Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cooler heads?

It would seem that cooler heads may be prevailing in the global warming debate. Even in the UK where the global warming orthodoxy is actively supported by many media outlets - for example, I bet you weren't aware that US carbon emissions fell in 2006 - according to a recent survey by Pocket Issue more than two-thirds of the respondents believe that climate change is a natural phenomenon which has little to do with human actions:
Almost three quarters of people believe global warming is a 'natural occurrence' and not a result of carbon emissions, a survey claimed today. This goes against the views of the vast majority of scientists who believe the rise in the earth's temperatures is due to pollution. The online study which polled nearly 4000 votes found that a staggering 71 percent of people think that the rise in air temperature happens naturally. And 65 percent think that scientists' catastrophic predictions if pollution isn't curbed are 'far fetched'.
Admittedly this is an online survey, whose accuracy is unclear to me, but the results still seem encouraging.
Meanwhile, isn't it ironic that Al Gore constantly invokes science and reason, while peddling the most exaggerated (and unscientific) claims to encourage people to join his global warming cult? If you think I'm just being snarky about him because I disagree with his politics and policies, I think a recent essay in the Chicago Sun Times would be well worth reading. In it James Taylor points out how many of the Goracle's most famous claims have little relation to scientific research published in mainstream scientific journals. Here are the juicy bits:
For example, Gore claims that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking and global warming is to blame. Yet the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate reported, "Glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who recently claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to blame."
Gore claims the snowcap atop Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro is shrinking and that global warming is to blame. Yet according to the November 23, 2003, issue of Nature magazine, "Although it's tempting to blame the ice loss on global warming, researchers think that deforestation of the mountain's foothills is the more likely culprit. Without the forests' humidity, previously moisture-laden winds blew dry. No longer replenished with water, the ice is evaporating in the strong equatorial sunshine."
Gore claims global warming is causing more tornadoes. Yet the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in February that there has been no scientific link established between global warming and tornadoes.
Gore claims global warming is causing more frequent and severe hurricanes. However, hurricane expert Chris Landsea published a study on May 1 documenting that hurricane activity is no higher now than in decades past. Hurricane expert William Gray reported just a few days earlier, on April 27, that the number of major hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined in the past 40 years. Hurricane scientists reported in the April 18 Geophysical Research Letters that global warming enhances wind shear, which will prevent a significant increase in future hurricane activity.
Gore claims global warming is causing an expansion of African deserts. However, the Sept. 16, 2002, issue of New Scientist reports, "Africa's deserts are in 'spectacular' retreat . . . making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa."
Gore argues Greenland is in rapid meltdown, and that this threatens to raise sea levels by 20 feet. But according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Glaciology, "the Greenland ice sheet is thinning at the margins and growing inland, with a small overall mass gain." In late 2006, researchers at the Danish Meteorological Institute reported that the past two decades were the coldest for Greenland since the 1910s.
Gore claims the Antarctic ice sheet is melting because of global warming. Yet the Jan. 14, 2002, issue of Nature magazine reported Antarctica as a whole has been dramatically cooling for decades. More recently, scientists reported in the September 2006 issue of the British journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, that satellite measurements of the Antarctic ice sheet showed significant growth between 1992 and 2003. And the U.N. Climate Change panel reported in February 2007 that Antarctica is unlikely to lose any ice mass during the remainder of the century.
Do read the whole thing.

Post Scriptum:
As I expected, the online poll I mention above, seems to be far from accurate, but underlines a real trend: a majority of people in the UK, according to a more traditional poll, seem to be skeptical of the global warming orthodoxy. BBC News reports:
The public believes the effects of global warming on the climate are not as bad as politicians and scientists claim, a poll has suggested. The Ipsos Mori poll of 2,032 adults - interviewed between 14 and 20 June - found 56% believed scientists were still questioning climate change. There was a feeling the problem was exaggerated to make money, it found.
The Royal Society said most climate scientists believed humans were having an "unprecedented" effect on climate. The survey suggested that terrorism, graffiti, crime and dog mess were all of more concern than climate change.
I must say I'm very pleased about this.
Meanwhile Tim Blair has a hilarious takedown of the Live Earth concerts:
Consider the vast carbon footprint of Live Earth, during which the world's most indulgent people - rock stars - will demand that their followers pledge to "take personal action to help solve the climate crises by reducing my own C02 pollution as much as I can."
Has Live Earth performer Keith Urban sold his Bentleys yet? (Actually, merely selling those 12-cylinder babies won’t reduce C02 emissions; he must destroy them.) I’ve been trying to come up with a violently destructive Gaia-raping stunt for us to participate in on Live Earth day, but it is literally impossible for even several thousand non-millionaires to match Live Earth's own level of eco-vandalism while remaining within their means and the law.
We've been out-carboned by Big Environmentalism. There’s simply no way we can come close to matching the colossal carbon output of Gore and his musical mates.
Do read the whole thing.

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