Sanity in the Main Stream Media
Editorial: Reasons to cool it on global warming
A man perhaps as responsible as anyone for debunking global warming hysteria was in town last week to speak to the curious and the converted at Chapman University. Dr. Fred Singer also spoke with us about the state of global warming.
Dr. Singer, chairman of the Science and Environmental Policy Project and professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, concedes that global warming alarmists persist in their efforts to control our lives, fortunes and economies, but he notes that opposition from scientists and others like him have significantly impeded that cause.
Congress and the White House have, at least for now, abandoned plans to adopt a cap-and-trade regulatory scheme that would drive up energy prices and penalize emitters of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases. House Republicans have introduced several bills to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from doing administratively what Congress couldn't muster enough votes to do, curtail carbon emissions, also at great economic harm. When the new Congress convened last week, the House killed the committee devoted solely to climate change and energy issues.
Back-to-back annual international climate conferences resulted in no binding agreements among the attending 190-plus nations to implement carbon trading, carbon taxing or wealth redistribution, all foundational to alarmists' plans to wean the world from fossil fuels to combat global warming.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is in court to force release of documents at the University of Virginia to determine whether a fraud investigation is warranted into tax-funded climate research conducted by global warming proponent Michael Mann. The private American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center filed a freedom of information request last week seeking similar records concerning Mr. Mann, a leading proponent of global warming theory who now is at Pennsylvania State University.
The new chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee wants to investigate "the quality of climate science." Meanwhile, public sentiment has turned against alarmists as the more immediate press of economic issues have outweighed questionable claims of climate catastrophe predicted for decades in the future.
Dr. Singer contends the science always has been on the side of skeptics. We tend to agree. On close inspection, the much-touted "consensus" that global warming is a manmade threat never was true. Such matters in the scientific community are difficult to document, other than anecdotally. But thousands of scientists, including climatologists, meteorologists and researchers, even some formerly affiliated with the U.N.'s own climate-change panel, have voiced their qualms and complaints with warmist orthodoxy.
Dr. Singer estimated "the number of skeptical qualified scientists has been growing steadily." He estimates "it is about 40 percent now."
Climate computer models that forecast frightening temperature increases over the next century "basically, are unreliable," Dr. Singer said. Nontoxic CO2 is not a pollutant and, contrary to alarmists' claims, is beneficial as a natural plant food. "One of the best things to do is put more CO2 into the atmosphere," he suggested with a smile.
Dr. Singer contends the fanatical drive to subsidize so-called renewable energy sources will only drive up conventional energy prices, while some people will purchase faddish alternative energy devices that will be less reliable and still more expensive, even after their subsidies. Atmospheric temperatures will be unaffected, but special interests' pockets will be lined. All things considered, it's prudent to cool it on the global warming front.