea of man-made climate disaster. It has cohered a bunch of disparate reactionary prejudices (anti-car, anti-supermarkets, anti-globalization) into a single unquestionable truth and cause."
In other words (mine, not Durkin's), global warming has become the new locus for those who believe government is the solution to all ills, and central planning the preferred tool. [Editor: Does this sound familiar? Isn't that what socialism or communism is all about? The idea that inefficient government can decide what is best for you and I?]
When they look back through the stack of global warming consequences, they don't want to see any natural explanations. The sun, cosmic rays, cloud development and so on, cannot be controlled by Ottawa or the UN.
So they have grasped (and cling tenaciously to) a theory that might explain the science and favours their bias toward big-government solutions."
If you wish to communicate with Lorne, used his public email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
[Editor:Ominous stormclouds portending that the old communism and the new socialism are not yet dead! Why do we have so much trouble believing that individuals should make choices about their lives, instead of government? Doesn't this sound strikingly hypocritical considering the mantra "a woman should have the say about her own body" but we cannot choose how to live?
Which do we believe? Individual choice or what is supposedly good for humanity? Can government appeal to our positive sides to work toward being more environmentally-friendly or do they have to FORCE us by legislation to do so? Perhaps we don't have a good side and are too stupid to see "impending disaster"? Isn't it time we expose political hypocrisy? We cannot have it both ways:heavy-handed government intervention in everything or 'encouragement legislation' to reward steps toward being greener. It's time to decide! I can just see it now. The next disaster theory will be that 1/2 of the world is going to be too hot and the other half will be veering toward an ice age. There you have it global swarmists:start finding circumstantial evidence without cause for this GLOBAL CRISIS!]
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Photo by Charles Pedley