Monday, January 10

Crying Wolf While The World Warms

One of the best things about the Bush administration the past four years (and the next four, I'm sure) is the responsible way they take on environmental science. It has become obvious (much to the relief of those who have seriously studied the issue) that President Bush is relying on serious, responsible science as he determines how to treat issues like global warming.

There's no dispute over the fact that the earth has been warming ever since the last ice age. Not at a continuous rate but at a fluctuating one. Warming has nothing to do with human activity; it's a natural process.

But when Al Gore decided he needed an issue to raise his political standing in the scientific community, he chose global warming and "findings" from science amateurs and opportunists as the basis of his claims.

The latest hot issue the pseudo-science hysterics have come up with is the charge that the Boxing Day Tsunami was caused by global warming. Early reports along these lines came from Russis, a big supporter of the Kyoto Treaty. Fortunately responsible American scientists are refuting those claims.

Patrick J. Michaels, an environmental sciences professor at the University of Virginia, calls the report "rubbish." He spoke with the Cybercast News Service Wednesday.
Michaels, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of a new book "Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media," believes that claims of human-caused catastrophic "global warming" are scientifically unfounded.

Michaels said he was especially bothered by a report from the Russian News and Information Agency Novosti, which last week quoted Russian scientist Arthur Chilingarov as saying that the cause of the earthquake and tsunami were "probably global climate change." Chilingarov is the vice speaker of the State Duma and co-chairman of the organizational committee that is planning the International Polar Year in 2007.

According to Novosti, Chilingarov also believes that "scientists have registered lately a change of the average temperature, which is now growing at fantastic rates." These changing temperatures, he added, are allowing "the atmosphere and oceans to accumulate additional energy," which can cause natural disasters like the recent underwater earthquake and tsunami.

Michaels rejected the Russian news report.

"This is just abject rubbish. That is all I can say. That is the most charitable thing I can say," Michaels said. "What happens at the surface of the ocean is not reflected at all in any measurable fashion at the depth of which the earthquake took place."

If Chilingarov's assertions were correct, Michaels said, "then there would be a high correlation between tsunamis and El Ninos because El Nino warms the ocean substantially over regions that are tectonically active." El Ninos are defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as disruptions of the ocean-atmosphere system that impact global weather.

Michaels and Dr. Fred Singer ofThe Science and Environmental Policy Project have long struggled to get the word out to the public about the many experiments conducted by prominent scientists refuting claims that global warming is caused by fuel emissions and various other man made toxins.

It's a frustrating battle.

Respected (by the public) publications like Science Magazine and the Discovery Channel are quick to come forward with dramatic panic stories and unproved theories. Drama, after all, sells. The Discovery Channel was on the global warming/tsunami thing right away
explaining that "global warming" can act as a trigger for the root causes of tsunamis and quoting tsunami scientist Neal Driscoll from the University of California at San Diego.

"Even global warming could theoretically play a role in weakening undersea slopes if frozen gas hydrates locked in deep-sea slopes are warmed enough to shift from solid to gas state," stated Driscoll. "That shift of the abundant deep-sea deposits could bloat slopes with gas and cause them to collapse, sending tsunami-generating pulses all the way to the surface," the Discovery Channel article explained.

Sir David King, the chief scientific adviser for the government of the United Kingdom, said he believes that the recent tsunami served as a warming of what was yet to come through human-caused climate change.

"What is happening in the Indian Ocean underlines the importance of the earth's system to our ability to live safely," King told BBC radio last week. "And what we are talking about in terms of climate change is something that is really driven by our own use of fossil fuels, so this is something we can manage."

King, who in 2004, said the threat of "global warming" was greater than any threat from terrorism, believes the only solution to catastrophic climate change is to change the world's "energy industry - in other words, to move away from fossil fuels."

Readers should note that Driscoll said that warming could"theoretically" cause a tsunami, not that it did. The sun could theoretically turn to ice, but it won't.

But why would they lie, you ask? Money. No one is going to spend money for research projects if global warming is a natural process that we can't change. But if we can drum up fear and get people worrying about it, governments and private trusts will fund programs and experiments. Politicians have issues to run on and political activists have something to raise money for and spend money on.

The media is a huge culprit in this duplicity. Read the articles or watch the reports in which they mention scientists who refute the man-cause of warming and you'll find that the rest of the article or report stresses those who insist that humans are the cause. Hey, it's a story; the truth isn't as dramatic.

The one thing that is predictable is that no matter what natural crisis suddenly comes upon us, someone's going to blame it on global warming. It's the modern cry of "wolf."

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