Climate change: New orthodoxy impedes full airing of contrary views

There is no doubt that the world is getting warmer. Chicago residents do not have to cope with an ice sheet two kilometers thick. And the surface area of Costa Rica is much less than it used to be.

As well as the average temperature, the seas have risen, too. The probability is that they will continue to do so. For awhile.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration points out:

“The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.”

Agreement ends when one seeks to discuss the contributions of humans to the change in climate.  Those who believe that humans are big contributors to the change are meeting now in Lima, Perú. They hope to draft a new global pact that most certainly will place limits on First World countries and even cost them money.

In fact, money is one of the driving forces of climate change research. The human contribution is the new orthodoxy, and researchers reporting on studies far from the topic feel compelled to include a paragraph or two mentioning climate change. Ask William Gray.

The Colorado State University climate scientist issues the annual hurricane predictions. He does not believe humans can do anything abut climate change, and has said so. The academic roof fell in on him. Then the university said handling media requests about his work required too much time. He was being eased out.

“This is obviously a flimsy excuse and seems to me to be a cover for the Department’s capitulation to the desires of some (in their own interest) who want to rein in my global warming and global warming-hurricane criticisms,” Gray said at the time and was quoted in the Houston Chronicle.

In academics, researchers win points and possible promotion by having peer-reviewed articles published in major journals. The peer reviewers are biased to their own research, so articles supporting human-caused global warming are approved but others are not. This is true, too, in a lot of disciplines.

There is a news story today on Page 4 about how publication bias may have affected research on bilingualism.

A research article that points out a warmer earth would create more agricultural land is not likely to be published. And the outside money to do such work probably would be scare, too.

NASA reports that “ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.” Such a consensus is troubling.

On a grander scale, the Lima conference also is about money. And some kind of carbon credit plan would be nothing more than another tax. And if the United Nations is involved, there most certainly will be another effort at international control.

The contradictions in the global warming reasoning are legion. There always are climate changes. North Africa used to be the bread basket of the Roman Empire.  The great drying turned the Midwest of the United States from a cedar forest into prairie.

Global warming enthusiasts predict hurricanes, floods and other weather extremes as if prior ages were sedate.

Even when Buffalo is buried by snow, the cause is global warming: “And it’s something Buffalo could face more often in a warming world. Rising global temperatures are also warming the Great Lakes and keeping them ice-free longer during the cold season,” said Discovery News.

In fact, the ice cover on the Great Lakes is almost never complete, although some lakes might have 100 percent ice. The percentage of annual coverage in recent winters has ranged from 1.8 to 100 percent, according to NASA. And last winter’s ice coverage was well above average.

All this would be just a great scientific argument if governments were not making major decision on the predictions of human-caused global warming. President Luis Guillermo Solís just said he would block exploratory drilling for oil for as long as he could. Presumably he thinks that importing more expensive foreign petroleum leads to less carbon dioxide emissions. And the public pays the price.

And the country has proposed to become carbon neutral by 2031.  But no one counts the massive amounts of gas, vapor and other chemicals emitted by the active volcanoes.

Costa Rica already has a carbon credit system in place. It is not yet mandatory.

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