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The August 2012 issue of the Australian current affairs magazine The Monthly included an article entitled “A Dark Victory: How vested interests defeated climate science,” by Robert Manne. I don’t agree with the implications of the title of the La Trobe University Professor of politics’ article. Manne has accredited the vested interests to skeptics of climate chance, when the real vested interests are evident in the alarmist world.
Though long, the article is warm and cozy for those who believe that the release of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is causing catastrophic global warming, or anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
Vested interests of the U. S. government and multitudes of environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, et al, have launched multi-billion dollar annual campaigns to promote AGW. A victory can only be achieved if Congress takes away the power of the Environmental Protection Agency from promoting and enforcing rules that will eventually eliminate use of energy sources that produce carbon dioxide.
Mr. Manne’s article indicates that chief arguments for AGW are from the argument of a consensus supporting this claim and by ad hominem attacks on those disagreeing with this hypothesis. The irrelevant character assassinations were a complete waste of space and not one concrete piece of scientific evidence backing his claim was cited.
Common sense indicates that vacillating global temperatures during periods of constant atmospheric carbon dioxide would imply that warming is due to natural forces; the planet is simply recovering from the Little Ice Age that ended in 1850. From 1998 to the present, global temperatures have been essentially constant during a period when carbon dioxide has been increasing at its highest annual rate in thousands of years of 2 parts per million. Other arguments against AGW are from ice core data that show increasing temperatures lead increasing carbon dioxide concentrations by about 800 years in periods hundreds of thousands of years in the past. Climate models that support AGW predict a hot spot in the upper atmosphere from 30 degrees north to 30 degrees south whereas experimental temperature data shows this hot spot does not exist. Climate models cannot predict the global temperature decline from 1940 to 1975, temperature rise from 1975 to 1998, and flat temperatures from 1998 to the present during a period of increasing carbon dioxide from 310 ppm to 394 ppm. With this inability to predict actual conditions, why would we support climate models that claim mitigation of AGW using energy policies that inevitably impoverish the world?
In spite of Mr. Manne’s writings, all climate research funding in the U. S. is controlled by the government and is allotted only to research in support of AGW.
British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli could not have foreseen the accuracy of his nineteenth century statement, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
About fifty percent of the United States is experiencing a drought that is said to be the worst since the 1950s. Naturally, individuals like Mr. Manne blame the drought on AGW. The United States’ continental 48 occupy 1.5 percent of the earth’s surface area and it stretching events to claim anything happening it that small area could be termed global. Droughts in the United States in the 1930s covered a larger area, were more severe, and occurred before increases in carbon dioxide levels from burning fossil fuels was considered significant. How do you reconcile increased atmospheric carbon dioxide being the cause of present droughts when they weren’t in the past?
We do know carbon dioxide is an airborne fertilizer that causes increased crop yields and resistance to drought by increased root growth. Benefits of atmospheric carbon dioxide are well summarized in the book “Benefits of Atmospheric CO-2 Enrichment” by Drs. Craig B. Idso and Sherwood D. Idso.
After this drought is over, will someone do the research to show it was not as severe as the drought in the 1950s? In reality, there has been increased drought resistance of crops due to the 80 ppm increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1950. Nature may show a reward that proves carbon dioxide does not deserve the vilification bestowed upon it by Mr. Manne and his compatriots.
The United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars promoting research to prove AGW, funded propaganda campaigns to support this position, and promoted and built renewable energy sources thought to mitigate AGW. Renewable energy sources in many cases are impractical, uneconomical, and unreliable. The total spent may be a trillion dollars. At least an equal amount is spent by other nations to the detriment of poor nations who could use abundant, cheap fossil fuels to uplift them from poverty.
Even if increased carbon dioxide is causing increased global warming, we cannot afford this waste of money that is sending the nation into uncontrollable financial debt.