As noted in the introduction, the author of this report is not trying to sway anyone’s minds when it comes to whether global warming exists or not. Based on the totality of what is coming out in the press and the science community, the planet probably is warming and humans are probably at least a small (if not a major) factor in all of the above. However, some of the talking heads, “scientists”, politicians and other people in the global warming/climate paradigm are acting extremely suspiciously and/or in an obtuse or irresponsible way. The author of this report is happy to offer a couple of examples of people that are clearly demagogic or perhaps just a little off intellectually or ethically. The quintessential example of global warming advocacy run amok would be Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States under William Jefferson Clinton. Since his departure from that role, he ran for President in 2000 and actually won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College in controversial fashion. Since then, he has become a champion for the campaign against global warming and what must be done to combat it and stop it. As the author of this report perceives the matter, Gore has two major flaws that basically negate any legitimacy and clout he could ever have. First of all, the manner in which he refers to global warming skeptics is childish, puerile and grossly unscientific. For example, Gore was asked a question by CBS reporter Lesley Stahl. The question asked included reference to the fact that not all climate scientists and the like believe that global warming is manmade in nature. It should be noted that Stahl made no reference to any skeptic in particular. She kept the question general in terms of who she was talking about. Gore’s verbatim response was “You’re talking about Dick Cheney. I think those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view, they’re almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those that believe the world is flat” (Silva, 2008). There are a few fatal flaws to that statement. First of all, no one induced him to invoke Cheney but Gore apparently has a fixation on the man. Second, he essentially called people that disagree with him “flat-earthers” and that is a pretty bold statement for something that is not remotely proven. To be brutally honest, Newton’s Theory of Gravity is still technically thata theory. However, it is not hard to do what Newton did and toss an apple in the air and watch it fall. Global warming is no different but the intricacies are so much more complex because of all of what is known versus what is not known. The second problem Gore has is that his motives are quite obviously impure. He has made a mint off of his business ventures, his Inconvenient Truth movie and other dealings. All the while, he lives in a home with an electricity bill that is five figures a year. Not unlike the other global warming “advocates” that fly to Davos, Switzerland in private jets for global warming conferences, he is not imposing on himself what he is demanding from others and that is less (or no) use of gasoline, coal and other fossil fuels. Third, there is the little detail that he is not a trained scientist and actually got a “D” grade in a natural science class he took in college.
The gist of Gore’s motives can easily be correlated to a broader movement and initiative that is well under way around the world. Global warming, even though it is not nearly as proven as people say it is, is being used to justify and demand higher taxes, higher regulations and so forth and many of the people impacted are the poorest and most disadvantaged on the planet. For example, using gasoline may pollute but it the only option that a lot of people have. Further, while “green technology” is very promising and will surely catch on at some point, coal and petroleum are not going away as our main energy sources anytime soon. Indeed, petroleum is used for many things beyond simple fuel including plastics, tires and even some cosmetic products. Further, the predecessor to coal was actually renewable but it was a lot less efficientand that would be wood.
The ostensible self-fulfilling prophecy of global warming being an absolute fact and absolutely being manmade goes all the way up to the United Nations and their International Panel on Climate Change unit, or IPCC. The IPCC apparently does not do their own data collection but they state that they do assess the data of others. Further, they state that “the goal of these assessments is to inform international policy and negotiations on climate-related issues” (UCSUSA, 2015). That would seem to be putting the proverbial cart before the horse because there is not a lot of evidence (in the minds of many, anyway) that the warming occurring is going to be as destructive as is stated, that it could be prevented even if that was the right call and the list goes on.
Something very notable about the IPCC is that their assessments and data review has been revealed to be less than honest at times. The face of the ostensible legitimacy problems with the IPCC and the United Nations can be identified as Michael Mann. He is now famous for what is known as the “hockey stick graph”. The graph basically represents that temperatures were stable but slightly cooling from about 1000 AD to about 1900 AD. At that point, there is a sharp and noticeable uptick that is said to coincide with the Industrial Revolution, the use of cars and the modernization of the United States and world economies. However, that graph has been noticeably and exhaustively disproven since it came out. For example, there was some tree ring analysis done on a tree that was from post-1960’s. The temperature patterns revealed by the tree completely contradicted what Mann was trying to assert. This was one example of many other data collection points that proved Mann’s graph to be a fallacy. However, this then unproven (and since disproven) data was featured strongly and loudly at IPCC events from 1999 onward. There were later signs that Mann and his cronies were actively deleting and obscuring any data that ran counter to global warming being a “fact”. Mann himself implicitly confirmed he was doing precisely that when he was quoted as saying that releasing the wrong or contradictory data would cast “doubt on our ability to understand factors that influence these estimates (PowerLine, 2015). Further, there was a “smoothing” of a cooling dip that apparently occurred around the time the supposed hockey stick arc started its ascent. If half of that is true, then Mann and his colleagues are clearly dealing more in propaganda and politics than they are science and honesty (Hinderaker, 2014).
Speaking of propaganda, there is an unsettling term that is much worse than the aforementioned “flat-earther” quip that Gore and others have used. One of the terms being used to describe global warming skeptics is “denier” (Wagoner, 2010). There is one pre-eminent and inerasable event in our world’s history that that word is associated with and it is the Jewish Holocaust. To use that word in relation to something like global warming seems classless and incendiary. However, the demagoguery does not stop therenot even close. An article that appeared on the website Gawker had this as its opening line”Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate change liars” (Weinstein, 2014). The screed then goes into how, allegedly, 97 percent of all climate scientists agree with the idea of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming. The author also states that six seismologists were sentenced to manslaughter for not predicting an earthquake circa 2009. That line of reasoning and thought is sheer lunacy. Just like with global warming, predicting earthquakes is not something that can be done with absolute precisionnot even close. Second, the Wall Street Journal wrote a piece that called the 97 percent figure an outright lie. The troubling thing is that the Gawker screed is not the only place this accusation has been levied. Indeed, current Secretary of State John Kerry quoted the same exact statistic at a commencement address in 2014. When digging deeper, the lie is put to that figure. There was indeed a review of some opinions of climate scientists and other professionals and 97 percent was indeed the number garnered. However, the sample size of that review as about 79 respondents. That is a woefully small number in comparison to the Wall Street Journal’s review. They looked at nearly one thousand scholarly articles published over ten years and found the figure to be more like three fourths. That is still a solid majority but not remotely close to the 97 percent cited by Kerry and the Gawker ranter (Weinstein, 2014; Bast & Spencer, 2014).
Going even further, the point made throughout this report that the data that exists out there is not nearly complete enough to make any definitive conclusions is echoed in the Journal piece. Indeed, the article stated that two German scientists did a survey and found that many climate scientists disagree with the “consensus” on the grounds that not enough is known about clouds and precipitation. They also cited a lack of reliance on computer models. Noted in the same Journal story was a different survey from 2012 of nearly two thousand meteorologists and only about two fifths (39.5 percent) thought that man-made global warming is/was “dangerous” (Bast & Spencer, 2014).
There is a lot to take in from the above and some observations should be made. First, for a person that is Secretary of State in this country to be quoting such a faulty and dubious statistic is borderline idiotic. Second, for policy, taxes and control over the peoples of this world to be based on what is AT BEST a best guess right now is the real travesty and problem in this world. To suggest that global warming skeptics should be arrested and charged for being “wrong” about something that is not proven one way or another is the height of craziness. The people that knowingly charged those poor Italian seismologists should themselves be committed to jail or at least stripped of their power. That is the behavior of 17th century draconian leadersnot 21st century leadership. The problem with the Gawker/Kerry statistic is that it does not stop with him. President Obama himself as well as NASA has belched the same statistic with no context or precision (Bast & Spencer, 2015).
Finally, there is the buzzword being thrown about that is known as “consensus”. That is the word that many Democrats (who are usually the pro-global warming crowd) use when they state that the science is “settled” and that there is a “consensus” about what is and what is not going on vis-à-vis the temperature on this planet. That may sound good as a soundbite but it is horrible science. To use a simple example, if there are ten people and eight of them say the sky is red (let assume it’s the usual blue color), there is technically a consensus but they are still wrong. Second of all, science is fluid and ever-changing. What we understand now about the weather, the temperatures on this planet and so forth is much more advanced than it was in, let us say, 1990. However, the author of this report has no doubt that the same precise thing will be said when comparing 2015 and 2035 when the latter of those two years comes to pass. To drive that point home, one of the scientific theories of the 1970’s was actually the polar opposite of what is being stated nowglobal cooling. There is varying degrees of opinion on how wide a “consensus” there was about the subject. However, an article that debunks the idea that it was ever really taken serious and/or that there was a consensus on the subject laid out a quote that perfectly applies to this situation. The statement was “climate science as we know it today did not exist in the 1960’s and 1970’s”. The article that statement appears in was written in 2008 and the author of this report would assert that there is a strong likelihood or possibility that this statement will be proven again when it comes to the climate (AMETSOC, 2008).
One last bit of evidence that the climate change conundrum has not been figured out is that temperature change graph as presented by the United States Climate.gov website. Indeed, temperature actually fell from about 1880 to 1930 and then slowly started to rise, presuming that the graph is accurate. There were some sharp spikes upward from 1980 to about 2000 but there has since been a leveling off. To be sure, the amount of rise in carbon dioxide being belched into the air has not leveled off but the rise in temperature (in terms of degrees per year) has not changed. Further, it is not remotely a smooth arc upward. It is jumping up and down all over the place (Climate.gov, 2015).
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