Global Warming Bandwagon Running Out of Gas
|by Allen Thornburgh|
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.