Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Winter Hits Global Warming Activists Hard

Chicago is experiencing it snowiest February since snow records started being kept in that city in 1884.  In fact, this marks the fourth year in a row that Chicago has recorded 50 or more inches of snow, which is also a record for the city.

This winter and most of the last four have been very harsh for the Midwest and especially the East Coast, yet promoters of global warming are still proclaiming that we are heading toward a world disaster in the next 20 years if we don't heed their warning and change our dependence on carbon-based fuels.  Try telling that to the people in San Francisco who may see their first snowfall since 1976.

Despite the recent progression of harsh winters, the advocates in our news media have declared the debate over global warming to be over. There is a scientific consensus, they say, that global warming, or is it now climate change, is a fact, and that mankind's tampering with the planet is responsible for this predicament.  Some reporters have gone so far as to equate global warming skeptics with Holocaust deniers. Some have even claimed that the unusually cold and snowy winter is evidence of global warming.  Talk about a logical contradiction.  I guess no matter how cold it gets, global warming advocates just won't relent with their predictions of doom.

Do the past four winter mean a trend toward a colder climate, or is this just an aberration and global warming will continue unabated soon?  I don't know.  I am just not that well-versed on climate and weather to make any predictions.  However, I am not going to believe a man like former Vice President Al Gore, who has reportedly made anywhere from $10 to $100 million on his advocacy of global warming.

Who do you believe and what do you believe?  Given the different interpretation of the same data over my lifetime, I don’t know how any lay person, one who is not trained in climatology and meteorology, can come to a definitive conclusion.  Scientists who are trained in these fields disagree about whether there really is irreversible global warming and whether or not man really has any control over it.

Many in the news media are so invested in the global warming predictions that they continue to proclaim a scientific consensus despite evidence to the contrary. More than 650 international scientists went on record  criticizing the climate change claims  by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  One of the dissenters, former member of the panel Japanese scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, referred to the climate claims as one of the “worst scientific scandals in history.”  One of the most prominent scientists who formerly worked at NASA, Dr. Joanne Simpson made it very clear that she is very skeptical about the global warming claims.

Another NASA scientist, Dr. James Hansen is one of the biggest proponents of global warming, and he, too, has rather impressive credentials. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics, a master’s degree in astronomy and a doctorate in physics, all from the University of Iowa. He has been a leading scientist with NASA since 1981.  He recently published a book that call for immediate action to combat global warming or face catastrophic consequences for humans.  If  I am ever going to believe anyone has a valid prediction about global warming, it will be Dr. Hansen, not Al Gore.

Unfortunately, there is so much money involved in the outcome of the global warming debate that we may never have an honest and objective accounting of the research involved.  Media reports over the past year indicate how Gore has benefited from his stance.  On the other hand, there is certainly legitimacy to the contention that people heavily invested in fossil fuel corporations will automatically dismiss any claim of man-made climate change.

If we truly had journalists and communicators instead of media lapdogs and a never-ending parade of advocacy spin doctors, we could examine all the theories and educated guesses that are being made about global warming without setting up the advocates for condemnation if they happen to guess wrong.  Yes, there is a lot of research funding and other type of resources on both sides of the issues, but that does not automatically make the advocates deceptive and evil people. 

Since I can’t read minds and hearts, I would like to suggest that we have many well-educated, highly experienced scientific experts who disagree, and only time will tell if they are guessing right or wrong.  Are some of them being co-opted by large sums of money?  Maybe, some are. Unfortunately, we do not, in my estimation, have the type of journalists in the media who will be open to examining all the new data and documentation as well as all the scientists releasing such information and treating it all equally. 

Today, we have too many advocates in the media who are more concerned about which advocacy position is being supported or debunked than in examining realistic weather trends. In the meantime, I recommend that Al Gore not schedule a trip to Chicago any time soon. 

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