Global Warming Hysteria

When I used to teach environmental regulation at Wharton, I used to give the class a copy of an article in Newsweek (I believe that it was Newsweek, not Time) showing the earth in an ice block and warning that we had to immediately cover the earth's poles with coal dust to prevent an ice age (snow reflects the sun light back into outer space). It was a pretty scary article. At that time global cooling was claimed to be caused by man-made carbon dioxide. Of course, now the carbon dioxide is said to be a significant cause of global warming. In both cases, something much stronger was likely responsible (energy output from the sun).

This letter from 60 top climate scientists makes the same point that I made in my class:

It was only 30 years ago that many of today's global-warming alarmists were telling us that the world was in the midst of a global-cooling catastrophe. But the science continued to evolve, and still does, even though so many choose to ignore it when it does not fit with predetermined political agendas.

This is a nice piece from the Daily Telegraph:

For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society's continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.

Does something not strike you as odd here? That industrial carbon dioxide is not the primary cause of earth's recent decadal-scale temperature changes doesn't seem at all odd to many thousands of independent scientists. They have long appreciated - ever since the early 1990s, when the global warming bandwagon first started to roll behind the gravy train of the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - that such short-term climate fluctuations are chiefly of natural origin. Yet the public appears to be largely convinced otherwise. How is this possible? . . .

Thanks to Nelson Clayton for sending this link to me.

Labels: ,


Blogger Ryan said...

This link seems to go to an article from the story below in your blog... i am interested in seeing the global warming link.

4/10/2006 11:00 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Thanks, I fixed it.

4/10/2006 11:22 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home