Global warming? Nevermind!
By Alan Caruba
One of my favorite characters on Saturday Night Live was Emily Litella, the creation of the late Gilda Radner. Emily would provide a news commentary that typically got all its facts wrong with a comparable conclusion based on them. When Chevy Chase would point this out to her, she would say "Nevermind!"
Well, Dr. James E. Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was the man who in 1981 first told Congress that the horrible, dreadful global warming was real and we had to do drastic things about it. Now he has pretty much just told us, "Nevermind!"
It gets even better. Carbon dioxide was Dr. Hansen's main culprit as the "greenhouse gas" that was going to doom us all, but in early August, the Environmental Protection Agency released a report saying that carbon dioxide concentrations over the past ten years have decreased 36 percent. Air pollution which is the EPA's excuse for jacking up the cost of a gallon of gasoline and the raison d'être for its attack on our nation's coal-burning utilities, is actually decreasing on several fronts, as are nitrogen dioxide, soot, sulfur dioxide, and other designated contaminants.
Normally I don't believe anything the EPA has to say because it's so-called "science" is so suspect as to border on the criminal. For this discussion, however, let's take their word about carbon dioxide, even though we are all driving more cars more miles than ever before and straining the capacity of our utilities to the bursting point to provide the increased electricity we require. One of the legacies of the Clinton-Gore administration is to have utterly failed to anticipate or encourage the need to build more utilities. The other is to ignore the warnings that our nation's forests were going to burn like crazy.
Back to Dr. Hansen. In his latest study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he reports that, while the burning of fossil fuels has substantially raised carbon dioxide levels, it also produces a particulate haze that reflects back much of the sun's energy, thus offsetting the global warming effect, if there even is one. Now Dr. Hansen is worried about methane, a naturally produced gas that is emitted in the millions of tons from every swamp, wetland and bog in the world. Does it get any dumber than this?
Well, yes it does. The entire United Nations Kyoto treaty on climate control is based on the notion that carbon dioxide is such a threat to the world that all nations have to cut back their energy use to 1990 levels. Al Gore, currently running to be the next president of the United States played a major role in the Kyoto negotiations and the White House still says this is the right approach to deal with a non-existent threat. This ignores the fact that the overall temperature of the earth has not increased in the past half-century or more. So, will we also hear Gore say "Nevermind"? That's doubtful. Gore's head is filled with goofy "science." Even Dr. Hansen's research confirms there has been no overall warming in the US!
I think Dr. Hansen is trying his best to figure out what's happening and I think neither he, nor the legion of other climatologists out there have a clue. I like scientists and I like it better when they don't work for a government that lets them know their job is on the line if they don't support some crazed environmentalist hoax. These are good people trying to make our lives better and safer by learning as much as they can to predict the weather. Modern technology has revolutionized their ability to do this, but most will tell you the computer models on which they depend are still seriously flawed, if only because they are still so many unknown factors about the weather.
For independent information about the weather, I recommend you check out weatheraction.com. Weather Action is a company devoted to long range weather forecasting who sell their data to corporations and others who need to know such matters. They are also total skeptics about the CO2 global warming theory. You can find a number of scientific papers on their site if you're so inclined as to research the topic for yourself. Other sites that provide excellent data are the Science and Environment Project (sepp.org) and The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I am always accused of having an axe to grind because, well, I don't like the Greens much. I don't like them because the lie all the time. They issue endless propaganda about global warming and countless other deceptions. Moreover, the Greens are driven by a Socialist political agenda, something they take great care to hide. So, when I tell you I am delighted that Dr. Hansen has basically said "Nevermind!" it is a tribute to his willingness to look at the facts and come to new conclusions, even if they are as wrong as his original thesis.
Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, and founder of The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about scare campaigns designed to influence public opinion and policy. The Center maintains an Internet site at www.anxietycenter.com. Copyright, Alan Caruba, 2000
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