Popular opinion (and some expert opinion) is beginning to shift again in respect to the subject of anthropogenic climate change. I think the article sequence below from the Urban Renaissance Institute is very interesting and readers should give it some attention. By way of introduction, let me mention that a colleague of mine recently recounted the events at an environmental confererence. He was telling me about someone who spoke on a topic (not relevant here) and began his presentation by saying he was something of a climate change skeptic. My friend then said, “Of course, from that moment on the speaker had zero credibility with the audience.” Oh really? I thought. It’s come to the point where if someone freely expresses doubt, which may be backed up with considerable research and insight I might add, then they automatically have “zero credibility.” Hmm. I think this is some kind of neo-Mediaevalism. Anyway, read the article below and enjoy. And one last comment: please be aware that Fred Singer has been attacked by forces with an agenda, including slanderous and false information placed on Wikipedia by unqualified commentators. Just thought I’d throw that in.
Urban Renaissance Institute in the News:
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Our web site is www.urban-renaissance.org
Obama’s America – a denier nation
Americans will have two messages for Barack Obama at his inauguration today: We love you but don’t blame us for climate change.
by Lawrence Solomon, National Post, January 20
In a national survey released on the eve of Obama’s inauguration by Rasmussen Reports, the U.S. polling company, a majority of Americans – 51% – now believe that humans are not the predominant cause of climate change. Only 41% blame humans and 9% aren’t sure. Just one month ago, the same pollster found that just 43% of Americans let us humans off the hook while 46% blamed humans and 11% were not sure. Last July, fully 50% blamed humans.
Of those who see natural causes at work in our ever-changing climate, the great majority see the Sun and other long-term planetary trends as the cause while a minority blame other natural factors, such as volcanic activity.
To make matters worse for the global warming [Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation.] doomsayers, the majority don’t view the global warming we have seen – whether its cause is natural or man-made – with great alarm, despite media depictions of rising oceans, melting polar caps, dying polar bears and accelerating hurricanes. One third dismiss global warming concerns altogether, saying they are not too serious or not at all serious, and another quarter find climate change only “somewhat serious.” Only four in 10 Americans do find climate change to be a “very serious” issue.
The Rasmussen Poll found Democrats to be isolated in their attitudes toward climate change. A decisive majority of both Republicans and independents absolve humans. Even among Democrats, however, only 59% still blame humans. Likewise, only 18% of Republicans and 33% of independents view global warming as a very serious problem while a majority of Democrats do.
The Rasmussen poll also provides guidance as to how a politically savvy President Obama will deal with climate change, given that he has put the current economic crisis at the top of his political agenda. In response to the question, “Is there a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection?,” 46% responded “yes” compared to only 32% who thought not. If President Obama is to get the broad-based support that he desires for the economic reforms that he will be proposing, he’ll need to respect the views of the large minority of Democrats, and the majority of Independents and Republicans that he now represents. His climate change agenda may need to wait, until the planets align themselves for him in a propitious manner.
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute, and author of The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud.
What the global warming fear-mongers won’t tell you
by Ron Smith, Baltimore Sun, January 7, 2009
Despite what this newspaper’s editorialists aver (“A New Year’s resolution,” Jan. 2, 2009), there is no scientific proof that “time is running out for mankind to take the needed actions to thwart the most disastrous effects of climate change.” Nor is it anything more than an unproven assertion to argue that “the relevant scientific community has reached a clear consensus: Many decades of unchecked fossil fuel consumption has pushed the planet far beyond the natural cycle, and the impact of this enhanced warming, especially the forecast rise in sea level this century, could ultimately lead to human suffering on an epic scale.”
The Baltimore Sun confidently urges the next president to avoid the temptation of postponing drastic action on this matter because of other pressing problems, such as the worldwide economic slowdown, our wars in Eurasia, etc. – the most important thing in the long term is to “reduce global warming [Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation.] .” To this I say: “Nonsense.” Oops, that makes me a “flat-earth type,” and an all-around bad person, perhaps allied with “certain deep-pocketed traditional energy interests such as coal producers.” As you probably know, proponents of global warming are very well funded as well, but space is limited, so let us move on to the idea of scientific consensus, which is oxymoronic.
Michael Crichton put it this way in a 2003 speech: “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”
The talismanic word consensus is hauled out and used to beat skeptics about the head and shoulders only in cases where the science is far from convincing. Besides, the consensus is not actually there. Search for the book The Deniers: The World-Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution and Fraud and you’ll find a list of some of the scientists who depart from the supposed consensus.
The idea that we can predict anything at all about what the next century has in store for us and further generations is patently ludicrous. We don’t know what the weather will be like over the next two weeks, yet the global warming crowd insists that computer modeling shows imminent disaster and actions must be taken immediately, no matter the cost, to avert it.
S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery wrote a book, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years, a New York Times best-seller, providing details on scientific studies that disprove the arguments put forth by Al Gore (and The Baltimore Sun) about human activity causing climate change. The 1,500-year cycle of climate change is not based on unproven, theoretical computer modeling, but on actual ice core sampling and satellite measurement of the sun’s varying rays. The evidence from the actual measurements is that variation in solar activity – sun spots – is what causes global warming and cooling.
The fact is that the latest global warming began about 18,000 years ago, long before man started spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. At that time, thick layers of ice covered much of the Earth. The even bigger picture to keep in mind shows that for several million years, the dominant climate on this planet has been that of ice ages, which last approximately 100,000 years and which are interrupted by far briefer periods of warming, called interglacial periods, lasting for about 15,000 to 20,000 years. The current one in which we humans and other species developed and thrived should last a while longer before the extreme, life-unfriendly deep freeze returns. Warming is what enables and enhances life and is therefore something to be welcomed, not something to be feared.
Ron Smith can be heard weekdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., on 1090 WBAL-AM and WBAL.com. His column appears Wednesdays in The Baltimore Sun.
Book review: The Deniers
by B.P. Terpstra, tcsdaily.com (Technology/Commerce/Society), January 8, 2008
There appears to be a great spiritual thirst for predicting great catastrophes. I call it Armageddon chic. In Lawrence Solomon’s 2008 book, The Deniers, however, we hear from a good many moderate voices. There are no sensational prophecies, but there are many reasons to take a deep yoga breath.
Here are four:
Notably, the former chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Sciences, Dr. Edward Wegman, for example, exposed the “hockey stick” rot behind the catastrophic global warming narrative, in spite of attacks from all directions.
The president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology, Dr. David Bromwich openly believes that “it’s hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now.”
The chief of Insects and Infectious Diseases, Prof. Paul Reiter from the influential Pasteur Institute acknowledges that Al Gore’s stated view that “global” warming catastrophes and “mosquito-borne diseases” are partners is not taken seriously in specialist circles.
And, not surprisingly, the director of research, from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Prof. Hendrik Tennekes, maintains that “there exists no sound theoretical framework for climate predictability studies” to justify catastrophic warming forecasts.
The Deniers also calls readers to think outside the so-called consensus box. Is there really a consensus on the consensus? And, if so, how wise is it to present science as a show of hands? In it, Solomon, a Canadian columnist raises the issue of politics in all of this. Page 183: “Headline horrors make great scapegoats. There’s no more egregious or vicious example than governments using global warming to cover up their own failures to prevent the resurgence of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.”
The dynamics of the global warming issue are changing, too. From Jimmy Carter’s campaign against “global cooling” and his faith in the National Climate Program Act to Hollywood’s An Inconvenient Truth, Solomon’s text is also a cautionary tale about embracing extreme theories. But rather than deleting historical records, and simply inserting ourselves in a catastrophic motion picture, The Deniers also attempts to draw our attention to the big-picture arguments.
Page 171: “For millions of years, the geologic record shows, Earth has experienced an ongoing cycle of ice ages, each typically lasting about 100,000 years, and punctured by brief, warmer periods called interglacials, such as we are now in,” Solomon argues. “The current period of global warming actually constitutes additional indication of the ice age to come.” Thus, there is no reason to blame the “evil” robber barons. Or live like Hobbits.
With so much talk about the role of politics in business (an important argument, no doubt), it’s no wonder so many of us forget just how political the “independent” United Nations and other public intuitions are. And, where, pray tell is the infamous hockey stick today? Page 21: “The IPCC has dropped it from the Summary for Policymakers for its 2007 Report,” notes Solomon. “But the hockey stick did its main work years ago and is still very widely cited by advocates of the science-is-settled position.”