Cold Facts and Common Sense

Posted: December 11, 2009 in 1, Al Gore, East Anglia emails, global warming, Media bias

Al Gore made another public appearance yesterday. His timing is always impeccable. While the country was in the midst of a late  fall deep freeze that covered everything north of Florida in a blanket of snow, there he was assuring us that global warming was right on track. He had been warning us for 30 years.  The bad news for Gore is that the weather doesn’t cooperate with his predictions. The good news for Gore is that the sycophants in the press don’t seem to care. Global warming alarmism continues apace, even in the face of the recently revealed emails that demonstrate the bogus nature of the science from the “scientists” themselves. The emails, of course, originate from the University of East Anglia in Great Britain. They were published on another wordpress blog: Note that this group is not some minor player in the “sky-is-falling” school. It is the school. The correspondence passed between many of the biggest proponents of the anthropogenic climate fear-mongers, including Phil Jones and Michael Mann, the developer of the “hockey stick.”

I am not a scientist. Heck, I don’t even own a microscope. But I do have some common sense, a handle on logic and a grip on reality.  While that doesn’t qualify me to write in peer-reviewed science journals, it does compel me to ask some basic questions about the environmental crisis du jour. With that caveat, let me step into the global warming debate, or as the proponents have taken to calling it since the weather has not cooperated, Global Climate Change.

We are asked to swallow certain propositions so that we may cede our nation’s sovereignty to an international group of environmental bureaucrats with the power to tax and regulate the United State back to the 19th century. There is much at stake. Here are the propositions we are asked to believe: 1) the planet is getting warmer; 2) this warming is not cyclical, but inexorably one-directional; 3) this warming is global; 4) this warming is man-made (anthropogenic); 5) it is harmful to life on the planet; and 6) we can change it by changing our life styles. We must accept all six before it would make any sense to spend trillions of dollars on a “solution” and forgo much of the modern conveniences we enjoy, afforded us by the technical revolution of the last century. If we accept them all but the last, i.e. that our efforts will indeed effect a positive change in the direction of the climate, it is pointless to spend the time and fortune to quixotically tilt toward windmills (literally). Let’s examine them one at a time, applying common sense and a sense of history.

1. The planet is getting warmer. The very first proposition is itself much in doubt. The base-line you use will determine your answer. If we use the decade of the seventies as our base-line, we could say things are heating up. If we use the decade of the 1930’s or the 1990’s as our standard, the planet is cooling. Here is where a good memory, or a simple Google search, can do wonders to bring some historical perspective to the discussion. Back in the 1970’s the environmental crisis du jour was global cooling. Typically the same culprit was to blame: Man. The headlines from that epoch have aptly been dropped into a media memory hole. Let us remind ourselves of some of the headlines to articles that were as certain then that we were heading to a new ice age as they are now that we are headed toward global combustion.

Time magazine carried an article titled “Science: Another Ice Age?” in its June 24, 1974 issue. The story relates how the previous three decades saw temperatures decline and ice caps grow. Though you never hear anyone in the mainstream press refer to such pieces, they were not uncommon. This story may still be found on Time’s web site. It is worth checking out:,9171,944914,00.html

Time  magazine was not alone in beating the drum for a cooling catastrophe. Newsweek had global cooling headlines as late as 1978.  And George Will reminds us, “In the 1970s, ‘a major cooling of the planet’ was ‘widely considered inevitable’ because it was ‘well-established’ that the Northern Hemisphere’s climate ‘has been getting cooler since about 1950’ (New York Times, May 21, 1975).”
We don’t have to go all the way back to the 70’s to read the screed that we were headed toward another ice age. “The advent of the new ice age, scientists say, appears to be guaranteed.  The devastation will be astonishing.”  Gregg Easterbrook  in “Return of the Glaciers,” Newsweek, November 23, 1992. Easterbrook has recently(June 2006) gone on record as accepting that global warming is the unchallenged view of climate scientists (see
It seems that the Earth is about 1 degree warmer on average than a century ago. But we were just emerging from what climatalogists called a Little Ice Age that began after the Medieval Climate Optimum and lasted until the end of the 19th century (from around 1400-1900). That the planet would regulate itelf is unremarkable. A 1-degree increase in temperature over a century hardly constitutes a permanent direction in global terms.
2. The trend is one-directional, not cyclical. We were in a cooling trend in the 70’s. Alarmists then told us we were headed for catastrophic cooling, projecting a one-directional temperature trend. Since the 90’s the alarmists are just as certain that catastrophic warming is going to be the death of us all.  Is it not more likely that climate is cyclical, not one-directional?
If we want to project the trends since 1998 we would have to say we are more likely headed for another Ice Age than a seared earth. But, of course, neither seems to be the case. One of the biggest hoaxes in the whole global warming debate is the “hockey stick.” The “hockey stick” graph was developed by Mann and used by the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to demonstrate that the planet has never been as warm as it is today. The hockey stick graph shows that temperatures were pretty much stable for the last couple millennia until the end of the twentieth century. Then it shot up. The graph looks lik a hockey stick laid on its side. Scary stuff. Gore used it as part of his horror movie on the coming climate disaster and still sites it as fact. Only problem is, it was totally made up. This was understood by many people prior to the recently unveiled email messages that make that fact clear.  (See Christopher Horner’s, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming.) The data that the alarmists have used to insist that the planet is warmer than ever, have been manipulated to effect the desired result: the hockey stick graph.
The hockey stick ignores the widely known period of Medieval warming as well as the mini-ice age from which we just emerged a century ago. That period is also known as the Climate Optimum, because it had a beneficial effect on life on the globe. I will discuss that further under point five.
I still have four points to cover. I will deal with them in my next installment.

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