August 17, 2006
Four Questions for Global Warming EnthusiastsBy Lloyd Brown
Hollywood has rushed into the debate over climate with one—sided movies that will scare a few people and enlighten no one. As much as I like popcorn, I'm not buying any tickets until the global warming alarmists can satisfy my Four—Part Test for Global Warming.
I'm no scientist, but when science is murky, common sense should prevail. The leading proponent of global warming is not a scientist either. He is a politician who was bitterly disappointed after losing a race that was the most important thing in his life, so when he asserts that the internal combustion engine constitutes the greatest threat facing mankind, we have departed the realm of common sense if we accept the proposition without posing questions.
These four commonsense questions must be answered in sequence, each dependent on the previous answer, before radical efforts such as the Kyoto treaty are considered, in my view.
1. Is global warming happening?
Probably, but the data just don't agree on whether unusual warming is occurring beyond what might be expected after a cooling cycle.
A cooling cycle called the 'little ice age' ended in the 19th century about the time people began trying to record surface air temperatures at various points worldwide and fashion an average temperature.
Remember the impressive scientific data compiled by Newsweek showing a frightening cooling trend from 1945 to 1975, harbinger of a "new ice age"? On April 28, 1975, the magazine said,
Should we have melted the ice caps then or should we take 'positive action' and do without electricity now to prevent the ice caps from melting?
2. If warming is occurring, are human beings a significant causative factor?
Again, the thousands of variables confound the best attempts to make computer models that would reliably forecast a trend, much less apportion any blame.
Let us, please, note that the increase causing all this angst has been 0.6 C degrees —— and most of that increase took place before World War II when there were fewer smokestacks and no evil SUVs luring us into their cavernous bodies. That amount is less than the error range in calculating the average global temperature, according to junkscience.com.
If the cause actually were to be solar cycles, as reputable scientists suspect, plunging the world into depression by imposing trillions of dollars in costs on developed nations wouldn't help anyone, least of all the undeveloped nations. Better to spend it on sunscreen.
3. Regardless of cause, would the net effect be good or bad?
Would it really be so terrible if Juneau became a summer vacation mecca and Siberia an agricultural cornucopia? The seas have been rising slowly for 200 centuries but, regardless what the alarmists say, it would be a long time before the spire of the Empire State Building is submerged.
4. If all of the above is satisfied and humans are contributing to warming Earth temperatures, and it would be harmful, can anyone do anything about it, at any cost?
Published estimates indicate that even the implausibly high economic cost of Kyoto would reduce the projected increase less than one degree. It appears that global warming enthusiasts have rushed to Step 4 without satisfying the previous three questions. They are proposing draconian solutions to a problem not yet shown to exist.
Don't be misled by leftists who insist the scientific question is closed.
Scientists agree the Earth is round, and it can be proven. Therefore, it's a fact.