Al Gore's Rhetoric Doesn't Match Reality

It appears now that no individual has more concern about global warming than former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. Such is Gore’s concern that he describes potential climate change as, “The worst catastrophe in the history of human civilization.”

Gore is not alone in his line of thinking. Acclaimed scientist John Walsh, who directs the University of Alaska’s Center for Global Climate Change, said of global warming, “We certainly aren’t going to stop that 18-wheeler that’s rolling down the hill. In the short-term, I’m not sure that anyone can stop it”

In response to statements like these I hearken back to tennis great John McEnroe as I say to these and other like-minded scientists, “You cannot be serious.” According to the National Academy of Sciences, the Earth’s surface temperature has risen one degree Fahrenheit in the past 100 years. One degree in 100 years is well within the margin of error, especially with early measuring techniques and equipment. One degree in 100 years and Walsh compares it to an 18-wheeler rolling uncontrollably downhill. Is there anyone who feels this analogy is accurate?

Some will counter this 100-year history by suggesting that more recent climate history suggests warming. This notion was proven false by the British Climate Research Unit. The official temperatures taken as part of an eight-year study (1998-2005) did not increase at all. In fact, the Earth’s average temperature during this time decreased slightly but not enough as to be considered a significant amount. Further scientific research will show that the Earth was warming between the 1920s and 1940s and cooling between the late 1940s and 1965. All this indicates or proves is that the Earth goes through natural climate change. The change is not a significant amount and is in no way caused by human activity.

Global warming advocates will point to increased “harmful gas” emissions over the past decade as cause for global warming, while ignoring the hard data that our average temperature has remained the same. So are there people who agree with Gore that one degree in 100 years is the “worst catastrophe” we face. The numbers would surprise you but the culprit is obvious: liberal scare tactics.

The environmental left has been waging a fear campaign about global warming for years. The news media in their addiction to the scary and violent is a willing accomplice. It’s only fair to note that not all scientists have ignored the facts. Professor of Atmospheric Science Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology strongly disagrees with the popular but unscientific beliefs about global warming. However, Lindzen is in the minority and is often criticized by other scientists for his beliefs.

The global warming propaganda group Environmental Defense is also behind this campaign. The group has now received $100 million in free air time (mostly from major networks) for advertising about the dangers of global warming. They have invested $1.5 million or their own money and solicited the help of the Ad Council to create the dramatic spots. All of this reaction in the face of non-warming evidence begs the question of why?

We know the media are addicted to bad news and left-wing causes, so their motives are clear. But what about Environmental Defense? What about the scientists? What motivates them? To find the answer we need only to follow the money. Most of the scientists behind the global warming fear campaign work for organizations such as Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and head their departments at public universities. Most of these organizations, both university or otherwise, receive large portions of their budget from public (government) funds. Funds are allocated by politicians who answer to the populace. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California is the most recent politician to abandon true science and cave on the debate. He has made global warming one of his top election-year priorities. For Arnold’s part, this is nothing more than a shameless appeal to environmentalist voters.

For the research scientists it’s simple, winning public support means more funding, newer facilities and more employment in their field. For the public this is devastating because millions and soon billions of tax dollars are wasted while the beneficiaries of such dollars make us fear what doesn’t exist.

Without even getting into the science we can see red flags everywhere about the motivations of this global warming campaign. The general lack of private-sector funding for warming research and the fear campaign just noted are obvious indicators that the problem might be hype. This evidence alone is compelling, but let’s take an even closer look at the history of this false science.

Already mentioned was the slow rate at which the Earth has warmed. What the global warming theorists don’t tell you is that periods of warming and cooling are typical for our planet. What they really fail to remember, or at least admit, is what they were “gravely” concerned about 25 years ago: global cooling.

That’s right, some of these same scientists and their predecessors were preaching the gloom and doom of a global freeze in the not too distant past. George Will brilliantly reminded us of this in his April 2 editorial for the Washington Post. In 1973 Science Digest reported that the world’s climatologists were advising us to “prepare for the next Ice age.” Just one year later, in 1974, the Christian Science Monitor reported, “the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool.” Following in 1975 the New York Times also agreed that the global cooling “may mark the return to another ice age.” Later that year the Times reported again that “a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable” and reminded us that the planet had been cooling since 1950. The barrage continued through 1976 with Science magazine warning of “extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”

Several of these and other publications reported that scientists and climatologists in specific were almost unanimous in agreement over the catastrophe of global cooling. The reporting was accurate because most scientists in that era were expressing grave concerns about cooling. However, just like today there were scientists who dared to examine all evidence and attribute the cooling to normal climate patterns. Just like today they were shunned by those who profit from fear. I’ll let you take a guess at how many of these scientists, professors and publications are now admitting they were wrong. How many will admit they are wrong about warming in the next 25 years, my guess is none.