Saturday, August 31, 2013

Scientists Pull Their Heads Out of the Sand

The World Federation of Scientists, at its annual seminars on planetary emergencies, has been advised by its own climate monitoring panel that global warming is no longer a planetary emergency. The President of the Italian Senate, Judge Pietro Grasso … and the President of the Federation, Professor Antonino Zichichi {emeritus professor of Physics, U of Bologna}, said that care should be taken to examine carefully the basis for concern about CO2 emissions as well as the relevance and cost-effectiveness of proposed mitigation measures. 
… This year Dr. Christopher Essex, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario and chairman of the Federation’s permanent monitoring panel on climate, gave the Federation’s closing plenary session his panel’s confirmation that “Climate change in itself is not a planetary emergency.” 
… {Essex said} “Human societies have lived and thriven under every conceivable climate, and modern technology makes adaptation to changing weather conditions entirely routine.” The increasing fraction of CO2 in the air could be expected to result in some warming, but it had been accepted that “the benefits of food production and the relief of starvation overwhelm concerns about the potential climate changes induced by land-surface modification.” 
… “Our greatest concern at present is that the intellectual climate for scientific investigation of these matters has become so hostile and politicized that the necessary research and debate cannot freely take place. Political constraints take the form of declaring the underlying science to be settled when it clearly is not; defunding or denigrating research that is perceived to threaten the case for renewable energy; or the use of odious pejoratives like “denialist” to describe dissent from officially-sanctioned views on climate science.”
I've always told my children that there are multiple questions to be answered before the global warming should be the subject of massive government programs and interference:

1.  Is there global warming? This is an issue that itself is coming unraveled as we are now 15 or 16 years into a period of no new warming.

2. Is it harmful? I hear about sea levels rising and this or that ecological disaster, but in all the cases I've followed, the claims from the climate Nazis have either been fake or exaggerated.

3. Is it man-made? Very weak evidence here, since the earth has warmed and cooled on its own without our help.

4. Is there anything we can do about it? Another one that is seriously questionable.

Finally, as Glenn Reynolds frequently points out, until those pushing global warming start themselves acting as if it is an emergency, why should the rest of us do anything? I think that global warming will have been one of the largest, if not the largest, confidence scam in history. A plan to squeeze just a bit more blood out of the middle-class, but make them feel good about it.

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