Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Welcome to the Apocalypse

As you know, today is 6.6.06. Yep, the long-awaited apocalypse. And if you believe Al Gore and his pals, it was caused by the Republicans!

Okay, maybe that is taking some of his statements out of context. Gore has never claimed that today would be the apocalypse, but he has claimed that Global Warming will be the end of us, and he blames it on people like George W. Bush.

The evidence for global warming is not conclusive. There is dissent in the scientific community, but it is being squelched for a variety of reasons according to this piece by Denver Post colunist David Harsanyi:

The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contends Colorado State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent in the field, agree.
Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast...

Another highly respected climatologist, Roger Pielke Sr. at the University of Colorado, is also skeptical.
Pielke contends there isn't enough intellectual diversity in the debate. He claims a few vocal individuals are quoted "over and over" again, when in fact there are a variety of opinions...

Both Gray and Pielke say there are many younger scientists who voice their concerns about global warming hysteria privately but would never jeopardize their careers by speaking up.
"Plenty of young people tell me they don't believe it," he says. "But they won't touch this at all. If they're smart, they'll say: 'I'm going to let this run its course.' It's a sort of mild McCarthyism. I just believe in telling the truth the best I can. I was brought up that way."

Global warming's proponents have also used exageration to make their case, as outlined by Patrick Michaels in the Washington Times:

So here's what Al [Gore] told Grist Magazine about global warming: "I believe it is appropriate to have an overrepresentation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience."
It would be nice to think he came up with this de novo. But exaggeration of global warming has long been considered virtuous.
Consider NASA's James Hansen. He has claimed the Bush White House muzzled him on global warming. How muzzled is certainly debatable. He has far more recent news citations than any other climate scientist.
He also started the whole global warming hysteria, with some remarkably inflammatory congressional testimony in 1988, and he is Al Gore's climate guru. Here's what he wrote in 2003 from his Broadway office, in the online journal Natural Science: "Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decisionmakers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue." In fact, in 1989, he told The Washington Post he felt it was his duty to bring global warming to the attention of the political process. Apparently it was also "appropriate" to exaggerate it for political effect.
Stanford's Stephen Schneider, interviewed by Jonathan Schell in Discover magazine later that year, spoke of the need to "capture the public's imagination." Scientists would have to "offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. ... Each of us has to decide what is the right balance between being effective and being honest."

That last statement is particularly troubling. If there is a case to be made, it should be made in completely honest fashion. Gore and his cronies appear to be advocating the kinds of things that the Bush administration has been accused of again and again- manipulating intelligence for the purpose of inciting public outcry. In Opinion Journal, Holman Jenkins provides some excellent insights as well:

In a million years, the time it takes the earth to sneeze, the planet will likely be shorn of any conspicuous sign we were ever here, let alone careless with our CO2, dioxins, etc. Talk about an inconvenient truth.

Much like the kooks that wear the posters proclaiming "The End if Near," global warming proponents rely on incomplete data, intellectual repression, and fearmongering to make their case.


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