Earth Day was this past Tuesday, and it had me thinking about the global warming issue.
I was in high school (sometime in the mid 1980’s) when I first learned of global warming, and I remember discussing it in college. One friend was an environmental science major, and she was convinced that the data demonstrated that the earth was warming. I didn’t dispute the objective facts of the matter, rather I’d argue whether or not man was responsible for global warming, or if it was even a bad thing that the earth was heating up.
Well, it’s 30 years later and humans haven’t gone extinct, and the earth is thriving. We’ve gained a wealth of information since then, and while the message has changed, the political spin is the same. You know the saying: the more things change, the more things stay the same. It’s politics mixed with science, and that’s a toxic mixture.
(Photo Credit: Federico Stevanin)
Back in 1970 we were promised an ice age, but when that alarmism didn’t work they resorted to “global warming”, and when that failed to scare enough people they changed the language again to “climate change.” Hmmm, well of course the climate changes! That’s to be expected, and we shouldn’t be alarmed by that. The term “climate change” is so elastic that it could mean anything, which renders it meaningless, except for its adherents.
I’ve always been bothered by the doomsday predictions and shouts that the sky is falling. Unfortunately the fear-mongering is as strong as ever, in spite of the evidence to the contrary. Politicians have double-downed their efforts to reduce our “carbon footprint” and control the weather- as if it were possible.
Skeptics, like myself, have called global warming a hoax and fraud, and there’s plenty of evidence to support such strong claims. Computer models, for example, have failed; they can’t predict the past or future, so it’s not shocking when the weather forecast is wrong. Climatologist Roy Spencer has said, “Temperatures have not risen nearly as much as almost all of the climate models predicted.” He went on to say that “Their predictions have largely failed, four times in a row… what that means is that it’s time for them to re-evaluate.” Chip Knappenberger of Cato agrees, and he wrote an article explaining how computer models are quickly obsolete and lack credibility and any predictive ability.
Richard Lindzen of Harvard and MIT is a pioneer of climate science, and he’s been harsh on global warming activists, accusing them of alarmism, fudging the data, guessing, and compromising. He says that global warming is “nothing to be alarmed about.”
I’ve always maintained that the earth is robust, resilient, self-regulating, and is more than capable of sustaining a staggering human population. God designed the earth to be mankind’s home, and he created it to withstand the pressures we’d place upon it. He commanded man to be “fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground (Genesis 1:28).” Mankind is not an intruder, as many extreme environmentalists maintain; the earth was designed for us by God, and we need to be good stewards of the planet he’s entrusted to us.
Global warming alarmists, however, typically reject Biblical evidence, even though the Bible has a proven track record. With a human population of more than 7 billion people, mankind is fulfilling his God-given mandate, and the earth is more than able to sustain every one of us, and then some.
This issue has been highly politicized from the beginning. What we do know is that humans are pumping large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning oil, gas and coal, and some scientists believe that man is responsible for the rising temperatures resulting from using these natural resources. In addition they believe the earth is fragile, sensitive and incapable of sustaining such human activity, and that world governments must legislate policies reducing the amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere. But there are many problems with such thinking.
To begin with, the earth’s climate is extremely complex, to say the least. But more importantly, carbon dioxide is not a poison or a pollutant; it’s quite necessary for plants and all kinds of vegetation. In fact the more carbon dioxide available, the quicker plants grow, so it can be argued that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are beneficial to humans, animals, and vegetation. Humans are even considered “carbon based” life forms.
We’ve learned that aerosols and water vapor may provide a cooling effect. We know that ocean temperature cycles and sun spot activity have tremendous effects on global temperature. And according to NASA’s Langley Research Center, greenhouse gases block up to 95 percent of harmful solar rays. Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats according to James Russell of Hampton University. Volcanic activity is another factor that affects weather patterns.
Any increase in global temperature has been negligible, increasing about a tenth of a degree since 1800, according to Lindzen. He says it has increased “a very small amount,” and that the alarmists overestimate the earth’s sensitivity.
Even the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ) has admitted that there hasn’t been any measurable increase in storm intensity as expected, despite record levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. But that hasn’t stopped alarmist headlines, such as National Geographic.com’s, “New Climate Change Report Warns of Dire Consequences.”
Politics, money and power are a large part of the scandal: academic research needs government funding to survive, and politicians control the purse strings. Scientists need to produce the right results, otherwise funding stops. Fear is a strong motivational force that encourages scientists and the public to conform. Big corporations have benefited from this political agenda, such as Solyndra (now bankrupt) and their “green” technology; some corporations simply use the hysteria to their advantage, marketing their product to those who believe in “going green” with the promise to “save the planet.”
Alarmists control the language by referring to “consensus”, suggesting that all scientists believe in man-made global warming and that immediate action must be taken to prevent the impending disaster. Former Vice President Al Gore even claimed that “the debate in the scientific community is over.” However, there is no consensus on global warming… and even if there were, science isn’t about consensus. Such thinking is simply their way of stifling debate, imposing unnecessary policies, and increasing their power and wealth. Aside from Lindzen, other prominent skeptics are Judith Curry (School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech), Roy Spencer (University of Alabama), William Happer (professor of physics at Princeton), John Christy (NASA), and physicist Freeman Dyson. In fact over 31,000 scientists have rejected the assertion that human activity is mainly responsible for global warming by signing the Global Warming Petition Project. Science is never settled. The physics of science don’t change, but the conclusions and interpretations do.
Judith Curry has pointed out that global temperature has been flat for over 15 years, and that the earth has actually been cooling since 2002. Anastasios Tsonis of the University of Wisconsin agrees, saying, “We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.”
Instead of buying into the global warming hysteria, what we need is a solid economy, jobs, free market competition, sensible regulation, and low-cost, reliable energy. The global warming hysteria is simply counterproductive to our country’s needs.
Here are some statistics demonstrating the failed global warming predictions: the arctic sea ice was up 60% in 2013; in 2007 they predicted more intense hurricanes, however 2013 was one of the quietest hurricane seasons recorded. Al Gore predicted that the “entire North Polar ice cap will be gone in five years.” Not only did that prediction fail, but the Arctic grew 29% between 2012 and 2013, resulting in nearly a million more square miles of ice. It must have been embarrassing for the scientists traveling to the South Pole earlier this year to study the shrinking ice caps; they ended up getting stuck on ice thicker than any time on record, and were rescued after several failed attempts by three icebreakers.
Leaked emails from Britain’s Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia demonstrated that global warming data was tampered with and suppressed. Only those results supporting global warming were reported. Scientists used tricks to “hide the decline” in temperature. Climatologist Kevin Trenbert at the US Centre for Atmospheric Research said, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Another message explained how the government was demanding evidence for climate change to help them tell a convincing story without looking foolish. A study by PLoS One has shown that scientists manipulate data at a high rate and are guilty of other questionable practices. Judith Curry reported how one of her colleagues was encouraged by other scientists not to publish studies that would “only provide fodder to skeptics.”
Despite all the failed predictions, the IPCC has reported that scientists are 95% certain that humans are the dominant cause of global warming since the 1950s. It’s interesting to note, however, that Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, testified before a senate committee that, “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.” He ended up leaving Greenpeace because it was more interested in politics than the environment, and he admitted that the alarmists use faulty computer models and scare tactics to advance their agenda. Even if the earth was warming, he says, it wouldn’t be that harmful for humans, which he describes as a “subtropical species.”
I agree there would be plenty of benefits. To begin with, humans would have to adapt and be resourceful. People could farm in the arctic regions, and we’d have longer growing seasons. There would be fewer deaths resulting from exposure to the cold, we’d need less energy to heat during winter months, and there would be fewer accidents related to ice and snow, saving us costly repairs and injuries. As an added bonus, animals and vegetation would move into those new habitats.
It’s also important to note the hypocrisy of many of the leaders of this movement, such as Al Gore, who has one of the largest carbon footprints of anyone. He flies from place to place on private jets, consumes enormous amounts of energy, but yet he stands to increase his wealth if he succeeds in forcing America and other countries to comply with his demands for carbon credits. It’s ironic that he sold his struggling cable channel to Al-Jazeera, a news network funded by the Emir of Qatar, for $100 million. Qatar has funded known terrorist groups, rejects human rights, is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil, and is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.
Lastly, global warming and environmentalism has become a religion for many people- a kind of eco-theology. It’s believed by blind faith, regardless of all the evidence to the contrary. The earth is worshiped as Mother Nature, animals are revered as pristine, trees are to be protected, and man is the devil. There are too many people on the planet, and they’re destroying it! Therefore it’s necessary to force this religion upon everyone for their own good. Driving SUVs, burning coal, traveling in airplanes and using energy are sins that must be stopped. Al Gore has set himself up as prophet, missionary and savior, and his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, is shown in schools to evangelize students and share his message. Believers sing songs of worship on Earth Day to demonstrate their adoration. These people want us to abstain from the behaviors they find offensive, and they expect us to pay indulgences for our transgressions in the form of carbon offsets; in return they will pardon us. Gore has prophesied fire and brimstone unless we change our ways. There will be floods of Biblical proportion unless we bow down to the idol of global warming. Some of the believers have resorted to terrorist activities in order to wound or kill infidels, spiking trees and blowing up car dealerships and crop dusters.
I’d argue that the Bible gives us the best prophecies and has been proven accurate. The Bible tells us how the world will end: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:10.
I’m thankful that we don’t have to live in fear of doomsday predictions by global warming alarmists, and I hope we can successfully resist their efforts.