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Global Warming in a Cooling World

June 6, 2008
by Bob Webster
Headlines from around the world strongly suggest that the ardor for "doing something" about carbon emissions has cooled substantially, just as has global temperatures over recent years. Cooling ardor is due to the sobering recognition that the costs of current "green" proposals will far exceed any benefit. Cooling planet is most likely due to the same natural cycles that drove the natural warming of the '80s and '90s on whose back the "global warming" zealots hitched their propaganda campaign.

A recent Gallop poll (May 29, 2008) concludes:

    When asked their views on when the effects of global warming will begin to happen, 61% of Americans currently say "they have already begun to happen." This is a modest increase from 1997, when only 48% gave this response. However, while over three-fourths of Democrats (76%) believe global warming is already happening, only 41% of Republicans share that view. The resulting 35-point gap stands in stark contrast to 1997, when nearly identical percentages of Republicans and Democrats (47% and 46%, respectively) indicated that global warming was already happening. Thus, despite all of the attention given to global warming in the media, including coverage of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports, Republicans have become less likely over the past decade to believe that global warming is occurring.

American public opinion appears to be lagging international opinion once again. Partly due to strong El Niño-related heating in France that produced a record heat wave nearly ten years ago, the international community led the public clamor to "do something" about global warming that they were convinced was caused by human fossil fuel emissions. Now, faced with the economic realities that "doing something" will likely take a huge toll in quality of life, require a giant step backwards for human civilization, and cost far more than what anyone had anticipated, politicians overseas are running for cover as the public backlash is expressed in election after election.

It should be worth noting that the Gallop poll results quoted above show Republicans more in line with current international opinion than Democrats, who apparently haven't looked out the window and noticed the cooling in recent years. This might be explained by the dominance of liberals in the Democrat Party. Also contributing to the disparity between Republicans and Democrats is their different perceptions of media honesty. Republicans are highly suspicious of media pronouncements; Democrats generally accept them as truth. American Liberalism is very much a religion with its tenets simply accepted on faith and never questioned. Whatever NPR says is taken as absolute truth. Gore is a prophet in the American Liberal mind. Therefore, human-caused global warming must be true, regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

It must be very difficult being a good American Liberal these days. Having to deny reality on such a massive scale must be very stressful.

A few headlines:

    * "EU Governments Split on Emissions Targets" - AP (June 5)
      
    * "India Won't Cut CO2 Emissions at the Cost of Development & Poverty Alleviation" - India News (June 5)
      
    * "Tough Climate Goals Only Cost $45 Trillion by 2050" - Reuters (June 5)
      
    * "Cameron Warns Brown His Own Party Will Ditch Him if He Does Not Scrap Green Tax Rises" - London Evening Standard (June 4)
      
    * "Workers Union, Business Leaders Warn Climate Policy May Cripple Australian Industries" - Courier Mail (June 5)
      
    * "U.S. Senate Democrats May Pull Climate Bill" - The Washington Post (June 6)
      
    * "Climate Change Collapse" - The Wall Street Journal (June 6)

These headlines are hardly what the IPCC anticipated when it issued its last report in early 2007 where it concluded that there was little doubt that human emissions of CO2 were causing global warming that could be catastrophic if not arrested.

Problem is, the global climate simply hasn't cooperated with the shrill predictions of alarmists. There has been no statistically significant warming for over a decade. It is generally agreed that the spike in 1998 that produced the second warmest year of the past 100 years was due to a particularly strong El Niño that happened to coincide with a particularly strong solar cycle (23).

During the 2000s global emissions of CO2 have risen at an accelerated pace (3% per year), principally due to rapid increases in Chinese emissions as a large number of coal-fired electricity-generating plants have come online. According to the IPCC theory, rising emissions should yield ever-increasing temperatures. Yet global temperatures have remained essentially stable over the past 10 years and the current year has seen a very significant drop in global temperatures. Simply put, climate is not behaving as the alarmists' theory says it should. In fact, it is doing precisely the opposite!

Arctic Sea ice had been experiencing significant year-to-year retreat during summer. However, during the past winter the Arctic Sea refroze to levels not seen in decades. There are indications that this year the normal summer Arctic ice melt will be considerably less than in the past, thanks to global cooling and a significant change in global air and ocean current cycles.

It's a hard sell to convince people they need to roll back their quality of life to thwart off an imaginary catastrophe that real climate trends suggest is simply not going to happen.

Bob Webster
Editor, Publisher, WEBCommentary
Bob Webster is a descendent of Daniel Webster's brother Ezekiel. Bob has always had a strong interest in history, our Constitution, U.S. politics and law. A political conservative with objectivist and libertarian roots, he has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for every high school student. A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.

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