The Global Warming Gasbags

Nick Schultz does a good job of deflating a few of the balloons flying around about global warming. The past few weeks we’ve seen a stepping up of hysterical rhetoric, complete with Bill Clinton urging Tony Blair on about the whole “global warming revolution…” Eek.

Schultz’ piece recaps the recent glut of hand-wringers:

But first, the alarm bells. Consider:

* This week Time magazine has a “special report” on global warming with the cover blaring “Be Worried. Be Very Worried.”

* Australian alarmist Tim Flannery has a new doomsday book out “The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What I t Means for Life on Earth.”

* The Washington Post recently featured a front page article about melting ice in Antarctica.

* ABCNews recently attacked skeptic scientists such as the University of Virginia’s Pat Michaels.

* A cover story in the New Republic this month attacked the popular writer Michael Crichton for his skeptical views on catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.

* The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert recently published a book with the telling title “Field Notes From a Catastrophe.”

* And the Advertising Council and Environmental Defense have just launched the first “public awareness” campaign on global warming.

Recall that last September’s “Clinton Global Initiative” (part of several weeks of “Bill Clinton is our savior” focus) leered upon everything BUT terrorism, which has never been on his radar. He’s clearly campaigning for something separate and distinct from his wife’s White House run and global warming hysteria is going to play a big part in it – hence the press is doing its part to beef up the panic.

Some of this rhetoric is troubling, but such rhetoric is always alarmist, as Schultz notes:

Time is right about scientists issuing warnings for decades. It just hasn’t always been about global warming. Three decades ago, as Rich Karlgaard of Forbes reminds us this week, Newsweek magazine was warning not about global warming, but about global cooling. And the rhetoric was just as alarmist then. According to Newsweek at the time, “There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically…with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth.”

But just because scientists and their acolytes in the media were badly wrong a mere thirty years ago, doesn’t mean they are wrong today. It doesn’t mean they are right, but let’s stipulate that the planet is warming and greenhouse gases due to man’s activities have some effect. What then should we do?

Well, I think one thing we need to do is perhaps take a look at an intiative that sounds sensible and sane and is getting no press. Never heard of it? Surprise, surprise…if a president with an R after his name has an environmental initiative, and and ex-president with a D after his name has a competeing idea, which one is “credible?” If you couldn’t answer that, you go sit in the corner, right now.

That the wrong president’s plan is way, way beyond Kyoto doesn’t matter. Wrong president. Not credible.

I’m not buying the doom and gloom codswallop. Not when there are alternative initiatives that are being ignored. You see, it’s one thing if all the “the world is going to end because of global warming” hoo-ha is all that is out there…it’s quite another thing when other ideas are out there, other “solutions” to the “global warming crisis” are out there, but they’re being ignored by the very people who are supposed to be so very, very concerned about it all.

If you’re really concerned about “global warming,” you work with everyone in power to find “solutions” and you don’t simply ignore alternatives because they come from “the wrong side.” If that IS what you do…then you’re full of hothouse gasses yourself on the whole issue. Or maybe there IS no issue. Maybe this is just what the planet does, sometimes.

Maggie’s Farm casts a satirical eye.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Joseph

    Well I think the first order of business is to let this paragon of a sane and sensible initiative speak, unedited, for itself:

    The goal of the AP6 is to address climate change by focusing on creating and deploying technologies that emit less greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide. Dr. Shin Boo-nam, the deputy director general of South Korea’s ministry of foreign affairs and trade explained, during a panel discussion organized by the International Council for Capital Formation, that the AP6 members aim to use technological innovation and cooperation to improve their energy security, reduce air pollution, and address climate change.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but if I were to try to summarize what AP6 is going to do that is concrete about the problem, where they are going to do it, and when they are going to do it, I doubt that I could write such a summary.

    So, presumably, we will have to wait to see what they actually propose to do, whenever and wherever they propose to do it, before we call them a “sane and sensible initiative”. Until then, we can merely wish them good luck.

    Putting initiatives to one side for the moment, we could profitably clarify what we actually have in hand in the way of evidence.

    There are two serious, but separate, questions:

    Is the climate changing rapidly in a direction, and to a degree, that it will create proound changes in the world?

    Is the cause of the climate change due to hydrocarbon emissions?

    The calls to “do something” about Global Warming have to address the answers to both of these questions. AP6 and Kyoto are largely responses to Question 2. But there still remains Question 1. And it is far more immediate.

    Consider New Orleans. One of the clear implications of a “global warming” answer to question 1 are more and stronger Atlantic hurricanes. Another of the implications is a rise in current sea levels. We already know that New Orleans is currently below sea level and has been slowly sinking further below sea level.

    So what has been proposed to address any of this, since we have made an defacto commitment to rebuild the place in the image of the President’s grand vision of renewal?

    Further, consider the following cities: New York, Boston, Charleston, Savanna, Miami, Tampa, Mobile, Biloxi, New Orleans, Galveston, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Honolulu, Portland, and Spokane.

    At what point in the accumulation of the evidence for fast rising sea levels do we actually conclude that some action needs to be taken to secure the tens of millions of people in these cities?

    How certain do we need to be before we begin to act?

    If we refuse to confront the actual evidence for climate change, test it against our own observations, and set political policy goals accordingly, we certainly do not need to bother to think about action.

    So what do we think about, then?

  • Joseph

    Well I think the first order of business is to let this paragon of a sane and sensible initiative speak, unedited, for itself:

    The goal of the AP6 is to address climate change by focusing on creating and deploying technologies that emit less greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide. Dr. Shin Boo-nam, the deputy director general of South Korea’s ministry of foreign affairs and trade explained, during a panel discussion organized by the International Council for Capital Formation, that the AP6 members aim to use technological innovation and cooperation to improve their energy security, reduce air pollution, and address climate change.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but if I were to try to summarize what AP6 is going to do that is concrete about the problem, where they are going to do it, and when they are going to do it, I doubt that I could write such a summary.

    So, presumably, we will have to wait to see what they actually propose to do, whenever and wherever they propose to do it, before we call them a “sane and sensible initiative”. Until then, we can merely wish them good luck.

    Putting initiatives to one side for the moment, we could profitably clarify what we actually have in hand in the way of evidence.

    There are two serious, but separate, questions:

    Is the climate changing rapidly in a direction, and to a degree, that it will create proound changes in the world?

    Is the cause of the climate change due to hydrocarbon emissions?

    The calls to “do something” about Global Warming have to address the answers to both of these questions. AP6 and Kyoto are largely responses to Question 2. But there still remains Question 1. And it is far more immediate.

    Consider New Orleans. One of the clear implications of a “global warming” answer to question 1 are more and stronger Atlantic hurricanes. Another of the implications is a rise in current sea levels. We already know that New Orleans is currently below sea level and has been slowly sinking further below sea level.

    So what has been proposed to address any of this, since we have made an defacto commitment to rebuild the place in the image of the President’s grand vision of renewal?

    Further, consider the following cities: New York, Boston, Charleston, Savanna, Miami, Tampa, Mobile, Biloxi, New Orleans, Galveston, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Honolulu, Portland, and Spokane.

    At what point in the accumulation of the evidence for fast rising sea levels do we actually conclude that some action needs to be taken to secure the tens of millions of people in these cities?

    How certain do we need to be before we begin to act?

    If we refuse to confront the actual evidence for climate change, test it against our own observations, and set political policy goals accordingly, we certainly do not need to bother to think about action.

    So what do we think about, then?

  • smmtheory

    Try thinking about why all the evidence for man-made causes of global warming contain no weather modeling.

  • smmtheory

    Try thinking about why all the evidence for man-made causes of global warming contain no weather modeling.

  • smmtheory

    Try thinking about why the change in CO2 levels of .0003% to .0004% in the atmosphere should have such a dramatic affect on temperatures.

  • smmtheory

    Try thinking about why the change in CO2 levels of .0003% to .0004% in the atmosphere should have such a dramatic affect on temperatures.

  • newton

    I can see Crichton’s State of Fear becoming the environmentalist version of Galileo’s treatise on the revolution of the Earth around the sun…

    I’m glad he spoke out.

    Maybe Joseph has never heard about cyclical changes in the temperatures of the Earth, which happen every big swath of time – say, thousands of years… Has he eve looked into them? Nah. He’s too busy believing the propaganda coming from the enviro-fruit-and-nuts.

    Don’t bother Joseph with the facts, guys. However, I’d love to know what he’s smoking…

  • newton

    I can see Crichton’s State of Fear becoming the environmentalist version of Galileo’s treatise on the revolution of the Earth around the sun…

    I’m glad he spoke out.

    Maybe Joseph has never heard about cyclical changes in the temperatures of the Earth, which happen every big swath of time – say, thousands of years… Has he eve looked into them? Nah. He’s too busy believing the propaganda coming from the enviro-fruit-and-nuts.

    Don’t bother Joseph with the facts, guys. However, I’d love to know what he’s smoking…

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  • http://none Darrell

    Here is something that you should run off a copy of and keep in your wallet for future reference–
    Source:http://www.junkscience.com/
    (1)The temperature effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide is logarithmic, not exponential.
    (2)The potential planetary warming from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide from pre-Industrial Revolution levels of ~280ppmv to 560ppmv (possible some time later this century – perhaps) is estimated at less than 1 °C.
    (3)The guesses of significantly larger warming are dependent on “feedback” (supplementary) mechanisms whose existence is uncertain and the cumulative sign of which is unknown (they may add to warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide or, equally likely, might suppress it).
    (4)The total warming since measurements have been attempted is thought to be about six-tenths of one degree.
    (5)At least half of the estimated temperature increment occurred prior to significant change in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
    (6)Assuming the unlikely case that all the natural drivers of planetary temperature change ceased to operate at the time of measured atmospheric change then +30% increment in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused about one-third of one degree temperature increment since and thus provides empirical support for less than one degree increment due to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    (7)There is no linear relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide change and global mean temperature or global mean temperature trend – global mean temperature has both risen and fallen during the period atmospheric carbon dioxide has been rising.
    (8)The natural world has tolerated more than one-degree fluctuations in mean temperature during the current interglacial and thus current changes are within the range of natural variation.
    (9)Other anthropogenic(man-caused) effects are vastly more important, at least on local and regional scales.
    (10)Fixation on atmospheric carbon dioxide is a distraction from these more important anthropogenic effects
    despite attempts to label atmospheric carbon dioxide a “pollutant” it is, in fact, an essential trace gas, the increasing abundance of which is a bonus to the bulk of the biosphere.
    (11)there is no reason to believe that slightly lower temperatures are somehow preferable to slightly higher temperatures – there is no known “optimal” nor any known means of knowingly and predictably adjusting some sort of planetary thermostat.
    (12)Fluctuations in atmospheric carbon dioxide are of little relevance in the short to medium term (although should levels fall too low it could prove problematic in the longer-term).
    (13)Activists and zealots constantly shrilling over atmospheric carbon dioxide are misdirecting attention and effort from real and potentially addressable local, regional and planetary problems.

    Visit this site often. And read every word. It may be the last time you get to see real science being discussed if the Left ever gets back in power. It makes one see in an instant that American journalists on on a mission to promote agenda-driven Leftist science. And that people should be demanding that journalists present both sides of the debate. The consequence will be disasterous to everyone in the US. The real agenda is to increase the cost of doing business in the US and shut down the US industrial base. Perfect combustion of any hydrocarbon results in the production of carbon dioxide and water. In order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions you would have to extract CO2 from the exhaust stream or shut down prduction(or move it to a country like China exempted from Kyoto.) By the way, over 30,000 real scientists(chemistry, physics, climatology)[not political "scientists" like in the Union of Concerned Scientists] endorse these views.

    Rising sea level? Hmmm. We know that only shelf ice(ice over the sea) has shown any effects of any warming trend so far, and floating ice melting doesn’t increase the sea’s level(Try this at home,fill a glass with ice then fill it all the way to the brim and watch it melt. You won’t see the water spill on to the table at all. Why? Because water in the solid state(ice) takes up a greater volume in the glass than water in its liquid state.)What might be the cause of the 2.9(plus or minus 0.4) mm increase(debatable) we see? Hmmm. Increased water runoff due to development around rivers(destroying the flood plain)? I suggest a few desalination plants.

  • http://none Darrell

    Here is something that you should run off a copy of and keep in your wallet for future reference–
    Source:http://www.junkscience.com/
    (1)The temperature effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide is logarithmic, not exponential.
    (2)The potential planetary warming from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide from pre-Industrial Revolution levels of ~280ppmv to 560ppmv (possible some time later this century – perhaps) is estimated at less than 1 °C.
    (3)The guesses of significantly larger warming are dependent on “feedback” (supplementary) mechanisms whose existence is uncertain and the cumulative sign of which is unknown (they may add to warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide or, equally likely, might suppress it).
    (4)The total warming since measurements have been attempted is thought to be about six-tenths of one degree.
    (5)At least half of the estimated temperature increment occurred prior to significant change in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
    (6)Assuming the unlikely case that all the natural drivers of planetary temperature change ceased to operate at the time of measured atmospheric change then +30% increment in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused about one-third of one degree temperature increment since and thus provides empirical support for less than one degree increment due to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    (7)There is no linear relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide change and global mean temperature or global mean temperature trend – global mean temperature has both risen and fallen during the period atmospheric carbon dioxide has been rising.
    (8)The natural world has tolerated more than one-degree fluctuations in mean temperature during the current interglacial and thus current changes are within the range of natural variation.
    (9)Other anthropogenic(man-caused) effects are vastly more important, at least on local and regional scales.
    (10)Fixation on atmospheric carbon dioxide is a distraction from these more important anthropogenic effects
    despite attempts to label atmospheric carbon dioxide a “pollutant” it is, in fact, an essential trace gas, the increasing abundance of which is a bonus to the bulk of the biosphere.
    (11)there is no reason to believe that slightly lower temperatures are somehow preferable to slightly higher temperatures – there is no known “optimal” nor any known means of knowingly and predictably adjusting some sort of planetary thermostat.
    (12)Fluctuations in atmospheric carbon dioxide are of little relevance in the short to medium term (although should levels fall too low it could prove problematic in the longer-term).
    (13)Activists and zealots constantly shrilling over atmospheric carbon dioxide are misdirecting attention and effort from real and potentially addressable local, regional and planetary problems.

    Visit this site often. And read every word. It may be the last time you get to see real science being discussed if the Left ever gets back in power. It makes one see in an instant that American journalists on on a mission to promote agenda-driven Leftist science. And that people should be demanding that journalists present both sides of the debate. The consequence will be disasterous to everyone in the US. The real agenda is to increase the cost of doing business in the US and shut down the US industrial base. Perfect combustion of any hydrocarbon results in the production of carbon dioxide and water. In order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions you would have to extract CO2 from the exhaust stream or shut down prduction(or move it to a country like China exempted from Kyoto.) By the way, over 30,000 real scientists(chemistry, physics, climatology)[not political "scientists" like in the Union of Concerned Scientists] endorse these views.

    Rising sea level? Hmmm. We know that only shelf ice(ice over the sea) has shown any effects of any warming trend so far, and floating ice melting doesn’t increase the sea’s level(Try this at home,fill a glass with ice then fill it all the way to the brim and watch it melt. You won’t see the water spill on to the table at all. Why? Because water in the solid state(ice) takes up a greater volume in the glass than water in its liquid state.)What might be the cause of the 2.9(plus or minus 0.4) mm increase(debatable) we see? Hmmm. Increased water runoff due to development around rivers(destroying the flood plain)? I suggest a few desalination plants.

  • http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com/ benning

    Thanks, Darrell. Some of this is already known to me, but it’s a good site for that plus the rest.

    The very idea that climate has cycles which run up to many millenia seems alien to the self-proclaimed experts that are screaming in fear. Amazing how we were nearing the next Ice Age only thirty years ago. And that was a crisis, too!

  • http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com/ benning

    Thanks, Darrell. Some of this is already known to me, but it’s a good site for that plus the rest.

    The very idea that climate has cycles which run up to many millenia seems alien to the self-proclaimed experts that are screaming in fear. Amazing how we were nearing the next Ice Age only thirty years ago. And that was a crisis, too!

  • http://none Darrell

    Time was still pushing the looming ice age on Jan.31, 1994 in the Michael D. Lemonick bylined “The Ice Age Cometh?” Just think where we would be now if the world had acted on their advice then? They were proposing planetary measures to increase temperatures to head off a disaster!

    Just an aside, but some of the modest temperature increases noted so far are undoubtably due to cleaning up our act when it comes to burning fossil fuels. Particulate emissions held down temperature increases by reflecting/refracting sunlight. Maybe Al Gore would like to propose de-tuning jet engines so that they emit carbon particles to cool the Earth during every flight, when the planes reach maximum cruising altitude. It makes more sense than shifting industrial production to China and India. Assuming they are still part of the Earth, that is…

  • http://none Darrell

    Time was still pushing the looming ice age on Jan.31, 1994 in the Michael D. Lemonick bylined “The Ice Age Cometh?” Just think where we would be now if the world had acted on their advice then? They were proposing planetary measures to increase temperatures to head off a disaster!

    Just an aside, but some of the modest temperature increases noted so far are undoubtably due to cleaning up our act when it comes to burning fossil fuels. Particulate emissions held down temperature increases by reflecting/refracting sunlight. Maybe Al Gore would like to propose de-tuning jet engines so that they emit carbon particles to cool the Earth during every flight, when the planes reach maximum cruising altitude. It makes more sense than shifting industrial production to China and India. Assuming they are still part of the Earth, that is…


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