Friday, December 26, 2008

Global Warming and Dishonest Science

On the plane to Florida, I had the chance to catch up on my reading. One of the articles I read in the Indianapolis Star was Deroy Murdock's column about global warming, published on Tuesday of this week. I found a much longer version of the article, titled as "Whatever Happened to Global Warming?," on the National Review website.

In the column, Murdock points out that the year 2008 will be the coldest since 1997 and that the changing temperature has more to do with solar activity than carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Just before Halloween, southwestern Florida’s temperatures plunged to 47 degrees, October’s coldest readings since 1902. On October 29th, the United States set 120 new record-cold measurements and 63 new record-snow figures. On December 11th, eight inches of snow hit New Orleans, and stayed for 48 hours in some neighborhoods.

Faced with the reality that global warming temperatures could well be falling not rising, environmental extremists suddenly changed their tune, now using the term "climate change" to identify the purported threat for which they want nations all over the world to spend trillions of dollars addressing. It is a brilliant way of framing the debate. Unless the climate stays exactly the same year after year (which it never has for the 4.5 billion years), those advocating government action always have ample "proof" of their theory.

The fact is our planet has gone through periods when it was warmer than today and periods when it has been cooler, including times before and since man walked on the earth. Carbon dioxide levels have been higher than they are today and they have been lower. As pointed out by John Stossel in his 20/20 report, one thing that seems pretty clear is that carbon dioxide levels have historically risen following increases in temperatures not preceded them. The cause and effect relationship that Al Gore and his followers claim exists between rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures is not supported by timelines comparing the two.

Another dishonest approach taken by those who advocate the global warming model is to focus their analysis solely on the period when temperatures have been formally kept, a period of approximately the last 150 years. In the 4.5 billion year of the planet, 150 years is not even a blip. If you look at the history of this planet, there have been periods of global warming and ice ages. In between those periods, temperatures zig-zag back and forth, with each zig (which I am using here to represent an increase) and zag (which I am using as a decrease) representing centuries if not millennia. During the past 150 years, we could have well be in the middle of a normal "zig" in the pattern of temperature patterns and not a long-term, permanent increase in global temperatures. Scientists promoting the global warming theory use computer models to extrapolate the temperatures out assuming that current "zig" increasing temperatures will never be followed by a "zag." History says otherwise. As pointed out by Murdock, that zag may have already started.

We are also asked to accept it on faith that today's temperature is the ideal and that temperatures different from today's represent catastrophe for the planet. Again, history say otherwise. The greatest progress of man during the last millennium came during warming periods, which included temperatures warmer than today. Certainly warmer temperatures creates "losers" (think Florida's coastal areas) but also "winners" (think longer growing seasons in Minnesota and Canada.) On balance, history shows the warmer climate is preferred by mankind. People from Florida do not move to Michigan when they retire. People who live in Michigan move to Florida.

Those scientists and pseudo-scientists pushing global warming, and now climate change, as a basis for the governments of the world to take dramatic and expensive action that may devastate the world economy, are in fact are pursuing a political, anti-progress economic agenda. Some of those scientists are remarkably candid that they very well may be wrong about the science, but justify their actions on the basis that the changes they advocate to the way human beings live their lives would nonetheless be beneficial to everyone, even if it does not have an effect on climate change. The sad thing is that science has become politicized. The scientific method we all learned about in school has been tossed aside in favor of twisting and ignoring facts to fit a political agenda.


Anonymous said...

As Savage coined the title:"Liberalism is a mental disorder." They are also the culmination of the 60's -all grown up and in power.

Citizen Kane said...

I totally agree; I have finally convinced some of my liberal friends (their self-identification) that ethanol (as produced in the U.S.) is a sham, but I'm still haven't convinced them about global warming.

When it comes to science definitively answering the questions of the past or trying to extrapolate the future; I reject the notion that they knowing anything as fact. They may be able to generate reasonable guesses in some cases. To pretend that we can determine from a few years of history any actual trends in weather is ridiculous and to further think that we can actually control or determine future weather patterns is insane. As you indicated, there will be positives and negatives related to any "climate change." I would worry about an ice age returning before I would worry about rising temperatures. But even if an ice age would return in my lifetime (doubtful), I am sane enough to know that there is not a damn thing that I or anyone else can do about it.

Paul K. Ogden said...


You are so right. We have much more to fear from an ice age returning than a warming of the planet. An ice age would have much, much more of a devastating effect on society than a warming planet. As you point out though, there's nothing we can do about it so we might as well not lose sleep over it.

varangianguard said...

Can't you guys defer to the sure knowledge that comes from the same guy who "invented the Internet"? I am shocked and dismayed to find that you don't just fall over yourselves in agreement with such an obviously brilliant man.

Tsk, tsk. ;)