GLOBAL WARMING: FACT, FICTION AND POLITICAL ENDGAME
Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Albert
Arnold Gore, will be the toast of
at this weekend's self-congratulatory soiree known as the Academy
Gore, whose failure to carry his "home" state of Tennessee cost
him the 2000 presidential election, has recast himself as the
populist pope of eco-theology and the titular head of the green
movement's developmentally arrested legions.
The doughy darling of Leftcoast glitterati has
received two Oscar nominations for a junk-science
production called "An Inconvenient
a pseudo-documentary born of the wildly
improbable pop film "The Day After
Gore's "Truth," however, is even stranger than the Hollywood
fiction that inspired it.
The celebration of Gore's film coincides, not coincidentally,
with the much-ballyhooed release of a media
of a report on global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change. These two events will serve as a fine backdrop for
the coming cavalcade of dire ecological predictions by Gore and
his ilk. Their goal will be to saturate the all-too-sympathetic
media outlets with apocalyptic hysterics about a man-made global
disaster. Perhaps, too, if all goes according to plan, we'll see
another Gore presidential run.
All the "Live Earth" road-show talking points will play up an
alarming assertion from Bill Clinton's former veep: "Never before
has all of civilization been threatened. We have everything
we need to save it, with the possible exception of political
will. But political will is a renewable resource."
To be sure, there is "no controlling legal authority" for this,
the biggest political and economic power grab ever attempted. The
Left's desire to hamstring the U.S. economy and force worldwide
Kyoto Treaty compliance will, according to one United Nations
estimate, cost the world economy $553 trillion this century.
Al Gore may be a comical dupe when it comes to climatology (in
college, he collected a C+ and a D in his two natural-sciences
courses), but the global-warming debate and the consequences of
that debate are serious. To participate meaningfully, one must
distinguish between fact and fiction - in addition to understanding
the underlying political agendas.
In the inimitable words of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan
(D-NY), "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his
own facts." To that end, Al Gore's "facts" are deserving of
Separating fact from fiction
First, let's be clear that the current debate about climate focuses
on "global warming," which is not synonymous with the debate about
the environmental consequences of the "greenhouse effect." The
latter issue concerns what, if any, relationship exists
between man-made CO2 in the atmosphere and global
For the record, most reputable scientists agree that we are in a
period of gradual global warming (about 0.7 degrees
Celsius (http://PatriotPost.US/news/noaa-temp-record.asp) in
the last century), (that is 1900-2999) and that the greenhouse effect prevents our
climate from becoming a deep freeze. Most also agree that the
level of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased in the last century,
and there is a growing consensus that global warming is due,
in part, to the greenhouse effect.
However, there is no scientifically established correlation between
global-warming trends and acceleration of the greenhouse effect
due to human production of CO2---only broad speculation. Although
many politicians and their media shills insist that the primary
cause of global warming is the burning of hydrocarbons here in the
United States, that government regulation of man-made CO2 will
curb this global warming, that our failure to limit CO2 output
will have dire consequences, and that the costs of enacting these
limitations far outweigh the potential consequences, there is no
evidence supporting any of these assertions.
Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist, notes, "When
politicians and journalists declare that the science of global
warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how
In fact, there remains substantial doubt that the production of CO2
by human enterprise, which contributes only about three percent
of CO2 to the natural carbon cycle (the biogeochemical cycle
by which carbon is exchanged between the biosphere, geosphere,
hydrosphere and atmosphere of the Earth) has any real impact
on global temperature, and if it does, that such impact is,
Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased from about 315 parts per
million five decades ago, to about 380 ppm today, which is to say,
there are major factors influencing the amount of CO2 levels in
the atmosphere besides our burning of hydrocarbons.
Case in point: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii has maintained
the world's longest continuous worldwide record of atmospheric
carbon-dioxide levels---those cited by global-warming alarmists. In
2002 and 2003, NOAA recorded increases in atmospheric CO2 of
2.43 and 2.30 ppm respectively---a 55 percent increase over the
annual average of 1.5 ppm for previous years.In 2004, however,
this increase fell back to 1.5 ppm per year.
Did human industrial output somehow increase 55 percent during
those two years, and then decline by that amount in 2004? Of
course not. For the record, NOAA concluded that the fluctuation
was caused by the natural processes that contribute and remove
CO2 from the atmosphere.
Al Gore would be hard-pressed to explain NOAA's findings within the
context of his apocalyptic thesis, and he would be hard-pressed
to convince any serious scientists that his Orwellian solutions
could correct such fluctuations. This is because his thesis is
based largely on convenient half-truths.
For instance, Gore insists that the increased incidence of
hurricanes, tornadoes, drought and other weather phenomena is
the direct result of global warming.
Renowned meteorologist Dr. William Gray takes exception: "The
degree to which you believe global warming is causing major
hurricanes," he says, "is inversely proportional to your knowledge
about these storms."
In a recent issue of Discover Magazine, Gray, described by
Discover's editors as one of "the world's most famous hurricane
experts," wrote, "This human-induced global-warming thing... is
grossly exaggerated... I'm not disputing there has been global
warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and '40s,
and then there was global cooling in the middle '40s to the early
'70s. Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50
years are skeptical... about this global-warming thing. But no
one asks us."
Gore preaches about the two percent of Antarctica that is
warming without noting that temperature readings over the rest
of Antarctica indicate the continent has cooled over the previous
35 years, or that the UN's climate panel estimates net snow mass
increases in Antarctica this century. Gore notes the increasing
temperatures and shrinking ice caps in the Northern Hemisphere
but does not note the decreasing temperatures and increased sea
ice in the Southern Hemisphere.
Richard S. Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT,
writes, "A general characteristic of Mr. Gore's approach is
to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate
are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external
forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough;
to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse."
Perhaps worse still is Gore's intellectual cowardice. During his
visit to Europe in January, Gore agreed to an interview with
Denmark's largest national newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. Then,
when he learned that Bjorn Lomborg, one of the world's leading
critics of eco-theological dogma, was also going to be interviewed,
Gore abruptly canceled.
Lomborg, a statistician, has delved deep into the data to expose
the environmental movement's selective and oft-misleading use of
evidence. His book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist" was hailed
by Washington Post Book World as "a magnificent achievement"
and "the most significant work on the environment since the
appearance of its polar opposite, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring,
in 1962." Perhaps a thoughtful debate is what scares Al Gore most
Dr. Roy Spencer, former senior scientist for climate
studies at NASA's MarshallSpaceFlightCenter,
has some additional "Questions for Al
Gore" (http://PatriotPost.US/news/questions.asp) based on what
he calls "Gore's Inconvenient Truth." We are still awaiting
Alternative causes for global warming
Beyond the natural carbon cycle and greenhouse warming, there
are some other serious causal explanations for global warming.
Among the suspects are, of all things, the
sun (http://PatriotPost.US/news/solar.asp) and its
fellow stars. A venerable scientific journal, Proceedings of
the Royal Society, published recent research done at the Danish
NationalSpaceCenter indicating that the impact of cosmic
rays on the climate could be much greater than scientists
estimated. The researchers put forth evidence that cosmic
rays have a lot to do with cloud formation in the atmosphere,
which in turn has a lot to do with shielding us from the sun's
warmth. Combining this discovery with evidence that our local
star is experiencing historically high levels of solar
the researchers suggest that our sun is batting away cosmic rays
from elsewhere in the galaxy and thus reducing our planet's cloud
cover. Imagine that: The sun is affecting our planet's temperature.
Nigel Calder provides another angle on this thesis: "After becoming
much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a
high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of
possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood
it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago. Climate history
and related archeology give solid support to the solar hypothesis."
Research concerning cosmic radiation as a factor in global warming
builds on earlier comprehensive research done a decade ago by
the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine's Arthur
whose research soundly refutes Gore's thesis that global warming is
human-induced, noting the relationship between the solar magnetic
cycle and global temperatures over the last 250 years.
The media won’t share the following information – the keep it silent.
In 1997, Dr. Frederick
past president of the NationalAcademy of Sciences, invited
colleagues to sign a petition based on Robinson's work, which
received more than 20,000 signers, most of whom hold advanced
degrees in relevant fields of study. That petition stated, in part:
"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of
carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or
will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the
Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover,
there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in
atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon
the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."
Some other global-warming factors being seriously considered
scientifically include ocean currents, changing jet-stream patterns
and the Earth's mantle activities affecting ocean temperatures.
The Political Endgame
During the second term of the Clinton/Gore administration,
the U.S. faced international pressure to become a signatory
to the Kyoto Treaty. The Senate, however, passed a resolution
rejecting approval of that treaty in an eye-popping show of
bipartisanship. The vote was 95-0, and 56 of those senators are
still in Congress.
That 1997 Byrd-Hagel Senate resolution objected to the lack of
any "specific scheduled commitments" in regard to the CO2 output
of 129 "developing" countries, most notably, China and India,
the second and fourth most powerful economies in the world.
China, home to 1.3 billion people, will have the largest economy on
earth in little more than a decade. Currently, the country accounts
for 33 percent of the world's steel production and 50 percent of
all concrete. China burns 2,500 tons of coal and 210,000 gallons
of crude per minute. It consumes 24,000,000 watts of energy each
minute, most of it produced by coal-fueled generating plants. Every
ten days, China fires up a new coal generator, with plans for 2,200
additional plants by 2030. At current growth rates of consumption,
China alone will devour all the earth's resources in three decades
and generate a whole lot of CO2 in the process.
Yet European industrial nations and developing nations on other
continents would like to see the U.S. economy restrained by the
Kyoto Treaty. It’s called jealousy.
Clearly, some U.S. politicians understand the implications of
Gore's folly. Don't expect that to stop Democrats from milking
every last drop of political capital from this debate. Talk of
carbon credits and other nonsense is really all about campaign
coffers---holding out the threat of regulation as a means of
financing campaigns and perpetuating office tenures.
University of Colorado climate scientist Roger Pielke
fantasizes about a Gore victory in '08 based on swing states
with lower-than-average CO2 output: "[I]n 2004 the per-state
carbon-dioxide emissions in states that voted for George Bush
were about twice as large on a per-capita basis than those in
states that voted for John Kerry. If climate change is a major
issue in 2008 then there is a decided advantage in [important
swing] states to the Democrats. Colorado and Nevada are below the
national average for carbon-dioxide emissions, and Ohio and Iowa
stand to benefit immensely from an ethanol bidding war."
However, Gore's political and economic agenda runs
deeper than environmental concerns. In his recent book,
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and
Christopher Horner, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise
Institute, aptly describes Gore and his ilk as "green on the
outside, red to the core," noting that they are motivated by an
Regarding the prevailing winds of contemporary science,
my colleague Thomas Sowell reminds us, "Back in the 1970s,
the hysteria was about global cooling and the prospect
of a new ice age." I published a collection of those dire
predictions in an essay entitled, "The Day After
Al Gore's current hysterics should be received with much more
skepticism than the last round of climate soothsayers. A lethal
dose of his eco-elixir is precisely the wrong prescription,
as it is full of the Left's archetypal defeatist, retreatist
statism but void of regard for real-world economic consequences.
Gore's flawed analysis notwithstanding, however, sea
level has risen (http://PatriotPost.US/news/sea-level-records.asp),
by best estimates, between four and eight inches in the last
The annual rate of rise has remained relatively stable since
the "big thaw" ended some 6,000 years ago. However, if current
temperature trends continue, an increased rate of rise could pose
significant challenges to nations around the world as millions
of people now live only a few feet higher than current tides.
Although Gore, et al., would insist otherwise, we mere mortals
are no match for the age-old forces that heat and cool our
planet. Yet, in the face of enormous odds, we Americans have a
history of perseverance and success. We can improvise, adapt and
overcome---just as we have for hundreds of years in response to
catastrophe. Unbridled innovation and ingenuity have served us
well throughout our history, and these tools will take us, and
the rest of the world, far into the future---unless shackled by
a subterfuge like the Kyoto Protocol.
Publisher's Note: This is an urgent request---please sign our
petition to "Stop Albert Gore and Reject the UN's Global Warming
Treaty." Gore is re-energizing the movement advocating Kyoto
compliance---the biggest UN power-grab in our nation's history. I
urge you to sign this petition now. We already have over 30,000
electronic signatures. We want to deliver 100,000 signatures to
the Senate by the time Al Gore reaches the podium at this Sunday's
It takes just 20 seconds to sign online. Link
Thank you! Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Too often environmental-policy discussions assume that the only
way to advance environmental values is to create a government
program or adopt new regulations. The potential for private
initiative to conserve environmental treasures is overlooked. Yet
where private action is viable, it is often superior to government
efforts." ---Case Western Law Professor Jonathan Adler
"Was life better when a sheet of ice a mile thick covered
Chicago? Was it worse when Greenland was so warm that Vikings
farmed there?" ---George Will