Gary is an author, trial lawyer, Mequon-area resident and town of Cedarburg supervisor. He is a columnist for the News Graphic and writes for several Wisconsin area magazines and is a national columnist with The American Thinker and PJ Media. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and has three sons ages 18 to 28. Gary won Ozaukee County in his bid for the Wisconsin Assembly's 60th District in 2011, but came up just 58 votes short.
The Apocalypse appears to have been cancelled. As new science and evidence of global warming misrepresentations and outright fraud are uncovered on almost a daily basis, well-intentioned but politically-motivated extremists from all corners of the globe are being forced to reassess the dire predictions of their environmental religion. They’ve even had to rename global warming – it’s now called “climate change.”
Last month, more than 31,000 scientists from across the county – including more than 9,000 Ph.D.s in fields such as atmospheric science, climatology, Earth science, environment and dozens of other specialties – signed a petition rejecting the so-called “consensus” on anthropogenic (man-made) global warming, the assumption that man-made greenhouse gases are having an effect on Earth’s climate. It seems the sky isn’t falling after all.
A little history is in order. You may recall that in the 1970’s there was a major global cooling crisis as well. Books such as The Genesis Strategy by Stephen Schneider and Climate Change and World Affairs by Crispin Tickell (both authors are now big global warming enthusiasts) warned about action needed by our government to prevent global cooling. In 1975, TIME magazine published a story about the coming of a new ice age, with dire predictions for the world’s food production. That same year, Newsweek printed a similar article entitled “The Cooling World.” It said that, “The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.” Even the U.S. National Academy of Sciences drank the Kool-Aid (no pun intended) and concluded that political action was necessary. Thirty-one years later, Newsweek admitted it was wrong. Oops.
The present global warming hysteria began in 1988. James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, virtually invented global warming out of thin air (pun intended) when he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Science, making a big impression on the chair of that committee – a young Senator named Al Gore. Goddard said we had been wrong about global cooling and that he was "99% sure" greenhouse gases such as man-made CO2 (carbon dioxide) were causing global temperatures to rise instead. Within a few months, many scientists were criticizing Hansen, who had instantly achieved rock star status in environmental circles, but the media circus and hysteria was already in full swing. Shortly thereafter, the well-credentialed environmental expert Robert Redford held a press conference at his ranch in Sundance, Utah, proclaiming that "it was time to stop research and begin acting."
Barbara Streisand and Meryl Streep jumped on the band wagon and actually made television appeals to "stop the warming". Believe it or not, a bill was actually introduced in the Senate to “guarantee” Americans a stable climate. Just about every liberal political ideology and agenda, from anti-capitalism to socialism to redistribution of wealth to anti-Americanism, could now be vaunted as necessary to save the planet. Politics overtook science.
Global warming was quickly blamed for virtually all of mankind’s problems. John Brignell, retired Professor of Industrial Instrumentation at University of Southampton, has a British website at http://www. numberwatch.co.uk/ warmlist.htm which links to over 600 actual news stories blaming global warming for just about everything, including: human extinction, fashion disasters, flesh-eating disease, frostbite, gingerbread house collapses, glacial retreat, glacial growth, heart attacks, hypothermia deaths, a kitten boom, mammoth dung melt, Mt. Everest shrinking, the growth of plankton, the loss of plankton, rape, rioting, nuclear war, seals mating more, sex change, suicide, teenage drinking, and even world bankruptcy.
The global warming frenzy and media stampede was unstoppable. Environmentalists lapped up every drop, calling for immediate action. Unbelievably, Al Gore won an actual Oscar for his error-filled “documentary,” An Inconvenient Truth – forever denigrating the gold-plated britannium statuette. He even scored a Nobel Prize for his global warming alarmism, which we now know feeds a Green money-making machine for him and his investors. Corporations, desperate to avoid backlash from warming-duped consumers, began to offer “green” products and raised the global warming flag outside of their headquarters. Travelocity and other travel websites gave consumers the option of purchasing “carbon offsets” – ridiculous payments which supposedly offset a person’s “carbon footprint”, which for jet-setting Al Gore are the size of Godzilla’s.
The global warming rose first began to wilt when the U.S. failed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the one-sided agreement which would have cost America trillions of dollars while, according to the alarmists’ own model, slowing the increase in average temperature by less than .07 of a degree Celsius, a number too small to measure. The curtains were pulled back even further when much of the inaccurate science, speculation, and outright deception behind global warming were revealed.
It turns out that 98% of greenhouse gases are naturally-occurring water vapor. Of the remaining minor greenhouse gases (methane, CFC’s and CO2), 97% of the CO2 in the atmosphere is natural and from sources such as volcanic eruptions, decay of dead plant and animal matter, evaporation from the oceans and respiration.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) authored a document titled “Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis,” which quickly became the bible for global warming hysteria. Many of the document’s authors now admit that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) is based on models which don’t work. Dr. Chris Landsea, a research meteorologist with the Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory at NOAA and one of its scientific contributors, withdrew his participation in the Fourth Assessment Report claiming that it had become more politics than science. Steve McIntyre, a British mathematician, discovered serious flaws in papers and data used and cited by the IPCC. Douglas J. Keenan, an independent mathematical researcher, found “fabrications” and a lack of overall integrity in the report. Last year, it was even uncovered that many of the scientists involved in the report were not in agreement with the study’s findings.
Adding insult to injury, Al Gore’s movie was revealed to contain more scientific errors and outright lies than a Hillary Clinton speech – as many as 35 at last count. Gore’s hockey stick chart of average temperatures over the millennia was exposed as a fraud and is now officially dead. Footage of majestic Antarctic ice shelves dramatically calving into the ocean was recently revealed to actually be fake, computer-generated images spliced from the goofy 2004 Hollywood movie, "The Day After Tomorrow.” Gore’s movie overstated the effect of CO2 ten times greater than even the highest IPCC estimate, and falsely blamed Hurricane Katrina on our SUV’s. Gore claimed that polar bears were dying because the ice cap was melting, but it turns out that a mere four bears had died in a storm and that there are 25,000 polar bears alive today, compared to 5,000 in 1940. A High Court judge in London, citing the movie’s many errors, has ordered that the government-mandated showing of the film in English schools be accompanied by a political disclaimer.
Even those who persist in worshipping at the man-made global warming altar cite surface temperature records showing a paltry warming rate of only 0.17 degrees Celsius per decade since 1979. However, the records from satellites and weather balloons tell a very different story – zero warming. In addition, new evidence now indicates that Gore had it completely backwards - higher temperatures cause higher levels of CO2, not the other way around. The earth always has and always will undergo cycles in its climate – driven by the sun, the oceans, and other natural phenomena. Most scientists agree that the climate we are in right now is not even a particularly warm climate relative to history.
The "skeptics" - a strange moniker for the thousands of respected environmental scientists whose non-politically-driven research shows the planet isn't coming to an end - have won. But the damage has already been done and the bus has apparently left the station, loaded with both Democrats and Republicans. Under the bus you’ll find the American taxpayer.
Two weeks ago, President Bush announced his goal to stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions by 2025. To get there, Bush proposes new fuel-economy standards for autos, and lower emissions from power plants built in the next 10 to 15 years. Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner have proposed legislation which would cut emissions even further – 66% by 2050. No one has a clue how to do this. Because there is no alternative energy source to achieve these massive reductions, we are faced with the unpleasant prospect of having to get by with less energy and tripling our current gas prices. The political fallout from the global warming scam is so great that all 3 of our presidential candidates have become global warming ventriloquists so as to not miss out on the “Green vote.”
The sad irony of cancelling doomsday is that many of the political measures claimed necessary to “save the Earth” constitute good stewardship of our planet even without the extremism. Saving energy, conserving resources, recycling, and reducing emissions – they are all sensible things to do, even if the planet isn’t going to explode. The problem is, environmentalists and politicians lose both credibility and the people’s respect if they claim the sky is falling, and it really isn’t.