Dedicated to the balanced discussion of global warming
I do want to make three additional comments before you read below. If it takes 1,000 years to recover from an overload of carbon dioxide that has already poisoned our atmosphere then:
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Although America in 2000 passed up an opportunity to elect the man
who invented global warming, eight years later we handed a decisive
presidential victory to an avowed global warmist. And while the message
of Barack Obama’s candidacy on this subject was a bit muddled–he was
for “change,” while global warmists say they want to stop “climate”
change–there is a widespread belief that the voters handed President
Obama a mandate to “do something” about global warming.
A poll released last week by the Pew Research Center, however, calls this into question. In the New York Times’s “Dot Earth” blog, Andrew Revkin described the findings:
According to the survey of 1,503 adults, global warming, on its own, ranks last out of 20 surveyed issues. . . .
Although the more general issue of protecting the
environment ranked higher than climate (named by 41 percent of the poll
subjects) that figure was 15 percentage points lower than in the same
poll a year ago.
Revkin also links to a Rasmussen survey that finds Americans increasingly skeptical about the science behind global warmism:
Forty-four percent (44%) of U.S. voters now say long-term
planetary trends are the cause of global warming, compared to 41% who
blame it on human activity. . . .
In July 2006, 46% of voters said global warming is caused
primarily by human activities, while 35% said it is due to long-term
Why have global warmists lost ground with the public? One obvious
reason is the recession. “The economy” and “jobs” top the Pew list of
top priorities, and both have increased sharply over the past couple of
years. People who are afraid of something real–losing their jobs or
the value of their assets–have little energy left for esoteric and
Another reason is that it is really cold out. Past Pew surveys were
also taken in January, so that the figures can be construed as
seasonally adjusted, but this has been an especially harsh winter,
which seems to provide experiential evidence against the claims of
Of course, this feeling is illusory: Weather is different from
climate, and it is possible to have cold winters even amid a long-term
trend toward hotter weather–just as, for example, the stock market has
down days during a bull market.
Global warmists, however, have squandered their credibility in
making this point, because they never fail to seize on a hurricane or a
sweltering summer day as “evidence” to make their case. In fact, so
cynical is the public about the claims of global warmists that the
clichéd response to a pleasant winter day is, “If this is global warming, bring it on.”
An additional problem is that whereas global warmists are emotionally
consistent–in a constant state of alarm, accompanied by contempt, even
hatred, for those who dare ask questions–their claims are filled with
logical inconsistencies. A reader spotted a hilarious example in this Los Angeles Times article:
Even if by some miracle of environmental activism global
carbon dioxide levels reverted to pre-industrial levels, it still would
take 1,000 years or longer for the climate changes already triggered to
be reversed, scientists said Monday.
The gas that is already there and the heat that has been
absorbed by the ocean will exert their effects for centuries, according
to the analysis, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Science.
Over the long haul, the warming will melt the polar icecaps
more than previously had been estimated, raising ocean levels
substantially, the report said.
And changes in rainfall patterns will bring droughts
comparable to those that caused the 1930s Dust Bowl to the American
Southwest, southern Europe, northern Africa and western Australia.
“People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon
dioxide, the climate would go back to normal in 100 years, 200 years,”
lead author Susan Solomon, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, said in a telephone news conference.
“That’s not true.” . . .
Solomon said in a statement that absorption of carbon
dioxide by the oceans and release of heat from the oceans – the one
process acting to cool the Earth and the other to warm it–will “work
against each other to keep temperatures almost constant for more than
Is it absolutely crucial to the planet’s future that we curtail
greenhouse gases this instant, or would it not make any difference
anyway? If the latter, what sense does it make to be alarmed? And that
last quote by Solomon is a classic head-scratcher. We’re supposed to worry that temperatures will be “almost constant for more than 1,000 years”? That’s what they mean by global warming?
Weather forecast for the year 3009: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.