(September 9, 2011) American Thinker – The Republican candidates failed to explain clearly to the American people why the Democrats’ stated concerns over climate change are wrong. Asked essentially to name a scientist who does not believe in man-made global warming, Rick Perry dissolved into almost a-mumble that the “theory” of man made climate change is unproven. While that is fine, its only his assertion, not evidence, and it is not a direct answer to the question posed. Jon Huntsman proved himself a gullible nitwit by adopting the so-called consensus.
The man-made climate notion is that carbon dioxide, a naturally occurring atmospheric trace gas that is essential to all life on earth, is a harmful pollutant when industry and vehicles emit it, because it will warm the Earth dangerously. This is at best an hypothesis. Thousands of scientists have questioned the so-called consensus, and although being asked to name a few is perhaps unfair, they include people like Roy Spencer, S. Fred Singer, Freeman Dyson, Richard Lindzen, William Gray, Don Easterbrook…one could go on for pages. These are all people with advanced degrees and great expertise. Even Roger Revelle, Al Gore’s famous teacher at Harvard, came to question the importance of CO2 for climate change. Lawrence Solomon quotes him noting that the gas is a fertilizer for plant growth, and warmer temperatures, if they do occur, tend to bring about more temperate weather.
The “man-made CO2 is a major cause of adverse climate change” hypothesis has been pretty much neutered by tests and demonstrations that carbon dioxide’s capacity for atmospheric retention of solar energy as heat was seriously overestimated by the IPCC, that temperature data has been misinterpreted both deliberately and by reason of poor methodology, that temperature variations in past eras do not correlate with CO2 levels, that computer models cannot account for relevant variables that affect climate and weather, and that cosmic radiation and solar radiation have enormously more influence on climate change and weather, as do ocean current patterns. For more names and science details, see Climate Change Reconsidered, a huge study that included review of all of the IPCC references and then some.
In short, saying climate change due to man-made CO2 emission endangers the Earth is a Big Scary Lie. As with other big scary lies by populist, fascist and communist leaders of the past, it is intended to be believed by a populace in order to accrue power to a central government. The central government of the United States, by distorting honest environmental inquiry through a fundamentally corrupt system of rewarding politically correct science with grants and committee posts, is aggrandizing to itself control of how and whether private industry can function. Carbon dioxide as a major danger is a flimsy notion, as it constitutes less than four one-hundredths of a percent by volume of the atmosphere. It is nevertheless a viable excuse for big government to an ill-educated public and doting media as long as Presidential candidates cannot explain the shame of the situation in a few well chosen words.
If the atmosphere did not retain some heat, life as we know it would not exist on Earth. The biggest heat retaining element in the atmosphere, by far, is water vapor. CO2 plays a very minor role. Forecasting climate catastrophe from CO2 if we use carboniferous fuel is speculation and the evidence for it is questionable and contradictory.
Harvey M. Sheldon, a Chicago attorney, is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School and has over thirty years of environmental law experience. The views expressed are his personally and not on any firm or client’s behalf.
Harvey M. Sheldon | American Thinker, September 8, 2011
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