As the years pass and data accumulate, it is becoming evident that global warming is a fraud. Climate change is natural and ongoing, but the Earth has not warmed significantly over the last thirty years. Nor has there been a single negative effect of any type that can be unambiguously attributed to global warming.
As I write, satellite data show that the mean global temperature is the same that it was in 1979. The extent of global sea ice is also unchanged from 1979. Since the end of the last Ice Age, sea level has risen more than a hundred meters. But for the last three years, there has been no rise in sea level. If the polar ice sheets are melting, why isn’t sea level rising? Global warming is supposed to increase the severity and frequency of tropical storms. But hurricane and typhoon activity is at a record low.
Every year in the US, more than forty thousand people are killed in traffic accidents. But not one single person has ever been killed by global warming. The number of species that have gone extinct from global warming is exactly zero. Both the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets are stable. The polar bear population is increasing. There has been no increase in infectious disease that can be attributed to climate change. We are not currently experiencing more floods, droughts, or forest fires.
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In short, there is no evidence of any type to support the idea that we are entering an era when significant climate change is occurring and will cause the deterioration of either the natural environment or the human standard of living.
Why do people think the planet is warming? One reason is that the temperature data from weather stations appear to be hopelessly contaminated by urban heat effects. A survey of the 1221 temperature stations in the US by meteorologist Anthony Watts and his colleagues is now more than 80 percent complete. The magnitude of putative global warming over the last 150 years is about 0.7 C. But only 9 percent of meteorological stations in the US are likely to have temperature errors lower than 1 C. More than two-thirds of temperature sensors used to estimate global warming are located near artificial heating sources such as air conditioning vents, asphalt paving, or buildings. These sources are likely to introduce artifacts greater than 2 C into the temperature record.
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Another cause of global warming hysteria is the infiltration of science by ideological zealots who place politics above truth. Earlier this month, the Obama administration issued a report that concluded global warming would have a number of deleterious effects on the US. In 1995, one of the lead authors of this report told me that we had to alter the historical temperature record by “getting rid” of the Medieval Warm Period.
The Obama report refers to — six times — the work of a climate scientist named Stephen H. Schneider. In 1989, Schneider told Discover magazine that “we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” Schneider concluded “each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” Schneider’s position is not unusual. In 2007, Mike Hulme, the founding director of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research in Britain, told the Guardian newspaper that “scientists and politicians must trade truth for influence.”
While releasing a politicized report that prostitutes science to politics, the Obama administration simultaneously suppressed an internal EPA report that concluded there were “glaring inconsistencies” between the scientific data and the hypothesis that carbon dioxide emissions were changing the climate.
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If we had an appreciation for history, we would not be fooled so easily. It has all happened before, albeit on a smaller scale in an age where people had more common sense. On May 19, 1912, the Washington Post posed these questions: “Is the climate of the world changing? Is it becoming warmer in the polar regions?” On November 2, 1922, the Associated Press reported that “the Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the waters too hot.” On February 25, 1923, the New York Times concluded that “the Arctic appears to be warming up.” On December 21, 1930, the Times noted that “Alpine glaciers are in full retreat.” A few months later the New York Times concluded that there was “a radical change in climatic conditions and hitherto unheard of warmth” in Greenland. About the only thing that has changed at the Times since 1930 is that no one working there today is literate enough to use the word “hitherto.”
After the warm weather of the 1930s gave way to a cooling trend beginning in 1940, the media began speculating on the imminent arrival of a new Ice Age. We have now come full circle, mired in a hopeless cycle of reincarnated ignorance. H. L. Mencken understood this process when he explained “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
June 29, 2009