The much-promoted scientific consensus on human-induced global warming is troubling.
At one point the scientific consensus was that the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around it. Only in the 1960s did scientists begin to accept the theory of plate tectonics, something that is well-established today.
Science is supposed to be where opposing ideas collide and duke it out with evidence. Much of the global warming research relies on computer models and extrapolation.
Extrapolation tells us that when a child grows six inches between ages 3 and 6 that he or she will be 30 feet tall by age 45.
Then there is the problem of academic publishing. Professors get good marks at their universities when a scientific paper is published. Published papers and books result in promotion and tenure. Academics are more likely to go along to get along instead of challenging consensus.
In 1999 German scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research concluded that the Sahara’s abrupt desertification started by changes in the earth’s orbit. Could they get their views published today?
Even in unrelated academic papers we see brief asides to global warming, as in:
“And with global warming more lemmings are expected to take the suicide jump.”
Then there is misleading terminology. So called ocean acidification is one. The image is of little fish being stripped of their flesh by acid. In fact, the oceans are nowhere near acidic on a pH scale. Research shows that there has been some slight movement toward neutral. But neutrification of the ocean does not have the same effect.
No one should doubt that the world has gotten warmer. The latest Ice Age is gone along with the megafauna. There is no doubt that the oceans are rising and have done so for 11,000 years. And there should not be a dispute about making the air cleaner.
The United Nations is a political organization, not a scientific one. There is reasonable fear that the whole global warming scenario is about control.
Proponents of global warming see a placid past. They warn that a warmer earth will create more hurricanes, deserts and other life-threatening conditions. In fact, the world has been anything but placid. North Africa used to be the breadbasket of the Roman Empire. Giant cypress used to cover the U.S. Midwest. Volcano eruptions darken the skies for decades, causing civilizations to collapse. Long droughts do the same thing. And then a rock from space really messes up the landscape.
Change is inevitable and frequently unwelcome.
The ocean has risen hundreds of feet in the last 11,000 years. The plain of Nicoya is now the Gulf of Nicoya. Florida’s west coast used to be hundreds of miles distant. The turtles have endured, despite these changes. So warnings that global warming will inundate the breeding grounds may be true but give little credit to the turtles and nature’s way of making more beaches.
There is a major U.N. climate conference in December intended to reach an international deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Will anyone present a view that global warming will have some benefits?
The Costa Rican economics ministry Monday announced an Alianza para la Carbono Neutralidad. The idea is to encourage more and more companies to adjust their operations to generate less carbon dioxide. All this is being done against a backdrop of active volcanoes that are spewing tons of all sorts of gases into the the atmosphere.
Does anyone want to bet that the alliance will quickly become mandatory?
Should not the government direct its attention to inevitable change and take appropriate action?