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As the Copenhagen Climate Change summit approached last week, articles appeared in liberal venues world-wide proclaiming the pending consensus on climate change, formerly known as global warming, formerly known as the coming new Ice Age. Yes, I can remember when President Obama’s science czar, John Holdren, was predicting a coming Ice Age in 1971 “Global ecology: readings toward a rational strategy for man, edited by John P. Holdren, Paul R. Ehrlich.” Experts and their sponsors joyfully proclaimed their “nearly settled science” and pooh-poohed any reactionary so unenlightened as to disagree.
However, apparently the foremost scientists in the movement to license carbon emissions were living dual lives, postulating doom before the media, while terrified the actual results of their modeling would be found out. How distressing to be found fiddling with data while carbon burns – and Copenhagen froze! But the truth of the matter is that the leading researchers have been caught falsifying their research data, and even conspiring to edit out of history the well documented warming period that occurred in Europe during the Middle Ages (see “ClimateGate: The Fix is In,” “Robert Tracinski,” Real Clear Politics, Nov. 24 and the “History of climate gets ‘erased’ online,” Chelsea Schilling, “WorldNetDaily Online, Dec. 21.” As an engineer and a scientist, I am usually pretty suspicious of hypotheses accompanied by sound and fury that don’t correlate at all to either history or what I’ve seen outside my window these last 60 years. And what is it that’s out there?
Something we’ve been calling as changeable as the weather for the last 100 or so generations. The fact is that no less a scientist than William Herschel demonstrated in 1801 that the rise and fall of global temperatures and cloud cover is a direct function of the increase and decease in the frequency and magnitude of sunspots (see “Sun set food prices in the Middle Ages, Phillip Ball, Nature News,” Dec. 22, 2003) What a concept! Global atmospheric temperatures influenced by solar activity! But some folks are unconvinced by fundamental truths.
There has to be an element of man-made doom here somewhere, some behavior we can discourage through taxation for the good of the planet. In fact, global climate change profiteers can find them anywhere. Just today I read an article postulating that pets contribute more to global warming than SUVs “Polluting pets: the devastating impact of man’s best friend,” Isabelle Toussaint and Jurgen Hecker, Paris (AFP), December 20, 2009). These writers were worried about carbon emissions from dogs (good thing they weren’t around when the buffalo roamed the continent). Frankly, I begin to think the mal air is all coming from the climate change proponents. One thing I’m sure of, in the absence of a crisis, funding for research dries up, and without impending doom, there is no basis for taxing carbon emissions. Surely that will disappoint a lot of the scientists and regulators who are at heart really people who want to cap and trade.
Mark A. Robinson