Sociologist Robert Brulle’s recent Washington Post op-ed “America Has Been Duped on Climate Change” (1/6/15) is reminiscent of President Barack Obama’s petulant response to anyone who disagrees with him concerning the legality and effectiveness of new gun control regulations. Obama can’t imagine any person legitimately questioning whether the federal government has the constitutional authority to restrict an American’s right to keep and bear arms, despite the plain language presented in the Second Amendment.
If you disagree with Obama’s new executive actions that limit gun rights and violate Americans’ privacy rights by providing unjustifiable access to health and financial data, Obama condemns you as being either in the pocket of the gun lobby or a paranoid conspiracy theorist. In the president’s view, there can be no honest differences of opinion concerning the need to enact more gun control.
Brulle’s argument is similar. If you disagree which his claim the science is settled that human greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming, or his assertion the impacts of a warmer world are so bad the government is justified in imposing severe limits on freedom and economic development, you are either in the pocket of the fossil-fuel industry or you are ignorant of the truth because industry-backed shills have misinformed or confused you.
The main reason I don’t accept the so-called “consensus view” on climate change is it violates the scientific method. Virtually every testable prediction made concerning the harmful impacts of climate change has been proven to be incorrect.
Alarmists posit human greenhouse gas emissions are driving rising temperatures, yet the climate models they use to support this assertion consistently misrepresent past temperature and climate trends and overstate the amount of warming Earth has experienced. While carbon dioxide emissions have continued to rise over the past 18 years, global satellites tell us temperatures have plateaued, defying the most basic premise of the theory human greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming.
Based on computer models, government-backed scientists predicted the world should be experiencing more intense hurricanes, but December 24, 2015, marked a record 122 months since the last major hurricane, classified as Category 3 or higher, struck the continental United States, according to records kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division. Hurricane Wilma, which hit Florida on October 24, 2005, was the last major hurricane to hit the United States, making Obama the first president in 122 years, since Benjamin Harrison, to hold office without seeing a major hurricane strike the United States.
Sea-level rise is well below predictions and has in fact measurably slowed. Although in some areas polar bear numbers suffered a modest decline late in the 20th century, they have since bounced back. Just before Christmas, Norwegian scientists found the polar bear population in the Barents Sea has increased by more than 40 percent, to approximately 975 bears, compared to 685 11 years ago. Polar bear numbers are in fact at record highs, having increased from around 5,000 worldwide in the 1950s to more than 25,000 today.
Some land based ice sheets have declined in Antarctica, yet on the whole the continent is adding ice. New research shows the Antarctic ice sheet had an average net gain of 112 billion tons of ice per year from 1992–2001 and 82 billion tons of ice per year from 2003–08. Antarctica’s sea ice extent set multiple records during both the summer and winter months in 2014 and in 2015. Arctic ice levels have increased since the low recorded in 2007, with every year since then exceeding that measurement.
Crop production continues to set records year over year, and despite a recent alarmist article in The New York Times claiming increasing carbon dioxide levels are causing ocean acidification, which the writer says is harming sea life, internal e-mails from NOAA report, “[C]urrently there are no areas of the world that are severely degraded because of [ocean acidification] or even areas that we know are definitely affected by OA right now.”
Each of these scientific truths contradicts predictions and claims made by the so-called “consensus.”
It seems what really upsets Brulle is the fact Americans haven’t been duped by climate alarmists and stampeded into calling for drastic action to fight climate change. Instead, polls consistently show climate change ranks dead-last as a concern, far behind other public policy issues, such as budget deficits, crime, the economy, education, energy, immigration, taxes, and terrorism. Is the public’s skepticism due to effective communication by climate realists, or is it attributable to the fact Americans don’t believe a government that can’t control its borders, balance its checkbook, or consistently predict the weather less than one week out can control the global climate 100 years from now?
I don’t know, but I’m glad the public displays more common sense and is more judicious in its assessment of the relative dangers of climate change than the vast army of self-appointed, deceptive public scolds, such as Brulle.