Climate sophists intentionally misleading assertions, in pursuit of progressives' progress — a world covered in wind farms perhaps — are a commonplace in the discourse over so-called man made global warming. A snow storm in the middle of winter, exceptionally warm weather in summer or an in season tempest can all be blamed, by climate alarmists, on global warming. In a previous guest column Montana resident Ed Berry, who has a Ph.D. in atmospheric physics and was a National Science Foundation Program manager for weather modification, eviscerated some of their fallacious rhetoric by exposing their dishonest reasoning.

Berry starts with the alarmist’s claim “that ’97 percent’ of scientists believe human CO2 causes significant global warming.” So what? “Consensus is central to politics but irrelevant to science where logic and data prevail.” And as to the statement “’humans are causing global warming.’ Well by how much? Everyone agrees there is a very small effect. So this statement means nothing.” (“Humans caused only 3 percent of the CO2 increase since 1958.” Nature did the rest.) In 2013, a reexamination of the supposedly supporting data for these misleading statements showed that only “0.5 percent,” of papers “published since 1991” endorsed the claim that “’most’ warming since 1950 was manmade.”

Berry further notes, “Glaciers began to shorten in 1820, about 140 years before humans began to emit significant amounts of CO2;” in Montana the “temperature has decreased by 0.6F per decade since 1997.” Blame a melting glacier on that.

Richard Lindzen, a man whose name, the mention of which, is certain to elicit howls of grief from climate alarmists and “a pioneering climate scientist with decades at Harvard and MIT,” points out since 1800 the climate has warmed “not much at all — and he contends the alarmists vastly overstate the Earth’s climate sensitivity. For instance, “since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the average global temperature has risen by, at most, 1 degree Celsius….And while it’s true that sea levels have risen over the same period, it’s believed they've been doing so for roughly 20,000 years.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the fall of 2014 released its Summary for Policymakers in which it is predicted “that if emissions continue to rise, by the year 2100, global temperatures could increase as much as 5.5 degrees Celsius from current averages, while sea levels could rise by nearly a meter.” This is a climate demagogues dream come true. “But Lindzen rejects the dire predictions.” Noting that, “while the full IPPC report demonstrates a significant amount of doubt among scientists, the essentially political Summary for Policymakers filters it out.”

“Lindzen also disputes the accuracy of the computer models… contend[ing] that they oversimplify the vast complexity of Earth’s climate….The models also rely on what Lindzen calls fudge factors,” e.g., aerosols “effect on the climate — even whether they have an overall cooling or warming effect — is still a matter of debate.” “Lindzen charges that when actual temperatures fail to conform to the models predictions, climate scientists purposely overstate the cooling effect of aerosols to give the models the appearance of having been accurate.” This is scientific fabulism.

Lindzen asserts these hysterics are driven by the need for cash to fill the budgets of scientists who by their dependence make themselves, “essentially vassals of the state.” (Not an uncommon strategy for government to employ.) Thus, fear — the demagogue’s counterfeit reason — is cultivated in the manure of propaganda.

The upshot is we have a mad rush to make the failure to conform to the standard of the politically correct and accept their suspect presumptions, despite the science’s sometimes fraudulent claims, a social sin, a heretical flouting of alarmist dogma. And never mind the inevitable epochal ups and downs of earth’s periodic climate changes, minus human effects. This while effective multilateral efforts to reduce carbon emissions have been nonexistent and mention of (at least in big media) and funding for fusion technology is appallingly neglected.

Trendy is as trendy does and inertia, once overcome, might take you anywhere. Bellbottoms could come back or we could continue whipping ourselves into an intellectually and materially self-destructive frenzy of fashionable opinion that a careful interpretation of the data would refute.

So, which alternative would be progress?

Notes:

The first three paragraphs were drawn from Ed Berry’s guest column "’97 percent’ claim on global warming a hoax," Missoulian, Sep. 12, 2014.

The following five were drawn from Ethan Epstein’s piece on Richard Lindzen, "What Catastrophe," The Weekly Standard, Jan. 13, 2014.

And the mention of fusion technology is attributable to George Will’s "The fusion in our future," Dec. 21, 2013, Jewishworldreview.com, July 15, 2014. 

Lynn Swartos,

Missoula

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