Alarmism Taints Global Warming Discussion
- 27 April 2008 by Author 0 Comments
Alarmism Taints Global Warming Discussion
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 04/27/08
It really should not be surprising that Earth Day would be celebrated on Lenin’s birthday. After all, it would appear at least ostensibly that Lenin’s objectives and those of the radical environmental movement are synonymous. Are they not both founded in principles that include elimination of capitalism, centralized governmental control of the economy, reduction and eventual elimination of individual freedoms, taxation and legislation designed to control human behavior, and replacement of God with a secular deity?
Some of the tenets of the environmental movement make sense. Recycling and conservation of nature are logical activities that we should all be mindful of. Moreover, reducing our dependence upon foreign sources of carbon-based fuels is consistent with our national security interests.
If “going green” were less a matter of politics and religious zeal and were based more fully on science and economics we could all could collaborate more effectively. Instead, it’s founded in a “feel good” ideology that makes people who drive hybrid cars think they are saving the planet, or that by banishing the incandescent light bulb people are staving off the destruction of the planet due to global warming.
Earth Day is a good time to upgrade our knowledge of the global climate, and put a few things into proper perspective, not based on a “feel good” emotion, but based on history, science, and logic.
For example, the earth has been warming since about 1650 when it reached a low point for modern history, and nearly dipped into a modern Ice Age. This episodic variance in global temperatures is well documented and was notable for the concomitant misery it produced, with declining crop yields, and contracted economic activity.
As a matter of fact, the world is now roughly the same temperature that it was in about 1000 A.D. From a historical perspective we’ve risen out of the trough that we’d been in for a few centuries, and now we enjoy the same general climatic temperatures as the Vikings over a millennium ago. Greenland used to be green and had a thriving agronomic economy, and frankly, we have no idea what an ideal average global temperature is.
There is undoubtedly some incredibly complex formula that explains weather, temperature, and climate. We don’t know what that formula is, but there are plenty of scientists who prostrate themselves at the altar of government grants and special interests who have the hubris to claim they understand the dynamic relationship between the atmospheric elements. Those are the ones who tell us to drive the hybrids and change our light bulbs so we can save the polar bears.
Since we’ve only been expanding man’s “carbon footprint” for the past 150 years or so, it should be obvious that there are other factors at play that warm the planet other than your 100 watt incandescent light bulb. After all, this third rock from the sun has vacillated from cold to hot for much longer than man has even inhabited the place. While atmospheric combinations of gases interact in ways we may never fully comprehend, ultimately the source of heat for the planet is the sun, not my SUV.
If we were omniscient and understood the atmospheric formula, there would likely be a legitimate factor in the equation representing human emission of CO2. But considering that’s what we humans exhale, it’s illogical to assume that it’s a destructive element to the atmosphere. After all, are we not part of nature as well?
It’s this very minute (approximately .000034) contribution to the formula that has so many in a frenzy believing we’ve got to do something drastic right now based on assumptions, computer models, and a series of unproven hypotheses.
It may be disconcerting to the global warming adherents that the average temperature has slowly declined during the past decade despite the continued increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. And now the global temperature is falling precipitously. All four agencies that track global temperatures report that the earth cooled by .7C in 2007. This amounts to the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and puts us back to where we were in 1930. Maybe Time magazine will have to dust off its “The Coming Ice Age” cover from 1974.
If we would work together on economically sound energy policies focused on energy independence and scrap the alarmism, we would all be on the same page. Common sense and legitimate science need to be the basis of the dialogue, not pseudo-science alarmism.
There’s a religious-zeal gullibility that regrettably infests those who are too willing to believe the Jeremiads of the alarmists, whether it’s DDT, Y2K, or man-made global warming. Perhaps this is one of the byproducts of the secularization of America. For as the inimitable G. K. Chesterton said, “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” Can you say “anthropogenic global warming?”
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at email@example.com.