I've been a little obsessed lately with trying to get up to speed on the whole climate change issue. I've been ignoring up until now. Nevertheless, my quick review of the available information tells me two things: 1) The link between increased CO2 and increased global temperatures is greatly exaggerated, and 2) The proposed fixes for the U.S. are a 90% reduction in our production of CO2 - and absurdly drastic and unrealistic remedy. I think the more people study up on this the more outraged they will become.
A couple of quick points bear mentioning. First, the Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW)folks predicted that 2009 would be the hottest year ever and 2009 turned out to be an average year. Their prediction is based on the idea that increasing CO2 levels cause global warming. Since the world produces more CO2 each year, it would be shocking - from the point of view of their model - to see temperatures decline. The problem is that even their own data demonstrates that there is no causal relationship between these two factors. The cooler than predicted 2009 should cause grave doubts among the true believers who still think there is evidence of AGW. The video linked below will give you a nerdy look at the controversy going on behind the scenes:
Here's another quick YouTube video that demonstrates the failure of the AGW hypothesis that I learned from John Stossel.
Take a look at Al Gore's global warming chart in An Inconvenient Truth. You'll see that increases in CO2 levels trail increases in temperatures. This is the EXACT opposite of what the ClimateGate folks' beloved models are predicting will happen.
Apparently, this is why the folks at University of East Anglia were scrambling to "trick" up their models to match their theories...and looking for ways to discredit and cut out their critics. I guess their use of tree rings to measure past temperatures wasn't so accurate looking into the past - during the Little Ice Age - or looking into the future - the last 20 years.
The reality is that climate change is a lot more complex than these folks suppose and they really don't have a strong, predictive model in place yet. For example, as the folks at Powerline indicate, it maybe that the SO2/sulfate being generated by the rising emissions from China is having a cooling effect on the planet.
One of the reasons I'm an "award-winning" political scientist is that I'm not blinded by conventional wisdom. I look at the facts.
Among these facts is the truth that Greenland, in warmer - pre-industrial - times, used to be green, that is covered with grass. To a certain extent, there is evidence that mankind would be better off if the Earth was a little warmer because it would encourage plant growth and longer growing seasons.
At any rate, what is shocking is that so many political types, including Al Gore, have relied on this faulty, dishonest science to promote a political agenda which is destructive to individual freedom. (Al Gore, for example, was recently caught lying by suggesting that these controversial e-mails were all over ten years old.)
Nevertheless, I've seen this before during the welfare reform debates of the 1990s. I was personally attacked because I believed the evidence which showed that welfare programs created poverty. Just because liberals don't have the evidence on their side never seems to keep them from thinking that they know best. Also, as a political scientist, I'm skeptical of scientists living off grants to study the AGW hypothesis. They are an interest group, pure and simple.
The Climategate e-mails are very helpful to all of us right now because they show how this modelling is completely dominated by politics - not hard science. I think anthropomorphic global warming is dead as a theory. It will take some time for the true believers to catch up to the reality that they've been had. As an ex-Marxist socialist myself, I feel their pain...
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.