Another Side to Global Warming: Environmentalists and the UN Want You to Believe That the Science of Global Warming Is Settled and That the Globe Is Heating. in Fact, the Science Is Anything but Settled

Article excerpt

One of the oft-repeated mantras of the global-warming crowd is that there is no longer any debate in the scientific community about the threat of global warming. And why not think that the debate is over? No less a body than the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the nation's preeminent scientific organizations, on February 17 released a "consensus report" calling global warming "a growing threat to society." In fact, the AAAS report, following the lead of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stated that global warming is real, that it's caused by human activity, and that it is an unprecedented threat.

But what if the scientific "consensus" on climate change is wrong? In fact, what if there is no consensus? Though they get little press, and what media attention they do get is often unfavorable, there are many scientists who disagree with the "consensus" view of global warming. Moreover, there have been substantial scientific findings that significantly undercut the standard model of global warming.

The Skeptics

One of the most important critics of the standard model of global warming is MIT professor of meteorology Richard S. Lindzen. A giant in the world of climate science, Lindzen has published literally hundreds of scientific papers. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in 2001, writing about a National Academy of Sciences report on climate change in which he participated, Lindzen noted: "We are quite confident (1) that global mean temperature is about 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than it was a century ago; (2) that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have risen over the past two centuries; and (3) that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the earth (one of many, the most important being water vapor and clouds). But--and I cannot stress this enough--we are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate change to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future. That is to say, contrary to media impressions, agreement with the three basic statements tells us almost nothing relevant to policy discussions."

Lindzen again addressed the issue in the Wall Street Journal in 2006. Pointing out that everything from heat waves in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo have been "blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes" and that scientists who challenge such contentions have paid a heavy price, he noted: "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse," Lindzen wrote. "Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis."

Lest this be derided as mere rhetoric, Lindzen names some of those whose careers have been disrupted in global-warming related purges. "In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions." According to Lindzen, the purge has been nearly complete: "Only the most senior scientists today can stand up against this alarmist gale, and defy the iron triangle of climate scientists, advocates and policymakers."

One of the senior scientists who has remained a skeptic is noted hurricane expert William Gray, longtime head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University. Long recognized as the world's foremost expert on tropical cyclones, Gray spoke to Discover magazine in 2005 about his work and about global warming. …