June 9, 2010
Climate Alarmism Takes Off in a New DirectionBy F. Swemson
NASA has just voiced its concern over the threat that our modern technological society is now facing from "solar storms."
Now it's true of course, that our society has become quite dependent on new technology, such as satellite communications and GPS mapping, that is vulnerable to the effects of major solar storms, but NASA seems to be a bit too worried about how big the threat really is. Fortunately for us, legitimate climate scientists believe the next solar "maximum," which is due in four to five years, is not expected to be anything unusual. In any event, while major solar storms could screw things up pretty well for a while, they're not potentially fatal to mankind, as the AGW alarmists claim that global warming is.
According to my friend Dr. Ed Berry of climatephysics.com, there's a good reason why NASA is making a big deal out of it. It's called "Grantsmanship." If they can convince Congress that this is a serious threat, which they're obviously best-positioned to research and plan for, then there's a chance that they can get Congress to increase their funding. There's a good deal of exaggeration here, of course, as the "super maximum solar flare" that they're talking about, while possible, is no more likely to occur within the next few years than a hundred-year flood.
But it is possible, of course. So it doesn't seem at all unreasonable for them to want more funding so that they can enhance their forecasting capabilities, which have already come a long way, thanks to our existing satellites.
There's another aspect to this story, however, that might be more interesting for us to consider right now, as it may help us to understand how the global warming hoax arose. While NASA is talking about the issue, they're doing so in a relatively calm and reasonable manner. We can see this from the title of their latest release on the subject:
NASA: "As the Sun Awakens, NASA Keeps a Wary Eye on Space Weather"
Within 48 hours, however, as the media began to report on the story, it quickly began to morph into another pending apocalypse:
Washington Post: "Do Solar Storms Threaten Life as We Know It?"
Gawker.com: "The Newest Threat to All Human Life on Earth: Solar Storms"
It seems that Fox News isn't quite as over-the-top.
Fox News: "Solar Storms Could Be Threat in 2013"
Why does the media do this?
The simple (historical) answer, of course, is that catastrophes sell newspapers. William Randolph Hearst may have given formal birth to "yellow journalism," but he wasn't its only practitioner. I wrote about this back in January in my article "159 Years of Climate Alarmism at The New York Times."
In the last part of the 19th century, newspapers like The Times were warning us of an imminent new ice age. By 1940, they were worried about excessive warming; however, after the next 35 years of cooling, they were quick to transition to hysteria over another approaching ice age. By the late 1970s, after the earth began warming again, people like Maurice Strong, along with some other blossoming environmental extremists, politicians, and U.N. officials, began to see the huge potential for power and wealth that was built into the issue. This, along with the added fantasy of AGW, brought us to the brink of Cap & Trade and the fraudulent EPA classification of CO2 as a pollutant.
Of course, the warming stopped in 2002, and we've been cooling steadily since then. Now, as the AGW house of cards begins to crumble, we're already hearing rumblings about another ice age. It could happen, and if it does, we should be worried this time, because while warming was never any kind of threat at all, extreme cooling is. People starve when crops don't grow very well.
The obvious question is: "If they've been wrong each and every time in the past, why on earth would anyone still be listening to them today?"
H.L. Mencken answered it best when he said, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
The public has a short memory, to be sure, but rather than blaming the politicians alone for the current AGW hoax, we should be aware of the media's complicity in this sordid affair. They're still not reporting the news honestly. Like Hearst, they're still making it up as they go. Just to sell "newspapers."