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« Boys can be boys | Main | Descent into Distress »

June 26, 2007

Global Warming Bandwagon Running Out of Gas

This must be a frustrating time for the Catastrophic Global Warming prophets. After all, the cultural momentum has been going their way for so long that to hit scientific speedbumps just prior to finally pulling the bandwagon into Green World must be infuriating.

First, CGW prophets got Earth Day into public schools to work on the kids. Then they got eager journos to repeatedly declare the “scientific fact” that CGW was a reality, as determined by an “overwhelming consensus” of scientists. Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurie David, and much of Hollywood added their cultural influence to the cause. Al Gore got his own Oscar-winning movie promoting CGW, and – while the “popular vote President” no longer held an office – British PM Tony Blair maintained an ongoing duel with other European Union leaders as to who could call for Kyoto surrender with the greatest earnestness. Back in the U.S., the Democrats took Capital Hill and promised action on CGW. Internationally, with either gall, nerve, or both, the UN Secretary General blamed the Darfur atrocities on CGW. Goodness, even the Terminator took their side!

[Quick aside: I’m beyond impressed that, fresh off their victory over the Iranian armada, the British military is now preparing a Normandy-like assault on the coming effects of global warming. “Thermopylae” indeed!]

Now, however, it seems that there are a growing number of scientists determined to tell the inconvenient truth that, well, there ain’t no “scientific consensus” about the reality of CGW after all. And, whether as a result or coincidentally, the public isn’t buying CGW either, with a recent poll in the eco-happy UK finding that 71% of the public doesn’t believe global warming is caused by man. Sixty-five percent believe the CGW predictions are “far fetched.” And 59% believe that Al Gore is a “granola and caviar munching wackadoo.”

OK, I made that last one up. But I blame the pollsters for failing to ask that rather obvious question about Gore and the caviar.

Where does this leave things? The CGW movement will fail. No question. For two reasons:

1. CGW is wholly dependent upon statistical models, which inherently cannot explain or predict anything outside repeatedly observed historical events (including climate catastrophes), and

2. There is a more compelling counter-hypothesis: normal climate cycling.

It’s that simple. Common folks previously concerned about CGW will slowly, quietly, and honorably conclude as did writer Lawrence Solomon that Gore, Blair and even the fearsome Terminator are just plain wrong about the science:

More than six months ago, I began writing this series, The Deniers. When I began, I accepted the prevailing view that scientists overwhelmingly believe that climate change threatens the planet. I doubted only claims that the dissenters were either kooks on the margins of science or sell-outs in the pockets of the oil companies.

My series set out to profile the dissenters -- those who deny that the science is settled on climate change -- and to have their views heard. To demonstrate that dissent is credible, I chose high-ranking scientists at the world's premier scientific establishments.

… Somewhere along the way, I stopped believing that a scientific consensus exists on climate change. Certainly there is no consensus at the very top echelons of scientists -- the ranks from which I have been drawing my subjects -- and certainly there is no consensus among astrophysicists and other solar scientists, several of whom I have profiled. If anything, the majority view among these subsets of the scientific community may run in the opposite direction. Not only do most of my interviewees either discount or disparage the conventional wisdom as represented by the IPCC, many say their peers generally consider it to have little or no credibility. In one case, a top scientist told me that, to his knowledge, no respected scientist in his field accepts the IPCC position.

I don’t call our attention to this in order to mock folks with other beliefs about CGW. Rather, I’m simply asking CGW believers to understand that they are “believing” – they are not merely acknowledging a scientific fact. And, seriously, it’s fine to believe that CGW is coming and will wreck the world; who’s to say it isn’t? But before we tear apart the economies of the world, we ought to insist upon a bit more than faith and popularity.

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Comments

George Griffin

Granola and caviar... very interesting parallel. How about tree hugging prepy...Not bad eh! But seriously, I wonder if scientific evidence will ever tell the whole story of Global Warming. The Global Warming threat reminds me of all those health studies that go back and forth about whether margarine or butter is better for you (or something like that). With enough research it seems like scientists can find anything to disprove an argument.

Sy Hoekstra

I don't know much about the science, but I do know this. Both sides of the debate are REALLY sure that they're right. This is kind of funny, but at my university, all freshmen are required to take a class in which one lecture is on global warming. They showed us the beginning of that movie "The Day After Tomorrow," which is a movie in which global warming ravages the world through tornadoes, crazy storms, and other natural disasters. The professor told us that it wouldn't happen that quickly, but they got pretty much everything else right. That was a little alarmist to say the least. It was pretty surprising for me to hear that from my school that is otherwise pretty well balanced in its presentation of opinions. I actually think though that doing a lot to conserve energy wouldn't do that much to hurt our world's economies, and wouldn't be that bad of a thing for Christians to promote as stewards of God's creation.

Andy Anderson

I know several evangelical Christians who do solid work related to global warming and the environment. They are more than convinced, based on top-notch research, that global warming is an all-too serious issue, that we humans, and especially Christians, need to respond in kind. I know Mr. Thornburgh and his ilk hate anything that would cause people to sacrifice. God forbid we commit any acts of stewardship, or that we actually consider that the earth belongs to the Lord, and everything in it. If God glories in His handiwork, how much more should we be not only praising Him for it, but doing all we can to prevent a catastrophe. But then, that would take the Religious Right away from their two main issues -- abortion and homosexuality. Fortunately, there are enough Christians -- including many conservatives -- who are finally responding to what many consider a stewardship issue. God bless them.

KGrandia

This story is based on an online straw poll and no reasonable or logical conclusions can be made from it.

http://www.desmogblog.com/uk-straw-poll-offers-misleading-global-warming-headline

CDilworth

I've heard alot of comments on the research and "theories" of Global warming and the most notable come in a variety of fashion. First, it does seem appropriate to use God's resources in a responsible fashion. Second, it seems appropriate to help those in need. And Third, it seems a pity to waste billions of dollars for research on a subject like global warming when, first: it would appear that the world goes through this same cycle once every 300 years; and second: there are millions of people suffering from starvation or dying from some simply-avoidable disease every day. The stewardly use of God's resources might include the almighty dollar...
but then again...that's just my opinion... hmmm...what if I'm right?

Jeff

All you have to do is look at all of the past scams to see this new scam. How about Y2K. Everyone was so scared and what happened. Absolutly nothing. It was all a money making fantasy scenario just like Global Warming. When the hell is our socity going to start using their brains and quit listening to what everyone else says. This stuff is common sense. Not science.

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