False Prophets of Global Warming

This entry is part 45 of 47 in the series Blog1

Global Warming, Part 3

Thinker: Those who have objectively studied global warming will admit that they just do not know what the climate will do in the future.  Most will admit that CO2 has an effect but since it is heavier than air not much gets into the upper atmosphere where the warming effect will be greatest.  Therefore, it is quite possible the natural cycles will be the greater influence. This puts the danger from global warming in the same position as the danger from being hit by an asteroid or comet. The chances are that it will happen some day and it is good to put some attention on dealing with the prospects but it would be counter productive to panic and damage our economy to overreact to either one.  Do you agree?

True Believer: I trust the scientists and they tell us to prepare for global warming.

Thinker: Most real scientists give probabilities not predictions.  Those making predictions usually have a political agenda.  Here are a couple from those who claim to use science.

“If present trends continue, the world will be … eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.” Kenneth E.F. Watt, a PhD who worked as ecologist for the Canadian government and popular environmental writer said this on “Earth Day,” 1970.

Then we have this from the Associated Press in May of 1989:

“Using computer models, researchers concluded that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide two degrees F by 2010.” Link

Both of these predictions are way off.  The temperature has increased a mere 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1989.  Can’t you see that this alarmism is way out of line?

True Believer: It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Thinker: Believe me, if we spend all of our money unnecessarily we’ll be sorry. Some say we are spending 30 dollars to receive a dollar’s worth of benefit. Does that make sense?

True Believer: I’d have to look at the data.

Thinker: Many billions are wasted because of false alarms like this one:

In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production. Link

It is now 2013.  Did this happen?

True Believer: Not sure.

Thinker: You’d certainly think you would have read something about it in the New York Times. In 2006, in an article in the U.K.’s Independent newspaper, James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement, wrote that “before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.”

True Believer: That’s a possibility we should take seriously.

Thinker: The funny thing is that Lovelock has recently stood back, looked at the data telling us that there has been no warming since 1998 and has changed his mind. Now he’s saying, “never mind,” that he was too hasty in making his predictions.

True Believer: You’re quoting individuals here. You need to go by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) which represents the research of thousands of scientists worldwide.

Thinker: Okay, let us see how accurate they have been. The 1990 report told us that if we did not reduce CO2 emissions we could expect a temperature increase of around .3 degrees per decade. Now the funny thing is that 2011 and 2012 were cooler than 1998. That’s a decade and a half with a reduction rather than an increase.

True Believer: But the first decade of this century has been the warmest in centuries.

Thinker: True, but that is not in dispute. The IPCC didn’t predict the temperature would rise and level off.  They said it would just keep on rising .3 degrees per decade and it has not.

The 1990 IPCC report also predicted a sea level rise of 6 centimeters per decade. So, do you think that was accurate?

True Believer: Can’t say.

Thinker: Well, I can.  It’s been about a third of that or about 2 centimeters per decade, similar to what it has done for hundreds of years. Doesn’t it bother you that the politicians and the media have distorted the facts and created unnecessary panic?

True Believer: I believe them over you.

Thinker: You mean you believe those with an agenda over those with the facts and common sense.

True Believer: No response.

Copyright 2013 by J J Dewey

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