By F. Swemson
It seems like there's a new article appearing almost daily on the Internet with new and shocking evidence that the entire manmade global warming story has been a hoax. But is anyone really listening or doing anything about it?
They're starting to pay attention in Europe, but America, like an environmentalist Don Quixote, just keeps tilting at the climate change windmill. For over three years, residents of the Northeast have been paying for worthless carbon credits in every electric bill they pay. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a cap-and-trade system that's already bilked citizens of the nine member states out of over a billion dollars, and most people in those states are totally unaware that this is going on. I recently compared my electric bill to a friend's from NYC and found that he was paying almost four times what I'm paying per KWh.
It's not surprising because for the most part, when we attack the climate alarmists, we usually do so in the wrong way and mostly for the wrong reasons.
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Prior to Climategate, our primary argument against cap-and-trade laws, was that the potential benefits were too meager for the enormous costs involved. But there were no benefits! CO2 is a beneficial trace gas that's one of the cornerstones of all life on earth. It's NOT a pollutant. There's no such thing as a carbon footprint unless you're a coal miner and still wearing your work boots. You don't attack a bogus idea by granting the validity of its underlying scientific premise up front. By pandering to the eco-fascists in this way, we're playing word games that are hurting us in the long run.
None of the new scientific reports and studies that prove global warming is a hoax are ever seen in the major media, and even if they were, they're above most people's heads, or at least outside their attention span. Instead we need to keep repeating the basic scientific facts about climate change: 1) That climate change drives CO2 levels, and 2) That the earth in fact is relatively cool right now, and that constantly changing cycles of solar activity are the real reason for climate change. We also need to start mentioning the most ironic part of this farce, the fact that warming is good!. The only type of climate change that's dangerous to us is extreme cooling. Man and all other forms of life have always thrived during the earth's warm periods, while every extreme cold period has brought suffering, starvation and death. It doesn't take an atmospheric physicist to understand why this is true. Crops don't grow well when it gets cold. Crop failures cause famines, which kill both people and their domestic animals thru malnutrition and reduced resistance to disease.
Drawing any conclusions about long-term climate change based on short term changes in the weather is just silly. A character from a Robert Heinlein novel observed: "Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get." Climate change is merely the long-term average of all the short-term changes in our day-to-day weather. But no matter how much new evidence we keep producing, the average man on the street isn't getting the message.
Maybe we need to borrow some strategy from the left and start attacking the messenger. Every 25 to 35 years the same cast of characters starts whining about the coming climate catastrophe, and each and every time they've been proven wrong. So why on earth do we even listen to them? For the last 20 years or so, the propaganda has been pretty consistent:
In the '60s and '70s, however, the same alarmists were singing an entirely different tune, and it wasn't motivated by globalism, money and power the way it is today.
A Time magazine article from June 24, 1974, "Another Ice Age," showed that there was no progressive/globalist political agenda behind it when it correctly identified the real cause of the changing climate:
"Sunspot Cycle. The changing weather is apparently connected with differences in the amount of energy that the earth's surface receives from the sun. Changes in the earth's tilt and distance from the sun could, for instance, significantly increase or decrease the amount of solar radiation falling on either hemisphere–thereby altering the earth's climate."
They also had a different take on human activity and the greenhouse effect back then:
"Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin's Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth."
These days they're saying our emissions are trapping the sun's heat. Back then, they were saying the same emissions were blocking the heat from reaching us in the first place.
But this most recent cooling period is especially important because all by itself, it quite adequately refutes the theory that manmade CO2 causes global warming. The chart below proves the point. As anyone can clearly see, this cooling period, during which our use of fossil fuels was rising at the fastest rate, was one that saw a steady lowering of temperatures at virtually the same rate. Not one advocate of CO2 caused warming has ever tried to refute this clear and direct evidence. Instead they just falsify the data.
Prior to the global cooling scare of the 1950s through 1970s, we had another warming period, and prior to that, another cooling period, and so on, and so on, ad nauseum.
What lessons should we take from all of this? The first and most obvious is that climate is always changing, and it does so quite slowly. It always has and always will. The second is that we can't control it, and we're not even that good at predicting it yet. So what should we be doing about climate change? Australian scientist Dr. Bob Carter described it quite simply and eloquently in a short You-Tube video, when he said:
"We don't try to stop volcanic eruptions, we don't try to stop earthquakes, we don't try to stop storms and we don't try to stop tsunamis because we know that they're natural hazards that we can neither predict nor control. Climate change is exactly the same with the single difference that it tends to happen over slightly longer periods of time. But our response should be the same. We should adapt to it, and we should help the people, who through no fault of their own, are particularly badly damaged by it."
F. Swemson, an admirer of Ayn Rand, was a U.S. Marine Corps combat photographer in the 1960s and is now a boating technology writer.