| Are you bored with global warming?
By Alan Caruba
Are you bored with hearing about global warming all the time? Me, too. The din of asinine predictions, warnings, and claims that global warming is real, i.e. a rapid increase in the overall temperature of the Earth, always seems to occur just as summer arrives when—surprise—it gets warmer.
It must have been a slow news day on June 23 because my daily newspaper ran the following headline at the very top of the front page: "Global warming is real, scientists warn." Since the 1980s, environmentalists have been telling us that the next Ice Age—due any day now—has been cancelled and, instead, the Earth will suffer sizzling temperatures that will make it uninhabitable.
Then, on June 25, Parade, the Sunday newspaper insert, arrived with a cover article, "How Climate Change Affects You Right Now" and the photo of a man dabbing his sweaty brow with his tie. Everything including poison ivy was attributed to the dreaded, but fictitious global warming.
The occasion for the latest claim was yet another report by a yet another panel. This time it was one convened by the National Academies of Science whose twelve incredibly distinguished members concluded that, "the planet warmed more rapidly over the past 25 years than at any other period in the past 400 years." Pay no attention to the fact that actual temperature records only go back 200 years.
Indeed, the panel members "were asked to summarize temperature records going back 2,000 years and were urged to pinpoint any areas of uncertainty." Let's see, that leaves about 1,800 years of uncertainty based on what scientists call "proxy" evidence. This is data teased out of ice cores, tree rings, and anything else scientists can think to measure.
Any discussion of the role of the Sun is always ignored by these reports, but I assure you that the Sun has a lot to do with the temperature of the Earth.
What the distinguished members of the panel managed to ignore was a 350-year "Little Ice Age" from 1500 to 1850. After that, the Earth warmed up about one degree Fahrenheit until about 1950 and, since then, there has been no conclusive evidence of any significant eminent or long-term warming. That is to say, any unusual warming because, as noted, in the summer, the Earth gets warmer. Ever since the last big Ice Age, with the usual fluctuations, the Earth's temperature been warmer and we should all be very thankful for that.
Conversely, in the winter, it gets colder, and for some reason, we do not get distinguished panels issuing "scientific" reports on any warming or predictions of an imminent Ice Age. The Earth is actually closer to the sun, though tilted away sufficiently so its rays do not provide as much heat.
Indeed, global warming has become such a boring topic that ABC News, desperate to keep the hoax alive, has actually asked viewers to email "interesting examples" of how their lives have been "directly affected by global warming?" This is what passes for science in the newsrooms of America.
In May, a coalition of the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, the Sierra Club of New Jersey and the New Jersey Audubon Club warned of "a 2-to-4 foot rise in the level of the Atlantic Ocean due to the melting of the polar ice caps…that would put 1 percent to 3 percent of the Garden State under water and leave 6 percent to 9 percent vulnerable to chronic flooding." Moreover, "37 species of wildlife would be either greatly reduced in numbers or gone from the state."
This kind of nonsense is repeated state by state and the claims are changed depending on the local climate conditions. Out west the claims feature wildfires such as occur every single year. If the state is subject to hurricanes, than global warming gets attached to that annually reoccurring natural phenomenon. Meanwhile, the polar ice caps are not melting. Indeed, the ice pack is growing.
Inevitably, we get to the true agenda of these kinds of environmental scare campaigns. For example, the New Jersey coalition made it clear that our lifestyles have to be changed by "dramatically reducing energy consumption in homes, businesses and schools; shifting to clean renewable sources of energy generation; making cars go further on a gallon of gasoline; ensuring that people drive less and use mass transit more, and making the energy industry pay for every pound of global warming pollution they emit, with that money invested in solutions." You only need solutions when you have a real problem.
The latest distinguished panel report is largely contingent on a much disputed and discredited mathematical computer model that was first published in 1998 by a climatologist Michael Mann of the University of Virginia. It provided "a hockey stick" scenario in which the Earth dramatically heated up in the twentieth century, providing a curve on a diagram that resembled a hockey stick.
If the "Little Ice Age" was a nuisance for Mann, you can imagine the bother of the subsequent "Medieval Warm Period." As Tom Bethell, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, points out, Mann was determined that "The twentieth century was going to be the warmest, regardless of the data." Suffice it to say, Mann's hockey stick has drawn a lot of criticism such as that of Canadian economist Ross McKitrick who, in 2003, published an article stating that Mann had "used flawed methods that yield meaningless results."
Global warming is the current version of the famed Piltdown Man whose skull was found in England in 1909, proving to many of the distinguished scientists back then that modern man began his journey in the British Isles and not somewhere like Africa. The skull was a total fraud, but a lot of scientists of the time were convinced it was the real thing and the media had a field day with the story.
All of which brings me back to the utter boredom induced whenever some government panel, newspaper, television program, or Al Gore's new movie, reminds us that "Global warming is real, scientists say."
Editor's Note: For a hilarious list of all the things attributed to global warming, visit http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. His new book, "Right Answers" will be published in September. © Alan Caruba, 2006
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