My most recent debate on the facebook posts of “friends of Bernie Sanders” was about global warming. As in most of the debates where I try to challenge the thinking of Sanders’ followers, I am met with with all manner of name-calling, rather than a serious debate of facts. Many are so vested in expressing love for Bernie Sanders and his Socialist/Progressive views, that they do not want to hear an opposing viewpoint.
To understand how “global warming” became such a hot-button issue, it is important to understand the political climate behind the issue. Americans first became aware of the issue when former Vice President, Al Gore, began to preach his warnings of climate failure, and produced a popular movie about the issue. Al Gore’s vested interest is his business investments. He created a company to sell “carbon offsets” to those who were concerned about their “carbon footprint” and its impact on the earth. It is in Al Gore’s vested interest to create as much concern for the climate as possible so that he can make more money selling his “carbon offsets.” Those who buy the “carbon offsets” feel like they are helping the world be a better place. They do not really change their carbon footprint but soothe their consciences by giving up their money to Al gore.
Another political player is the United Nations. The UN wants to be able to tap into the wealth of industrialized nations to distribute to the third world nations. The UN would also like to see itself become the world governing body. “Global warming” seems to be the issue that will help the UN come closer to their goals. In the world summit coming up next year, the UN hopes to get the member countries to sign a pact to reduce carbon emissions by a certain percentage and give the UN power to tax those countries that do not meet the targets. President Obama has already declared they he intends to sign the agreement, which will be binding on the U.S. The countries that sign the agreement will be yielding a part of their sovereignty to the UN.
President Obama has also stated that “global warming” is settled science, and claims that a majority of scientists support the science behind “global warming.” First, science is, by its nature, never settled. There are always new discoveries, sometimes requiring changes to old ways of thinking. Secondly, the political climate in which the scientists operate is important. Much of their research is funded by government grants. If they do not support the government narrative, they can lose their grant funding and even their jobs. The result is that the scientists are on the “global warming” band-wagon because it is politically expedient, not because they really believe in “global warming.”
Despite what has been said, “global warming” is not settled science. There are a number problems with the “science.” Here are some tidbits of information to be digested:
Richard Tol, professor of the Economics of Climate Change, Institute for Environmental Studies and Department of Spatial Economics, VrijeUniversiteit, Amsterdam, was a member of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and stepped down from his position and asked that his name be removed from any IPCC reports to be published. Tol, reported in May 2014 that this was because of the bias in the reports toward alarmism, and refusal to report the facts as they were. For example, Tol reports that by the time the third of four scheduled reports was ready to be published, the committee had recognized that the earth had not warmed for 17 years, but would not revise the report to reflect those facts. Another reported bias in the IPCC reports is the failure to acknowledge the costs of global emissions targets. The IPCC research studies showed that ambitious emissions targets would be prohibitively expensive, while not accomplishing much for global warming, but they would not report that. Instead, they reported that striving for the ambitious emissions targets would cost little.
The bottom line is that Tol called the people writing the IPCC reports “activists posing as scientists.”
In May, 2014, the Obama administration released its National Climate Assessment (NCA). Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow Dr. Roy W. Spencer, Principal Research Scientist in Climatology at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and U.S. team lead scientist on NASA’s Aqua satellite remote sensing program, feels, along with many other scientists, that the report is full of factual errors and hype. For example, Dr. Spencer says that the report’s claim that global warming is “unprecedented” and “primarily due to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels,” is not supported by the facts. Dr. Spencer states that there is absolutely no way of knowing what is human-caused vs. nature-caused climate change, because there is “no fingerprint of human-caused or naturally caused climate change.” He further states that the claim of global warming as “unprecedented” is contradicted by “published paleoclimate data which suggests most centuries experience substantial warming or cooling.” Dr. Spencer states that the global warming alarmists are making predictions based on “climate models which have not even been able to hindcast past global temperatures, let alone forecast changes with any level of accuracy.”
NASA’s top climatologist said that the US had been cooling. In an article, published in August 1999, entitled Whither U.S. Climate?, authors James Hansen, RetoRuedy, Jay Glascoe and Makiko Sato stated “Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. In the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country.”
Up until the year 2000, the record high temperature for the U.S. was recorded in 1934 and 1998 was recorded as a half degree centigrade less than 1934. But after 2000, NOAA and NASA replaced the recorded data with numbers generated from their computer models that showed 1934 as cooler than 1998, thereby showing a warming trend for the U.S. Keep in mind that Dr. Roy Spencer said that the computer models cannot hindcast past temperature, let alone, forecast future temperatures with any level of accuracy.
Glacial melting is not a new phenomenon. The glacier at Glacier Bay, Alaska was discovered in 1794. The National Park Service reported that by 1879, the glacier had retreated more than 30 miles, and by 1916 had retreated more than 60 miles from “natural warming.” In a recent interview with NBC news, the founder of the Weather Channel stated that the polar ice caps were growing, not receding.
It has been claimed by the Obama Administration, and others, that global warming contributes to more frequent, and intense hurricanes. However, John Christy, University of Alabama climate scientist, states that hurricanes have not become more numerous or intense and that NOAA hurricane records back up that claim.
The bottom line is that the debate over global warming is not settled. In fact, the fact that the chicken little climate “scientists” have quit using the term “global warming”, opting to use “climate change”, instead, shows that the matter is not settled.