Commentary: REAL OR HOAX by Gil Potts

By Gil Potts

The controversy is growing and as it does, metaphorically speaking, temperatures are rising. It’s all about one of the top five issues predicted to dominate national concern in 2015. The question is; is it real, or is it one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated on mankind?

It was shortly after Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012. Consuming the top half of the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine were the words, “IT’S GLOBAL WARMING, STUPID” printed in large bold letters. The bottom half of the cover page was a picture of a New York City street, underwater. 

During his 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama emphatically declared, “The debate is settled, Climate change is a fact.” Although scientists do know that climate change is real, and while Obama has never said anything to the contrary, his recognition of the occurrence has important implications. The ongoing debate (yes, there is one) might be better accepted if a technical definition of the term, were publicized, and both sides of the matter received equal publicity.
 
President Obama’s State of the Union declaration on climate change has probable cause for skepticism. Until recently, the phrase has been “global warming.” Now it’s “climate change,” but for many, global warming and climate change are one in the same.

But there is a fundamental difference. There has never been a scientific challenge to the existence of actual “climate change.” After all, it is indeed always changing. Human caused global warming though, that’s another story, and the debate is as robust as ever.

Why is the use of the new phrase or term so important? Isn’t it just semantics? Well, the problem here is that someone is trying to sell us something.

Those of us old enough to remember political discussions of the 70’s might remember the numerous news and magazine articles on the subject of climate change.

Notable scientists, climatologists and politicians of the era were just as emphatic as they are today on the subject, but with one not-so-small difference. They were sounding the alarm with scientific certainty to prepare for the oncoming ice age, and the predictions of certain economic and social disasters where just as dire as they are today. 

The media then, just as today, played the role of “lapdog” for the alarmists advocating the premise that mankind is responsible for an inevitable apocalyptic future unless we alter our ways. 

In the 1970’s a Dr. Arnold Reitze suggested that pollution, or the efforts to control it, could be fatal to our concepts of a free society. He advocated we outlaw the internal combustion engine, enact rigid restrictions on the marketing of new products, implement restrictions on research and development, enact population controls such as limiting the number of children per family (with severe punishment for violations) and suggested we even sacrifice our democracy with laws that control pollution.

All this under the theory that man-made pollution was responsible for “Global Cooling,” do to a man-caused increase in SO2 (sulphur dioxide) pollutants. Failure to adhere to his advice we were told, could spell the end of man-kind. Today of course, CO2 (carbon dioxide) is the culprit, but the ominous predictions are the same.

Dr. Reitze wasn’t the first to suggest a new ice age though. Going back to February 24, 1895 an article on the subject appeared in the New York Times. It began with, “The question is again being discussed whether recent and long-continued observations do not point to the advent of a second glacial period, when the countries now basking in the fostering warmth of a tropical sun will ultimately give way to the perennial frost and snow of the Polar Regions. Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again.”

Fast forward 30 some years to another article in the New York Times. “NEXT GREAT DELUGE FORECAST BY SCIENCE / Melting Polar Ice Caps to Raise the Level of Seas and Flood the Continents,” proclaimed the article penned on May 15, 1932.

Fast forward again nearly 40 years to the January 11, 1970 Washington Post, “Get a grip on your long johns, cold weather haters – the worst may be yet to come. That’s the long-range weather forecast being given out by ‘climatologists,’ the people who study very long-term world weather trends.” The article was entitled “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age / Scientists See Ice Age In the Future.”

The article went on to state, ”Some of them [climatologists] say the world is in a ‘cold snap’ that started in 1950 and which could last hundreds of years, even bringing on the start of another Ice Age. In the meantime, it could mean more snow, and more arctic freezes like the one Washington is now shivering through. Ice floes will continue to close in around Iceland; glaciers in the Pacific Northwest will grow; there will be major changes in farming patterns – and colder late season football games.”

On May 21, 1975 The New York Times was back on the ice age band wagon with, “Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing; Major Cooling May Be Ahead,” that “Sooner or later a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable. Hints that it may already have begun are evident. The drop in mean temperatures since 1950 in the Northern Hemisphere has been sufficient, for example, to shorten Britain’s growing season for crops by two weeks. . . The first half of this century has apparently been the warmest period since the ‘hot spell’ between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago immediately following the last ice age.”

In reality, climate change is actually a chaotic process, and scientifically, is not at all understood. There are no credible computer models capable of making an accurate prediction of climate 100 years into the future.    In fact, experts in computer modelling agree also that no current (or likely near-future) climate model is able to make accurate predictions of regional climate change.
   
There is much more to the untruths of human global warming. At the top of the list is the assertion that nearly all scientists agree that global warming is occurring, let alone at a dangerous rate.   The reality is that almost every aspect of climate science is the subject of vigorous debate. Further, thousands of qualified scientists worldwide have signed declarations challenging the evidence for hypothetical human-caused warming. Most would rather support a more rational and scientific approach to its study, void of emotional input, within the context of known natural climate change.
   
So, what is the driving factor behind the controversy? Of course it is MONEY! Today we have the likes of Al Gore suggesting impending doom due to global warming. But it gets confusing. It appears he is advancing a financial and political agenda, just like Dr. Reitze was doing back in the ‘70’s.  But this time, the former Vice-President is using his popularity and political clout to attach the global warming scare to an anti-capitalism political ideology.

The video, “An Inconvenient Truth” featured Al Gore’s global warming dooms day predictions. It generated more than $50 million worldwide, proclaiming anything but the truth. But it gave Al Gore an international stage to advance his political agenda, reenergize the environmental movement, and establish a billion dollar industry with carbon credits. It is just one of many ethically challenged investments the former Vice President has gotten into centered on “global warming.”

To make the point, the Vice President left office with total assets of about two million dollars. In 2009 he had a net worth “well in excess’’ of $100 million and was able to put more than $35 million cash into hedge funds. The New York Times uncovered how he stands to benefit to the tune of billions of dollars if the carbon tax proposals he is pushing come to fruition in the United States, while documenting how he has already lined his pockets on the back of exaggerated fear mongering about global warming.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has acted as the primary scaremonger for the global warming lobby that led to the Kyoto Protocol. Absurdly, the IPCC is a political body, with no scientific foundation.  Hendrik Tennekes, a retired Director of Research at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, says that “the IPCC review process is fatally flawed” and that “the IPCC willfully ignores the paradigm shift created by the foremost meteorologist of the twentieth century, Edward Lorenz.”  It appears the IPCC is not about to let facts get in the way of the cash cow. Kyoto is worth many trillions of dollars by way of significant taxes on those countries that signed it, but will deliver no significant cooling. It amounts to less than .020 C by 2050, assuming that all the signers meet all of their commitments. An unlikely scenario.        
In science, a fact is an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as “true.” But, truth in science is never final and what is accepted as a fact today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow. For this reason alone, it is highly unethical for a governing body, or any government entity to force economic sanctions on the citizens or businesses of this nation.
Because there are such huge financial losses and gains at stake, America would do well to take a step back and digest the facts. It appears that those at the top advocating the global warming agenda are possibly attempting to line their pockets with our hard earned money. If so, we are certainly looking at the biggest hoax in the history of man.
For the sake of political argument, maybe the more honest discussion would be about controlling the amount of pollution secreted into our surroundings for the sake of our immediate environment.