Global Warming and Fake Science
November 6, 2018 (American Thinker) – About 10 years ago, the brand name global warming was changed to climate change. The reason was simple: the Earth was failing to warm. An additional benefit of the climate change slogan was that everything that goes wrong with the weather can be blamed on climate change, caused by burning fossil fuels. The 2012 Hurricane Sandy, which flooded parts of New York and New Jersey, is routinely blamed on climate change. The great New England hurricane of 1938 struck the same area and was vastly worse, killing more than 600 persons. That could not be blamed on climate change caused by CO2, because CO2 was not an issue in 1938. Blaming Sandy on CO2-caused climate change is simply a made up story without scientific foundation. Just because there are plenty of scientists making a connection between climate change and Sandy, that does not mean that a scientific foundation exists. It does mean that plenty of scientists are eager to benefit from natural disasters.
The idea that scientists are neutral observers resistant to political influence and money is naïve. Scientists are bought and sold every day in the courtrooms of America as paid witnesses. Scientific organizations lobby relentlessly and effectively in Washington. The National Academy of Science pretends to be the government's adviser on scientific matters. Somehow, their recommendations always suggest that more money should be spent on science. Global warming, AKA climate change, has been a bonanza for a large segment of the scientific community. Just as with other special interest groups, the policy recommendations of the science community are heavily influenced by the prospects of getting money from the government. We need science, but science cannot be allowed to run wild.
Computer modeling is the basis for the predictions of climate doom. Computer modeling is hard to do properly and easy to manipulate to produce the results most beneficial to the scientific community. Computer models are excellent vehicles for weaponizing confirmation bias – searching for, or manufacturing, data that confirm one's biases. Scientists who see the massive holes in the global warming theory are reluctant to speak up because they will be attacked if they do. Getting in the way of money from Washington is not allowed. Yet there are hundreds of prominent scientists who do speak up. Suppression of global warming skeptics by means of fear and intimidation is not the practice of science. It is the practice of totalitarian politics.
There are forces, known and unknown, that can change the climate. From 1910 to 1940, the Earth warmed strongly. That warming cannot be blamed on CO2. Nobody knows what caused that warming. Yet the warming from 1970 to 2000 is confidently blamed on CO2 and other greenhouse gases. That is a leap of faith, because we don't know if the recent warming was really caused in part or totally, by the same unknown force that caused the early-century warming. The global warming computer models are not remotely good enough to resolve this question.
There are many known forces that can change the climate and possibly unknown forces yet to be discovered. The overturning circulation of the oceans – vast currents of cold, salty water sinking into the abyss near the poles – can have a strong warming or cooling effect with similar magnitude to the forces attributed to greenhouse gases. Long period oscillations of relative temperature in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (AMO and PDO) are thought to influence climate. The multi-period changes in the magnetic field of the Sun potentially can affect the climate by varying the arrival of cosmic rays that encourage the formation of clouds. The climate system is a chaotic system that can behave in hard to predict ways with sudden drastic changes of behavior. In short, we are in no position to predict the effect of CO2. The pretense that CO2 controls the climate is a speculation that happens to benefit special interests. There is plenty of evidence suggesting that the effect of CO2 is minor.
The promoters of global warming include scientists, bureaucrats, politicians, environmental non-profits, and green energy-providers. Each of these groups is strongly motivated to depict global warming as an urgent problem. The motivation is financial or empire-building. In the case of politicians, the motivation is the desire to placate an important green voting segment.
There are people and institutions that could push back against the fantastic claims of the global warmers but don't. The fossil fuel companies could fight back, but they don't. The people who run these companies would rather appease the global warming-promoters, even though the global warming-promoters are hostile to fossil fuels and would gladly put these companies out of business if they could. The fossil fuel companies give money to environmental organizations that depict the companies as dishonest, run by criminals, and having the aim of destroying the Earth's environment. I am not exaggerating. The executives of these companies apparently need assertiveness training. They need to fight back rather than try to placate their deadly enemies.
It is hard to fight back when you have no idea what is going on. That seems to be the position of the scientifically ignorant media. The ignorance seems to be willful. Even the most scientifically ignorant reporter should be able to listen to both sides of an argument and get an inkling of the motivations of each side. Ignorance is present on both sides of the political spectrum. Right-wing media may rail against global warming, but their arguments are often as scientifically flawed as the arguments on the left.
The Trump administration may be less enthused by visions of global warming, but the administration is still approving useless and heavily subsidized wind and solar plants. These plants are really useless. Every wind or solar installation has to be 100% backed up by conventional generation. As a consequence, they are simply useless appendages to the electric grid, like a sixth toe. The small amount of fuel saved in the backup plants, when the erratic wind or solar is actually working, does not remotely pay the cost of the wind or solar make-work projects. Wind and solar are not even cost-effective for reducing CO2 emissions.
The regulatory bodies – state public utility commissions and federal agencies – that should be exercising oversight are almost as useless as the wind and solar plants they approve. What good are regulatory agencies caught up in climate hysteria and as a consequence ignore even the simplest and most obvious logical analysis. Even worse, the vulnerability of the electrical grid to hostile attack or natural failure is neglected.
Everything you read in the media about the progression of climate change, melting of glaciers, hurricanes caused by climate change is, as a rule, crap science. According to the promoters of global warming, climate doom is just around the corner. But it never seems to arrive.
The global warming scam will evidentially run out of steam. The public will tire of predictions of doom constantly repeated while all the indices of human and economic well-being constantly get better. The lesson will be that the scientific establishment behaves like other special interest groups. Their scientific findings are colored by the need to generate financial support. Suppression of contrary opinions has to stop. The public and policymakers need to hear both sides of arguments.
Norman Rogers is the author of the book Dumb Energy: A Critique of Wind and Solar Energy.