Climate change threat is overblown

-A A +A

By Marita Noon

The current cold temperatures have brought back the “serious threat” claims made by climate change alarmists.
Richard C.J. Somerville, climate scientist at the University of California, San Diego Institution of Oceanography, wrote “Cold comfort,” an op-ed recently published in newspapers throughout the country.
He grouses that people don’t take the “here and now” consequences of climate change seriously — pointing out that only 40 percent of Americans see it as a threat.
Somerville posits: “the medical profession and communication experts may have much to teach those climate scientists” because “Priming patients to appreciate the value of medical diagnostic tests has been shown to make them more likely to take these tests and then act on the results.”
What Somerville misses in the analogy is that the data backs up the medical case. For example, getting a mammogram catches breast cancer early and increases survival rates. On the contrary, the data doesn’t support the claims made by climate scientists — but they just keep making them. In Somerville’s column, he offers several familiar, easily disproven statements:
“Low-lying areas are threatened by sea-level rise” which will result in “millions of environmental refugees.”
“Major threats to agricultural productivity as rainfall patterns change and as heat waves, floods, droughts and other weather extremes worsen.”
Environmental refugees
and sea-level rise
The 2005 United Nations Environmental Program forecast 50 to 100 million climate refugees. A UN report predicted: “The environmental refugees total could well double between 1995 and 2010.”
Census records show that the populations in the low-lying areas predicted to “flee a range of disasters including sea level rise” has actually grown.
There is widespread evidence in the Mediterranean Basin and the English Channel coast that sea levels in Roman and Medieval periods were significantly higher than at present — such as the Roman port of Ostia Antica, the port at Ephesus, now in Turkey and Pisa.
Worsening weather extremes
Somerville: “The consequences include … heat waves, floods, droughts and other weather extremes.”
Heat Waves: Dr. Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology offered Senate testimony on Jan. 16. She showed an analysis of 982 stations from the U.S. Historical Climate Network for the 48 continental states with more than 80 years of record. The data show a strong peak of record maximum daily temperatures occurred in the 1930s, with no increasing trend in the post-WWII years when carbon dioxide started its modern increase.
Droughts: The most-often used indicator of drought is the Palmer Drought Severity Index. Curry’s testimony included a PDSI chart, showing the most severe droughts in the 102-year record 1910-2012, were in the 1930s and a lesser maximum in the 1950s. Data show no indication that drought severity has increased as CO2 has.
Floods: Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., from the University of Colorado, testified to the Senate EPW Committee on July 18, 2013. He provided data from the U.S. Geological Survey, which show in the U.S., floods have not increased in frequency or intensity since at least 1950, and that flood losses, as a percentage of GDP have dropped by about 75 percent since 1940, based on data from NOAA’s Hydrologic Information Center.
Climate scientists do have something to learn from the medical profession: if you want people to heed your warnings, they need to be backed up by real facts.
Somerville’s argument points out: “climate change does involve serious threats.” The serious threat — as evidenced in the SOTU — is the executive order pen used to punish people with new policies that kill jobs and increase energy costs all in the name of supposedly saving the planet.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics and the environment through public events, speaking engagements and media. The organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy. She can be reached at marita@responsiblenergy.org.