GCN Guest Opinion
Woe Is We!
The Sky Is Falling!
A New Study Reported By Reuters Says That Global Warming Can’t Be Stopped. Predictably, “The World’s Greatest Polluter,” The United States, Is Blamed For Not Signing Kyoto.
By Perry Hicks - Filed 3/20/05
Not one, but two, research teams at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, NCAR, in Colorado have reported in the journal “Science” that even if humans stopped “pumping” carbon into earth’s atmosphere global warming would continue unabated.
The Reuters headline for the March 17th story read: “No Stopping Global Warming, Studies Predict.” The writer, Maggie Fox, went on to list a typical litany of doomsday scenarios: Storms and droughts will become more severe and seas will rise submerging coastal lowlands.
This supposedly straight news story was long on editorial and short on fact. However, if we analyze this piece, we can garner information I am confident Ms. Fox never intended.
Timing Is Everything
This report comes out just a little too conveniently on the heels of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography study by Tim Barnett that found global warming “signatures” in the world’s oceans but not the atmosphere where other studies claimed warming to be. In announcing the results of his study, Barnett offensively asserted, "The debate about whether there is a global warming signal now is over, at least for rational people."
The NCAR researchers attempt to defuse critics by making a point that one of their two studies took into account “human carbon emissions, other pollution, current temperatures and their rate of change, emissions from volcanoes, changes in solar radiation and shifts in ozone layer.” The other study ran a much simpler algorithm but just as predictably arrived at the same conclusion.
While this effort to take into account other possible causes is laudable, both the Scripps and NCAR studies rely on intensive computer modeling to make the predictions that Fox and other global warming believers demand we accept as fact. The problem I have is that the so-called facts don’t exactly jibe with each other and to question them, according to Dr. Barnett, is to be “irrational.”
In Poker They Would Call It A “Tell”
What is not mentioned in all of these studies is how Earth’s long term climatological record is ignored and the assertion is made that climate change is due to human activity. It is precisely this socio-political component of the global warming debate that makes me so skeptical. It is the posturing by Kyoto proponents that gives them away.
Addressing studies for example is one from 2001 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study addresses the matter of anthropologically caused global warming by studying the climate change fossil record in Alaska’s Farewell Lake. Using chemical analysis of sediment cores (not mere computer models,) NAS found Farewell was as warm around 0-300 AD (Roman Warm Period) as it is now. The study goes on to detail how lake temperatures fluctuated up and down over the next 1400 years until the current Modern Warm period that started around 1700.
However, Fox goes on to alarm the more gullible reader by asserting that if all of the ice on Greenland were to melt (a highly unlikely scenario,) sea levels would rise 25 feet and if the West Antarctic ice sheet were to melt (just as unlikely) the seas would rise another 16 feet. Together, we are told, this is enough to flood Florida, Manhattan Island, and Bangladesh.
Another problem with the NCAR study is that the researchers there apparently concentrated their work on the atmosphere, the very place Dr. Barnett insists global warming cannot be found.
Now just who is being irrational?
Doing Harm To America
Getting back to the Reuters story, Fox then plugs her personal opinion into what is supposed to be a straight news story by stating that “Virtually no one disagrees human activity is fueling global warming….”
Huh? There are scads of people questioning global warming much less the alleged anthropological cause for it. Fox then goes on to lay blame at the feet of the United States for not signing onto Kyoto. Opposition to the earth saving treaty Fox (this time accurately) states is due to the harm it would do to the U.S. economy.
This is precisely the real reason I believe is behind Kyoto; harming America. I believe it is the fruition of a long series of developments dating all the way back to 1972 with the Stockholm Conference On The Human Environment. A number of unsettling concerns were floated during the Stockholm debate period:
· “New concepts of (national) sovereignty”
· “New codes of international law which the era of environmental concern required”
· “New means of dealing with environmental conflicts”
· “New international means for better management of the world’s common property resources”
· “New approaches to more automatic means of financing programs of international cooperation, which could include levies, and tolls on certain forms of international transport or on the consumption of certain non-renewable resources.” (read new world taxes)
If these points sound familiar they should be. All have been raised by environmentalists over the intervening years.
While the Reuters story makes a point of that the Unites States will not sign onto Kyoto for economic reasons, what is left out is that Kyoto gives the Third World a pass simply for because their smaller economies cannot afford it.
Talk about hypocrisy! If all of the doomsday scenarios were to actually going to come to pass, why on earth would environmentalists permit third-world countries to continue to not just emit, but actually “pump,” CO2 into the atmosphere? It is one thing to allow centers of capitalist decadence such as Disney and New York City to sink beneath the waves but a veritable paradise like Bangladesh? If we must save mother earth as the environmentalists insist, must not every nation do their part?
Fox continued to editorialize by stating as fact that the United States is the “world’s biggest polluter;” something that is patently false. China, India, and Mexico are, in my view, contenders for that dubious honor. Go to cities in any of these nations and you will have to breathe in literally clouds of noxious fumes and the water is simply not safe to drink. In the Ukraine, the city of Chernobyl had to be abandoned when the primitive Soviet nuclear reactor there exploded rendering uninhabitable (by their standard) a 19 mile radius.
Time Is Running Out
Dire environmental prognostications usually end with the warning that time is running out and the Reuters story is no exception. Ms. Fox quotes NCAR’s Gerald Meehl as saying, “The longer we wait, the more climate change we are committed to in the future.”
Time is indeed running out but not for the earth. It is running out for the socialist agenda hiding behind the environmental movement.
Take for example the typical environmentalist claims that the United States disproportionately consumes Earth’s precious resources. According to the BBC, an earth Policy Institute report names China as the world’s largest consumer of natural resources. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4272577.stm According to the BBC, China is now the world’s leading consumer of grain, meat, coal and steel. The article also goes on to detail the massive pollution problems China is facing. And this is still when China’s economy, stated as the 6th largest in the world, is still considered “third world.”
According to the article, China consumes 68% more meat, 148% more steel, and 40% more coal than the Unites States. China also consumes more TVs, refrigerators and mobile phones.
The caveat, of course, is that the per capita consumption is still far below that of America. This alone leads me to believe the socio-political environmentalists view prosperity to be the real global threat, not aggregate demand of consumer goods and the attendant raw materials required for their production.
The BBC story also reports that within China, Asia’s “last substantial forests” are being illegally stripped of trees. Curiously, environmentalists continue to allege America is the real villain in this area, too.
Environmentalists may feel they are racing against the clock for if Kyoto is not implemented soon, China and India will emerge as global economic superpowers. The American public will never accept impoverishment as a requisite to “save the earth” at the very same time China and India pollute their way to global commercial dominance.
Perry Hicks is a former Mississippi Coast resident and was a correspondent for the old Gulfport Star Journal. He has appeared on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor.” Perry has also hosted his own radio talk show on the auto industry with a mix of politics. Perry is a frequent contributor to GCN. His articles can be found in the GCN Archive.
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