Global warming alarmists creating unnecessary fear

24Apr09

Global warming alarmists creating unnecessary fear

This letter is in response to the April 23 article “Students urged to go green, hug a tree.”

Whenever I hear a person shouting “The debate is over” I get suspicious. Usually, this is code for “Everyone who disagrees with me can shut up.” You see, if the debate really is settled, then no one objects to having it. It should be easy to win.

Assuming your opponents play by the rules.  Attend a debate featuring a Creationist like Duane Gish and you may find how hard it is to “win” despite having all the facts and evidence on your side.  I agree that the debate (as in scientific, not club) is not over on this issue and anyone shouting that it is is wrong.

This is why I find professor Jon Krosnick’s remarks to be so revealing. As the Collegian reported, “Krosnick argued the media’s inclusion of global warming skeptics in reports on the phenomenon led the public to believe scientists disagreed on the issue. By reporting less balanced stories, the public would be better informed.” Got that? Global warming alarmists need the media to silence their critics because they consistently lose when they debate.

They do?  News to me…  Anyway, debate is worthless, what we should be striving for is fair reporting.  Fair reporting does not mean reporting on every viewpoint that every person with an opinion on the subject holds.  When reporting on a scientific issue like global warming, it means reporting on the findings of the scientists doing the actual work, and any differences in the findings of those scientists.  It means reporting on the analysis of those findings by qualified individuals who understand how to interpret them.  This “they’re trying to silence the opposition!” cry has become standard rhetoric – and it’s bogus.

Anyone trained in the scientific method can review a paper for basic methodological errors.  But for the more complex issues, a layman attacking or rejecting the data without the background to fully understand the field is a rather arrogant position.

I’ll give you an example. This January, I had the privilege of seeing an “Intelligence Squared” debate in New York City on the topic of global warming legislation. Before the debate, 49 percent of the audience agreed with the alarmists; 16 percent agreed with the climate realists (“skeptics”). After the debate, only 48 percent still held with the alarmists, while a whopping 42 percent agreed with the realists. A 27 percent shift!

Completely irrelevant, not to mention the silly alarmist/realist language.  A good debater could probably get 27% to agree to The Final Solution (hi, Godwin!).  Attendees at a debate are not educated in the details of the field, and debates are not science.  Even if 99.9% thought the sky was yellow, it wouldn’t make it true.

The fact is that Americans are starting to get wise to the alarmists’ tricks. A recent Rasmussen poll had only 34 percent of Americans believing in anthropogenic global warming –the lowest finding in the poll’s history; this observation is supported by numerous other polls.

As before, public opinion does not decide science.

Last March, more than 800 scientists and legislators gathered for the International Conference on Climate Change, and roundly denounced the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

I’m unclear on the credentials of this group, and whether it’s really 800 or mostly just Fred Singer.  Regardless, they have yet to publish anything other than the Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.

In international news, the Japan Society of Energy and Resources (a prestigious scientific body) just released a report disputing the anthropogenic nature of global warming.

Excellent!  This is what the “against” side should be doing.  Let’s see more, and get it peer reviewed and published in journals.

Global warming hysteria is coming to an end. People are realizing that the sky is not falling, and that the carbon dioxide you and I breathe out is harmless.

It sounds like to him, the debate is over… hrm.

All of this said, anyone with sound evidence can topple the current consensus on global warming.  It’d be a career-making breakthrough, and no doubt many prestigious journals would be interested in publishing the findings.  So please, let’s see the science, not just rhetoric.

Samuel Settle

freshman-political science

Always love to hear YAF chime in. =P  I expect to continue to see great stuff from Mr. Settle (as we’ve already seen in the past).

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One Response to “Global warming alarmists creating unnecessary fear”

  1. The NIPCC is following the time-honored tradition of the IPCC: The Summary is published first, the report comes later. In fact, the full NIPCC report (900 pages) is now available on http://www.heartland.org and will be available as a book in June 2009


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