CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Alternative Thinking on Global Warming

Feb 29, 2008

If you only go by much of the reporting found in the mainstream media, you would be tempted to believe that man-made global warming is a fact which no one disputes, and that unless drastic action is taken immediately, there will be global disaster.

The actual situation, however, seems much less clear. Not only is there no strong scientific consensus on this issue, but many scientists think the whole thing is mostly a beat up. Consider just one set of facts: From January 2007 to January 2008 all of the major well respected indicators reported global temperature drops. The UK’s Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature (HadCRUT), Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA (RSS), University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH), and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) global temperature sets have all shown sharp temperature drops for the past year.

Thomas Sowell has written a recent piece on all this, critiquing the global warming gloom and doom scenarios, and alerting us to a major alternative scientific gathering on this topic. Sowell begins, “It has almost become something of a joke when some ‘global warming’ conference has to be cancelled because of a snowstorm or bitterly cold weather. But stampedes and hysteria are no joke – and creating stampedes and hysteria has become a major activity of those hyping a global warming ‘crisis.’.”

He continues, “A whole cottage industry has sprung up among people who get grants, government agencies who get appropriations, politicians who get publicity and the perpetually indignant who get something new to be indignant about. It gives teachers something to talk about in school instead of teaching. Those who bother to check the facts often find that not all those who are called scientists are really scientists and not all of those who are scientists are specialists in climate. But who bothers to check facts these days?”

The alternative conference is just days away: “A new and very different conference on global warming will be held in New York City, under the sponsorship of the Heartland Institute, on March 2nd to March 4th – weather permitting. It is called an ‘International Conference on Climate Change.’ Its subtitle is ‘Global Warming: Truth or Swindle?’ Among those present will be professors of climatology, along with scientists in other fields and people from other professions. They come from universities in England, Hungary, and Australia, as well as from the United States and Canada, and include among other dignitaries the president of the Czech Republic. There will be 98 speakers and 400 participants.

“The theme of the conference is that ‘there is no scientific consensus on the causes or likely consequences of global warming.’ Many of the participants in this conference are people who have already expressed skepticism about either the prevailing explanations of current climate change or the dire predictions about future climate change. These include authors of such books as ‘Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years’ by Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, and ‘Shattered Consensus,’ edited by Patrick J. Michaels. This will be one of the rare opportunities for the media to hear the other side of the story – for those old-fashioned journalists who still believe that their job is to inform the public, rather than promote an agenda.”

Of course there are certain givens that everyone can accept. “Nobody denies that there is such a thing as a greenhouse effect. If there were not, the side of the planet facing away from the sun would be freezing every night. There is not even a lot of controversy over temperature readings. What is fundamentally at issue are the explanations, implications and extrapolations of these temperature readings.

“The party line of those who say that we are heading for a global warming crisis of epic proportions is that human activities generating carbon dioxide are key factors responsible for the warming that has taken place in recent times. The problem with this reasoning is that the temperatures rose first and then the carbon dioxide levels rose. Some scientists say that the warming created the increased carbon dioxide, rather than vice versa. Many natural factors, including variations in the amount of heat put out by the sun, can cause the earth to heat or cool.”

Sowell concludes, “The bigger problem is that this has long since become a crusade rather than an exercise in evidence or logic. Too many people are too committed to risk it all on a roll of the dice, which is what turning to empirical evidence is. Those who have a big stake in global warming hysteria are unlikely to show up at the conference in New York, and unfortunately that includes much of the media.”

It will be very interesting indeed to see how the Australian MSM covers the New York conference. I am willing to wager that two possibilities most likely will transpire: either the conference will be ignored altogether, or a hatchet job will be done on it. Either way, strike another blow to freedom of information and a genuinely impartial media. Stay tuned for more developments.

www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/02/28/cold_water_on_global_warming

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12 Responses to Alternative Thinking on Global Warming

  • Yet our tax dollars are going to be thrown at this chimera, in units of $100 million! When K Rudd signed the Kyoto protocol, to appease the militant left, he issued a blank cheque on our hitherto gold-plated economy to empty our coffers to chase a will-o’-the-wisp.
    I am angry – angry at the volley of lies, angry at the way a charlatan like Al Gore gets international coverage when his scientific credentials are zip, angry at the way good scientists (e.g. in the CSIRO) must obsequiously grovel out the party line so as to maintain their funding.
    Yet I will venture a prediction: that this year (2008) the whole scenario will start to unravel and leave a lot of egg on a lot of faces. Global cooling will be so overwhelmingly in evidence that the left who have hyped this up will start to lose credibility. After all, they have staked so much on this!
    Murray Adamthwaite

  • Recently, it was reported on the Yahoo news of a radical suggesting that the current Australian government’s target of 60% reduced CO2 emissions by 2050 was too little and he suggested 90% in 5 years or something along those lines! (stop breathing everyone!). The rest of the article was about how Carbon Trading was going to create enormous business opportunities in the economy.

    Reading between the lines, a whole industry is going (we’ve only seen the start) to spring up around the fictitious and non-productive trading of CO2 “credits” which would passed on to the end user. Where anyone who made or did anything would be forced into offsetting their activities in an unfair and artificial scheme of Carbon offsets which has no real outcome or benefit to the environment.

    A whole new industry of nothing complete with meaningless shares. Of course there will be business opportunities! The ability to make money by selling nothing and to keep people happy about it in the process.

    Lennard Caldwell, Clifton QLD

  • The emperor may need some clothes soon to stay warm.

    John Nelson

  • Don’t forget they are teaching this stuff to your children in school. Ever asked where the boundary between political indoctrination and education lie?

    Ohh what a battle it will be for the parents who have the time and are not distracted by trying to make ends meet or alternatives priorities.

    Edi Giudetti

  • It doesn’t seem all that long ago that signs appeared which said “!!!! is a Nuclear Free Zone” as the public were bombarded with the news that a Nuclear war was imminent. Can you imagine any super power saying – ‘we can’t drop a nuclear bomb on !!!!!! as that is a nuclear free suburb’.

    Today, it is “Global Warming”. Follow the money trail and you will find that Al Gore is making millions out of his Carbon Trading businesses. Once again, the media are pushing the agenda and sadly today, so many people accept that whatever the media says must be correct.

    The solution for the global warmers is a reduction in the world population. This can be achieved if abortion becomes a human right. Abortion as a woman’s human right is also seen as the only way to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

    It is thanks to people like Bill who are prepared to speak up and expose the hype published in the media. Well done BIll.

    Madge Fahy

  • When I was in high school in the late 80’s the hysteria was over the hole in the ozone layer. Our teachers were telling us that by the time we were in our 30’s (now), there would be days that we would not be able to go outside without risk of severe burns. I am starting to understand why old people laugh at “experts”.
    Damien Carson

  • I graduated from high school last year and was appalled by the bias in the teaching about Global Waring. It is taught as a fact that cannot be questioned despite the immense debate amongst the scientific community. With a relatively low level of knowledge of Chemistry (in specific absorption spectra), the whole agument that CO2 is going to make the world unbearably hot simply falls to peices.
    All the best,
    James Ramsay

  • Thank goodness some sense may be returning to the global warming debate. Our grandchildren are being brainwashed in school on both global warming and the “stolen generations.” The Federal Opposition has given the game away and the media, with the almost single exception of Andrew Bolt, is a disgrace. Keep up the good work.
    Pat O’Brien

  • Thanks Pat, and other well-wishers.
    I wonder if Bolt will make it to the New York conference. I will try to provide updates as I learn of events coming out of the conference.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Pat, there’s also Tim Blair who like Andrew Bolt works for News Limited and writes a weekly column for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. He also has a popular blog.

    Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy is another AGW skeptic. She is attending the New York conference and already has a report of the first day on her blog.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • James Ramsay, I have to agree, as one whose Ph.D. was in vibrational spectroscopy. I think that if I informed alGore, Penny Wong, Kevin Rudd or Malcolm Turnbull about even elementary concepts in infrared absorption, their eyes would go blank. E.g. that there is a logarithmic dependence of absorption on concentration, that one of CO2’s vibrational fundamental modes is infrared-inactive, i.e. doesn’t absorb infrared, that water vapour is well known as a very strong absorber of infrared, as would be expected from such a polar and low-symmetry molecule … Yet these clowns are all jumping on a scientific bandwagon they know nothing about, and imposing huge costs on people.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Global warming is a beat-up. The effects of climate change in the immediate or long-term future are uncertain. But please, let’s keep this knowledge to ourselves.
    Over the past 200 or so years we, i.e. humans, have raped and pillaged the very finite resources on Earth to such an extent that the profligacy of one or two greedy generations i.e. us, is in danger of rendering the earth uninhabitable through pollution, desertification and destruction of habitat. We have stolen from future generations their right and opportunity to live safely and comfortably on this planet.
    If it takes fear of climate change to persuade people to reduce their consumption of finite resources and find alternatives to depleting the reserves of fuels and minerals, then I think we should join the scare-mongers. Live simply so that others (including future generations) may simply live.
    David Esdaile

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