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.