Books are being published, hundreds of scientific papers contributed and thousands of articles posted on the internet. Valid questions are being asked about quite a few aspects of the total picture. The main one regarding the validity of the science on which the whole ‘structure’ is built, is cleverly dealt with here.
If global warming isn’t the Greatest Show on Earth, it’s certainly the costliest and most bizarre. An early act featuring a hockey stick –shaped graph published by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001 profoundly influenced world energy and environmental policies.
Based heavily upon data taken from tree growth rings on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia, it indicated that world temperatures which had been stable for 900 years until the 20th century suddenly soared due to human fossil fuel-burning greenhouse gas emissions – at least that was the IPCC’s story.
Fallen Hot Aerialist Returns to Center Ring
Although science behind that hockey stick chart has now been thoroughly challenged, its creator, Dr. Michael Mann, is a harsh critic of skeptics who dare to question the existence of the crisis he has failed to prove. His January 15 New York Times Op/Ed column titled “If You See Something, Say Something” charges that despite an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that human-caused climate change is happening, a “virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of a few leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.”
No one I know would dispute that climate changes, or would argue that we humans have absolutely no influence (even if it’s far too tiny to measure.) But then he goes on to claim that a survey shows about 97 percent also agree that “we must respond to the dangers of a warming planet”. As discussed in my July 10, 2012 column, there is no survey showing consensus regarding warming as a “danger”.
Having already concluded not only that global warming is dangerous, but also that human emissions pose that threat, Mann then urges “mainstream scientists” (presumably all of those who agree with him) to get directly involved in remedial technology and policy activism. Such involvement includes determining whether to go “full-bore” on nuclear power, whether to invest in and deploy renewable wind, solar and geothermal energy on a huge scale, and whether to price carbon emissions through cap-and-trade legislation or by imposing a carbon tax.
Mann refers to the late Stanford University Professor Stephen Schneider, a fellow man-made global warming advocate, as a good example. Incidentally, this is the same Stephen Schneider who authored The Genesis Strategy, a 1976 book warning that global cooling risks posed a threat to humanity. Schneider later changed that view 180 degrees, serving as a lead author for important parts of three IPCC reports.
Blurring the divide between objective science and political science, Schneider once said: “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method. On the other hand, we are not just scientists, but human beings as well. And like most people, we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”
This Forbes post is very clear, meaningful and needs to be read by all interested people, whatever their beliefs.