The Climate 'change' agenda
In the effort to shape the public’s views on global climate change, hyperbole is an ever-present temptation on all sides of the debate.There is an underlying message in both sides of this debate. It is the difference between control freaks on the Gore side and advocates for freedom on Will's side. Since I am a skeptic about Gore's claims, I tend to be on the side of freedom. Make no mistake though, that if the Gore-Obama side prevails in this debate there will be a significant loss of freedom and a lowering of our standard of living and that of our children.
Earlier this month, former Vice President Al Gore and the Washington Post columnist George Will made strong public statements about global warning — from starkly divergent viewpoints.
Mr. Gore, addressing a hall filled with scientists in Chicago, showed a slide that illustrated a sharp spike in fires, floods and other calamities around the world and warned the audience that global warming “is creating weather-related disasters that are completely unprecedented.”
Mr. Will, in a column attacking what he said were exaggerated claims about global warming’s risks, chided climate scientists for predicting an ice age three decades ago and asserted that a pause in warming in recent years and the recent expansion of polar sea ice undermined visions of calamity ahead.
Both men, experts said afterward, were guilty of inaccuracies and overstatements.
Mr. Gore removed the slide from his presentation after the Belgian research group that assembled the disaster data said he had misrepresented what was driving the upward trend. The group said a host of factors contributed to the trend, with climate change possibly being one of them. A spokeswoman for Mr. Gore said he planned to switch to using data on disasters compiled by insurance companies.
Mr. Will, peppered with complaints from scientists and environmental groups who claimed the column was riddled with errors, has yet to respond. The Post’s ombudsman said Mr. Will’s column had been carefully fact-checked. But the scientists whose research on ice formed the basis for Mr. Will’s statements said their data showed the area of the ice shrinking, not expanding.
The events illustrate the fine line that advocates on all sides walk — and sometimes cross — in using science to bolster their arguments over what should or should not be done about global warming, the buildup of emissions of heat-trapping gases that scientists have linked to rising temperatures.
President Obama has not been immune from the lure of hype. As president-elect, Mr. Obama, making a video appearance at a California climate conference, began by saying that the science pointing to human-caused warming was beyond dispute — a statement backed by a strong consensus among scientists. But he went on to push the point, taking the same step as Mr. Gore onto shakier ground.
“We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season,” Mr. Obama said, linking this to global warming.While climate scientists foresee more intense droughts and storms, there is still uncertainty, and significant disagreement, over whether recent patterns can be attributed to global warming.
The Gore-Obama side proposes massive spending and massive costs added to the use of energy in all forms. All of this for minimal theoretical lowering of temperature 50 years in the future. That should be a tough sell.
The fact is that for me if the temperature raises a couple of degrees I will probably be more comfortable.