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May 24, 2006

Global Warming, The Myth

Former Delaware Governor Pete Du Pont has an informative Op-Ed up in yesterday's WSJ Opinion Journal titled, "Don't Be Very Worried" that rather succinctly debunks most of the left's global warming fantasies.

Since 1970, the year of the first Earth Day, America's population has increased by 42%, the country's inflation-adjusted gross domestic product has grown 195%, the number of cars and trucks in the United States has more than doubled, and the total number of miles driven has increased by 178%.

But during these 35 years of growing population, employment, and industrial production, the Environmental Protection Agency reports, the environment has substantially improved. Emissions of the six principal air pollutants have decreased by 53%. Carbon monoxide emissions have dropped from 197 million tons per year to 89 million; nitrogen oxides from 27 million tons to 19 million, and sulfur dioxide from 31 million to 15 million. Particulates are down 80%, and lead emissions have declined by more than 98%.

When it comes to visible environmental improvements, America is also making substantial progress:

• The number of days the city of Los Angeles exceeded the one-hour ozone standard has declined from just under 200 a year in the late 1970s to 27 in 2004.

• The Pacific Research Institute's Index of Leading Environmental Indicators shows that "U.S. forests expanded by 9.5 million acres between 1990 and 2000."

• While wetlands were declining at the rate of 500,000 acres a year at midcentury, they "have shown a net gain of about 26,000 acres per year in the past five years," according to the institute.

• Also according to the institute, "bald eagles, down to fewer than 500 nesting pairs in 1965, are now estimated to number more than 7,500 nesting pairs."

Environmentally speaking, America has had a very good third of a century; the economy has grown and pollutants and their impacts upon society are substantially down.

This doesn't sound like we're in the throws of environmental homicide to me, it sounds like things are getting better.

But now comes the carbon dioxide alarm. CO2 is not a pollutant--indeed it is vital for plant growth--but the annual amount released into the atmosphere has increased 40% since 1970. This increase is blamed by global warming alarmists for a great many evil things. The Web site for Al Gore's new film, "An Inconvenient Truth," claims that because of CO2's impact on our atmosphere, sea levels may rise by 20 feet, the Arctic and Antarctic ice will likely melt, heat waves will be "more frequent and more intense," and "deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years--to 300,000 people a year." If it all sounds familiar, think back to the 1970s. After the first Earth Day the New York Times predicted "intolerable deterioration and possible extinction" for the human race as the result of pollution. Harvard biologist George Wald predicted that unless we took immediate action "civilization will end within 15 to 30 years," and environmental doomsayer Paul Ehrlich predicted that four billion people--including 65 million American--would perish from famine in the 1980s.

I'm curious to know how these doomsayers respond, years later, when their theories of impending disaster have failed to come to fruition. Do they simply go on pontificating, expecting the usual suspects to continue to regard their theories and projections as gospel? Of course they do, because those "usual suspects" are liberals, and liberals will never let anything as picayune as being proven wrong alter their opinions in any way. Its a political thing. A liberal would as soon see America die as admit that he or she has believed a lie.

There are substantial differences in climate models--some 30 of them looked at by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change--but the Climate Science study concludes that "computer models consistently project a rise in temperatures over the past century that is more than twice as high as the measured increase." The National Center for Atmospheric Research's prediction of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warming is more accurate. In short, the world is not warming as much as environmentalists think it is.

What warming there is turns out to be caused by solar radiation rather than human pollution. The Climate Change study concluded "half the observed 20th century warming occurred before 1940 and cannot be attributed to human causes," and changes in solar radiation can "account for 71 percent of the variation in global surface air temperature from 1880 to 1993."

There are more myth-debunking facts and figures in the Op-Ed, so give the entire article a read here.

Posted by Seth at May 24, 2006 06:39 AM


Seth, but wouldn't you say the doomsayers of yesterday spurred today's improvements? So the doomsayers of today will have a positive impact tomorrow.... w/o urgent calls for change, change may not happen.

Posted by: Fountain Wish at May 24, 2006 08:34 AM

Fountain Wish --

Thanks for commenting.

I completely agree with you: It was blooming environmental awareness in the 1960s and 1970s, carrying over to the present, that brought about many of today's improvements, curbing our excessive use of pollutants, going after companies that dumped polluting waste into rivers and into the air, bringing about exhaust regulations for car manufacturers, smog inspections, etc.

However, the flogging of the "global warming" horse by the left, who completely ignore scientific data that shows this warming is a cycle that has repeated itself throughout our planet's "known" meteorological and geological history and is primarily influenced by solar phenomena doesn't seem to fit into the same mold -- that is, there is nothing that mankind can do that will significantly, if at all, alter the cycle of global warming and cooling. A few hundred years down the road, when the earth is in a cooling cycle, there will probably be another crop of people blaming industrialized nations for "global cooling".

There are some natural phenomena that we can't do anything about, like the changing course of the Mississippi River where it crosses through southern Louisiana, shallowing the waterway to the point that they have to dredge constantly to maintain river depths conducive to keeping maritime traffic flowing.

The global warming myth has been turned by some into another "blame Bush" platform -- I remember a post Katrina article by a liberal columnist, a Kennedy no less, who blamed Katrina on global warming and, in turn, on Dubya because he hadn't gone along with the Kyoto Treaty.

Posted by: Seth at May 24, 2006 09:06 AM

Seth -

The only problem with your and Pete Du Pont's assertions are that they are not scientifically correct. The world body of science is pretty much unanimous in declaring global warming and its effects (and human action as its cause)to be very very real. The Pacific Research Institue is a right wing "spin science" organization that gins the numbers to get the answers their taskmasters want, much similar to when Bush disbanded the first government study he commissioned on global warming because they came back and said that it was real. Yes, LA made some great air quality improvements from 2000 to 2004, but thanks to Bushy's "Clear Skies" Initiative, ha ha ha, we've managed to reclaim the title of the City with America's Worst Air Pollution. Although I'm really hoping Atlanta will make a comeback in 2006.

Your site is steeped in sailing imagery, if you are a sailor yourself, you know that when an oil tanker is on your opposing course, you change tacks as soon as possible, even if you have the right of way. You don't wait until the last minute. I'd love to be dead wrong about global warming, because if I am, nobody really gets hurt. But if you're wrong about global warming, we're all toast.

As we speak, the Pentagon is drafting battle plans for world water wars. That doesn't sound too appealing to me.

Posted by: Shane at May 24, 2006 02:17 PM

Hi, Shane --

Shane --

The world body of science is pretty much unanimous in declaring global warming and its effects (and human action as its cause)to be very very real.

The "world body of science" is nowhere near unanimous in any such declaration -- the mainstream (liberal) media, as we know, ignores anything that might contradict what they broadcast or print -- if they talk to 1000 people and only 500 give the answer they're looking for, those 500 become the "vast majority".

Here's some alternative reading on the subject:


Posted by: Seth at May 24, 2006 04:12 PM

“Science” has been relegated to a position of supporting the beliefs of liberalism. Science today requires more faith to believe than does religion. “Scientists” speak authoritatively about “facts” and occurrences that supposedly transpired millions upon millions of years ago. Scientist’s theories are basically opinions predicated upon the examination or review of evidence of an extension of conjecture. Once an opinion or theory is accepted as mainstream, any differing opinions or theories are summarily dismissed as heresy; even if the same evidence is examined.

Stating what the earth’s temperatures were a million years ago is based upon assumptions and mathematical formulas. If the formula is wrong, the answer is wrong. If the assumptions are wrong, the answer is wrong. There are too many variables that cannot be completely eliminated to arrive at an indisputable fact.

Not to change the subject, but as a case to emphasize the disparity within “science” and the fact that liberal science has no tolerance for conflicting theories, I offer evolution vs. creation. Both theories have very accomplished scientists reviewing the same evidence and reaching completely different theories. However, evolution has become mainstream and has no tolerance for creation scientist’ theories/opinions.

I place the global warming science crowd in the same camp as the evolutionists. They have established a “truth” and will tolerate no other theory or opinions, period. That to me is arrogance and I hold no stock in their “facts”.

P.S. Evolution has never been repeated or demonstrated as required to be accepted as a scientific "fact".

Posted by: Old Soldier at May 25, 2006 04:53 AM

I have to agree that the opinions on global-warming amoung scientists is far from unanimous. I've read countless scientific papers discussing the fatal flaws in global-warming science. On a lighter note, check this out: http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2729684

Posted by: EEC at May 25, 2006 05:07 AM

Old Soldier --

Agreed. The "widespread" scare over global warming is largely due to the fact that most people get their "news" from a media that parrots whatever the liberal party line happens to espouse.

EEC --

LMAO!!!! That is hilarious!

Posted by: Seth at May 25, 2006 07:27 AM

Before you write it off completely, check out this review of the film from a dyed-in-the-wool Clinton-hating life-long Republican:


Posted by: Shane at June 1, 2006 10:39 AM

Shane --

I have friends who are independent-thinking Democrats who espouse a few Republican beliefs, as difficult as that may sound to many a liberal that believes you either believe and support every last liberal idea or you're seriously flawed. The last time such extremism walked the earth it was called Marxism.

We also have a lot of Republican politicians these days who embrace very non-republican ideas and are as much sellouts to core American beliefs as any liberal.

My point is that when I read or listen to an opinion, the opinion-giver's political affiliation is not a consideration -- at least not until I have evaluated said opinion and decided upon its relationship to my own thinking, and whether or not I agree with them.

That said, when I first encountered the global warming scare a few years ago, my first response was, "Wait a minute. Since the earliest geological eras, volcanos and fumaroles have been blowing infinitely more destructive substances into the atmosphere than man is capable of doing, a natural kind of thing as opposed to our own artificial endeavors, and, along with the planet, we're still here." Subsequently, I studied on the subject -- this before the liberals and liberal scientists, frustrated that they weren't making any progress with the rest of us, went into political overdrive and began shoving it down our throats. Global warming and cooling have occurred in cycles as a part of nature "forever", but since this doesn't fit into the the alarmist scenario, it is totally ignored, as are all other inconvenient facts, by the left.

Posted by: Seth at June 1, 2006 11:14 AM

Shane --

Speaking of Algore vs The Truth:


Posted by: Seth at June 1, 2006 12:53 PM

I'd say it's a pretty spectacular feat of verbal gymnastics to construe those comments into an admission that global warming is false, but if that's what you want to believe...

And speaking of false, volcanos are not the source of the current trend in global warming. Climate data based on core samples is available for the last 650000 years, and although there have been cyclical periods of global warming, the period we are in now is unlike anything seen before, and it coincides directly with the industrial revolution. It's more than statistically significant, it's just obvious.

I'd love to hear what that guy has to say about the glaciers in Greenland now, five years after the quote posted on the GW page... I think he'd have a very different story to tell... in 2002 alone, Greenland's glaciers saw the greatest surface melt in 24 years of satellite data.

And, slightly off-topic, the American economy is shuttered out of a new multi-billion dollar industry in trading emissions credits created by the Kyoto Accord... weren't we opting out to save jobs? Brilliant.

Posted by: Shane at June 9, 2006 05:21 PM

"Trading emissions credits" are non-tangibles.

Melting in Greenland is part of a phase in the "global warming" BS. It has happened centuries ago and will happen again in centuries to come, unless the Romulans blow up the earth.

Please, Shane, adjust your science so it isn't aimed, true or false, at G.W. Bush and his rejection of the Kyoto Treaty.

Posted by: Seth at June 9, 2006 07:16 PM

Unforunatly, this arguement always gets boiled down to "stupid liberals" and "closed minded conservatives." If you want to analyze the facts and myths behind Global Warming and its effects, it is very easy to do so with a level head. The posters who claimed that Global Warming is pretty much accepted by the entire scientific world is absolutely correct. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to show that the correlation between emissions related to human activity and the increase in global temperatures is very strong. However the uncertainty that you may raise, if you would like, is whether these increases will be globally threatening or if they are easy to curb and not terribly threatening. While I believe strongly that they are terribly threatening, there is not enough statistical evidence to show that. The paradox becomes, by the time we have statistical evidence that Global Warming could lead to incredible devestation, it will be too late to either stop it or solve it. Thus, being an "alarmist" may be the only people who will avoid this possible future.

Whether the destruction that has been discussed will happen remains to be seen. We must all hope it does not. However, all of the politicians and individuals who would like to continue claiming that there is no evidence of global warming, or even that things are getting BETTER, they are futily grabbing onto an absolute lie and will always drag the conversation down to name-calling of Democrats. We will all see within the next few decades that the question is not whether there is Global Warming is a reality, but how will we react to this reality and will it be significant in impact.

And for the record and to pre-empt all of those who will start the name calling, I am a registered Republican.

Posted by: Ken at June 23, 2006 02:08 PM

Ken --

I appreciate your comment, and to answer it, I will first address the "stupid liberals" bit:

My reference to liberal-run websites re the global warming issue are totally valid as written. The "man is causing global warming" POV is typically a liberal issue. Liberalism places man as just another animal, albeit one that is at war with nature. Liberals "believe" the world would be better off without mankind, except for them, of course. Liberals also tend to go the whole gamut -- an org that represents women's rights, an org that represents the homeless and an org that represents gay rights will somehow all show up in an issue raised by an environmental group, and all four will support an org that advocates pedophile activity. It's pretty much a united front, but that's an issue for another time.

When I realize that a website is owned, operated and frequented by liberals, whether it's a "scientific" site or other, I can tell you how they're going to go on just about every issue, whether they have facts to support them or not. Liberals tend to invent their own facts and statistics whenever they haven't got any real ones to support their causes.

That said, what are the undoubtedly numerous, dependable sources of "overwhelming evidence" to which you refer that leads you to believe that man is contributing significantly to global warming and that those in "authority" who disagree are "futilely grabbing onto an absolute lie"?

I've read scores of different "educated" opinions on both sides of the issue, and have yet to see a single piece of evidence that actually proves, beyond unsupported theory, that man is even partially behind any global temperature increases. The left also claims that the "vast majority of scientists" support the theory, which is just another of their calculated inaccuracies, like when some "undomiciled" advocacy group told us back in the 1990s that 5 million homeless people a year were dying on our streets. Right. Anyone who did the math....

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