Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Climate change myth
Posted on 01/10/2006 7:13:09 AM PST by oxcart
MICHAEL Crichton's environmental novel State Of Fear has many enjoyable moments, not least the deliciously apt fate he devises for a Martin Sheenesque Hollywood eco-poseur. But, along the way, his protagonist makes a quietly sensible point: that activist lobby groups ought to close down the office after 10 years. By that stage, regardless of the impact they've had on whatever cause they're hot for, they're chiefly invested in perpetuating their own indispensability.
That's what happened to the environmental movement. Denouncing this week's meeting of the Asia-Pacific Partnership, starting today in Sydney, the eco-tists sound more than a little squaresville: fossils running out of fuel. "Clearly, the short-term profits of the fossil fuel companies count for more in Canberra than the long-term health and welfare of ordinary Australians," says Clive Hamilton of the Australia Institute, disregarding the fact that the "long-term health and welfare" that ordinary Australians enjoy is not unconnected to fossil fuels. "Relying solely on technology to deal with greenhouse emissions is like trying to empty a puddle while the tap is still running: you simply cannot do it," says Labor's environment spokesman Anthony Albanese. So Labor's policy is to turn off the tap?
Even if it wasn't driving the global environmental "consensus" bananas, the Asia-Pacific Partnership would still be worth doing. In environmental politics, the short-term interests of the eco-establishment count for more than the long-term health and welfare of ordinary Australians, or New Zealanders, or indeed Indians and Nigerians. They count for more than the long-term reputation of scientific institutions.
Hence, the famous "hockey stick" graph purporting to show climate over the past 1000 years, as a continuous, flat, millennium-long bungalow with a skyscraper tacked on for the 20th century. This graph was almost laughably fraudulent, not least because it used a formula that would generate a hockey stick shape no matter what data you input, even completely random, trendless, arbitrary computer-generated data. Yet such is the power of the eco-lobby that this fraud became the centrepiece of UN reports on global warming. If it's happening, why is it necessary to lie about it?
Well, the problem for the Kyoto cultists is that the end of the world's nighness is never quite as nigh as you'd like. Thirty years ago, Lowell Ponte had a huge bestseller called The Cooling: Has the new ice age already begun? Can we survive?
Answer: No, it hasn't. Yes, we can. So, when the new ice age predicted in the '70s failed to emerge, the eco-crowd moved on in the '80s to global warming, and then more recently to claiming as evidence of global warming every conceivable meteorological phenomenon: lack of global warmth is evidence of global warming; frost, ice, snow, glaciers, they're all signs of global warming, too. If you live in England, where it's 12C and partly cloudy all summer and 11.5C and overcast all winter, that dramatic climate change is also evidence of global warming.
That's the new buzz phrase these days: climate change. We've got to stop it, or change it back before it destroys the planet. And, if it doesn't destroy the planet, circa 2011 the Kyotocrats will be citing lack of climate change as evidence of climate change. They are, literally, a church, and under the Holy Book of Kyoto their bishops demand that the great industrial nations of the world tithe their incomes to them. So they're never going to take Crichton's advice.
That being so, the next best thing is the Asia-Pacific Partnership, or the "coalition of the emitting": Australia, the US, India, China, Japan, and South Korea. These nations are responsible for about half of greenhouse gas emissions and, by 2050, will account for roughly 75 per cent of global gross domestic product. In other words, these are the players that matter. And, unlike the Kyotophiles, their strategy isn't a form of cultural self-flagellation. America and Australia will be making Western technology available to developing nations to accelerate their development, so they don't have to spend a century and a half with belching smokestacks glowering over grimy cities the way the first industrialised nations did.
My only problem with this is that, in a government notable for its blunt, healthy disdain for the transnational pieties, Australia's Environment Minister seems to have been spending way too much time snorting the ol' CO2 at the eco-lobby parties. As Matt Price reported in these pages last year:
"Emerging from a bushwalk through the Tarkine forest in northwest Tasmania, Environment Minister Ian Campbell told The Australian that argument about the causes and impact of global warming had effectively ended: 'I think the Australian Government owes it to the public to tell it like it is."'
Oh, dear. By "telling it like it is", he means telling it like we've been told for the past 30 years: "Australia and other industrialised nations need to take urgent action to avert environmental disaster."
Really? You know, I don't like to complain but maybe that Tarkine forest is part of the problem. Here's a headline from the National Post of Canada last Friday: "Forests may contribute to global warming: study." This was at Stanford University. They developed a model that covered most of the Northern Hemisphere in forest and found that global temperature increased three degrees, which is several times more than the alleged CO2 emissions. Heat-wise, a forest is like a woman in a black burka in the middle of the Iraqi desert. In my state of New Hampshire, we've got far more forest than we did a century or two ago. Could reforestation be causing more global warming than my 700m-per-litre Chevrolet Resource-Depleter? Clearly I need several million dollars to investigate further.
I said above that any day the Kyotophiles will be citing lack of climate change as evidence of climate change. But, in essence, that's what they've been doing for years. For example, just before Christmas, Rutgers University put out a press release headed "Global Warming Doubles Rate of Ocean Rise".
Whoa, sell that beachfront property now! If things keep up like this, Sydney's excitable "youths" will be having to rampage in diving suits. But hang on, what exactly do they mean by the "rate" "doubling"? Kenneth Miller claims to have proved that from 5000 years ago to about 200 years ago the global ocean rise was about 1mm a year.
But since 1850 it's been rising at 2mm a year. In other words, it doubled sometime in the early 19th century and has stayed the same ever since, apparently impervious to the industrialisation of Europe, China, India and much of the rest of Asia, as well as to the invention of the automobile, the aerosol deodorant and the private jet Barbra Streisand used when she flew in to Washington to discuss global warming with president Clinton. Yet nobody thought to headline the story "Rate of ocean rise unchanged for over a century and a half".
If the present rate continues, the Maldives will be under water by 2500. Of course, by then, if the present rate of demographic decline continues, most of Russia and Europe will be empty, and we could resettle the 350,000 residents of the Maldives on the Riviera.
Or we could cripple the global economy now.
One day, the world will marvel at the environmental hysteria of our time, and the deeply damaging corruption of science in the cause of an alarmist cult. The best thing this week's conference could do is inculcate a certain modesty, not least in Senator Ian Campbell, about an issue that is almost entirely speculative. We don't know how or why climate changes. We do know it's changed dramatically throughout the planet's history, including the so-called "little Ice Age" beginning in 600, when I was still driving a Ford Oxcart, and that, by comparison, the industrial age has been a time of relative climate stability. But, of course, as with that "hockey stick", it depends how you draw the graph.
Question: Why do most global warming advocates begin their scare statistics with "since 1970"?
As in, "since 1970" there's been global surface warming of half a degree or so.
Because from 1940 to 1970, temperatures fell.
Now why would that be?
Who knows? Maybe it was Hitler. Maybe world wars are good for the planet.
Or maybe we should all take a deep breath of CO2 and calm down.
Mark Steyn, a columnist with the Telegraph Group, is a regular contributor to The Australian's opinion page.
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No one can turn a phrase like Mark Steyn!!!!
Damed facts again.
"Relying solely on technology to deal with greenhouse emissions is like trying to empty a puddle while the tap is still running: you simply cannot do it," says Labor's environment spokesman Anthony Albanese.
I'm sure Anthony road a bicycle to the meeting.
Announcing an impending global disaster will get you far more fame (notoriety?) than saying nothing bad is happening to the world. Especially since whatever would happen won't be proved for decades...and long after the doomists have secured mucho glory and love from their gullible leftist disciples. In fact Ehrlich is still touted as a prophet and a leftist man of honor by the doomist crowd.
Delicious being the key word in a spoiler....this is a fun read.
what does 'delicious' have to do with it?
Surely he was the anti-pasta of the day ! Now who were they saving for the main entree and desert?
Why limit your question to just one celestial body? Consider others. Here are some highlights:
Sun: More activity since 1940 than in previous 1150 years, combined
Mercury: Unexpected polar ice discovered, along with a surprisingly strong intrinsic magnetic field for a supposedly dead planet
Venus: 2500% increase in auroral brightness, and substantive global atmospheric changes in less than 30 years
Mars: Global Warming, huge storms, disappearance of polar icecaps
Jupiter: Over 200% increase in brightness of surrounding plasma clouds
Saturn: Major decrease in equatorial jet stream velocities in only ~20 years, accompanied by surprising surge of X-rays from equator
Uranus: Large changes in brightness, increased global cloud activity
Neptune: 40% increase in atmospheric brightness
Pluto: 300% increase in atmospheric pressure, even as Pluto recedes farther from the Sun
None of these observations and statistics are from "fringe" scientists; they are all very, very real, and what is listed is only the proverbial "tip of the iceberg." And these don't even list the similar changes to the Jovian and Saturnian moons, which also correspond with the above.
The scientific data, from a variety of highly credible institutions (including NASA itself), reveals that startling "climate change" phenomena are occurring, not just here on Earth, but, in fact -- throughout the entire solar system.
I know I've posted this same info before, but when have the environazi's ever looked at/considered published, scientific facts that don't support their current crisis du jour?
The "global warming" cabal haven't even programmed clouds into their "climate models" for this planet. And obviously, they haven't programmed in changes in solar radiation from the sun.
But of course, it's all "mankind caused" because... well, because they say it is. And that's good enough for them. Don't try to confuse them with the facts.
Please tell me you have a source for this.
I promise to give you credit for it when it is published.
Ehrlich isn't a scientist.
He's an economist...
I stand corrected. I wasn't sure if he was or not. However Ehrlich is still considered an expert on population growth by the left.