Friday, April 13, 2007

Global Swarming

George Will has an interesting article on the Fuzzy Climate Math of the Global Warming evangelicals at RCP.

In a campaign without peacetime precedent, the media-entertainment-environmental complex is warning about global warming. Never, other than during the two world wars, has there been such a concerted effort by opinion-forming institutions to indoctrinate Americans, 83 percent of whom now call global warming a "serious problem.'' Indoctrination is supposed to be a predicate for action commensurate with professions of seriousness.

He gives us a look at what could ensue if we did all that the GW crowd is extolling us to do.

Do they also disagree with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist''? He says: Compliance with Kyoto would reduce global warming by an amount too small to measure. But the cost of compliance just to the United States would be higher than the cost of providing the entire world with clean drinking water and sanitation, which would prevent 2 million deaths (from diseases like infant diarrhea) a year and prevent half a billion people from becoming seriously ill each year...

Nature designed us as carnivores, but what does nature know about nature? Meat has been designated a menace. Among the 51 exhortations in Time magazine's "global warming survival guide'' (April 9), No. 22 says a BMW is less responsible than a Big Mac for "climate change,'' that conveniently imprecise name for our peril. This is because the world meat industry produces 18 percent of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions, more than transportation produces. Nitrous oxide in manure (warming effect: 296 times greater than that of carbon) and methane from animal flatulence (23 times greater) mean that "a 16 ounce T-bone is like a Hummer on a plate.''

Ben & Jerry's ice cream might be even more sinister: A gallon of it requires electricity guzzling refrigeration, and four gallons of milk produced by cows that simultaneously produce eight gallons of manure and flatulence with eight gallons of methane. The cows do this while consuming lots of grain and hay, which are cultivated by using tractor fuel, chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides, and transported by fuel-consuming trains and trucks.

Newsweek says most food travels at least 1,200 miles to get to Americans' plates, so buying local food will save fuel. Do not order halibut in Omaha.

Speaking of Hummers, perhaps it is environmentally responsible to buy one and squash a Prius with it. The Prius hybrid is, of course, fuel-efficient. There are, however, environmental costs to mining and smelting (in Canada) 1,000 tons a year of zinc for the battery-powered second motor, and the shipping of the zinc 10,000 miles -- trailing a cloud of carbon -- to Wales for refining and then to China for turning it into the component that is then sent to a battery factory in Japan.

All I can say is heh, read it all. Another of my favorite columnists, Thomas Sowell also weighs in on the GW question here, here and here in a three part series titled Global Hot Air. In his first part he ends with this bit of non trivial information.

What about all those scientists mentioned, cited or quoted by global warming crusaders?

There are all kinds of scientists, from chemists to nuclear physicists to people who study insects, volcanoes, and endocrine glands -- none of whom is an expert on weather or climate, but all of whom can be listed as scientists, to impress people who don't scrutinize the list any further. That ploy has already been used.

Then there are genuine scientific experts on weather and climate. The National Academy of Sciences came out with a report on global warming back in 2001 with a very distinguished list of such experts listed. The problem is that not one of those very distinguished scientists actually wrote the report -- or even saw it before it was published.

One of those very distinguished climate scientists -- Richard S. Lindzen of MIT -- publicly repudiated the conclusions of that report, even though his name had been among those used as window dressing on the report. But the media may not have told you that.

In short, there has been a full court press to convince the public that "everybody knows" that a catastrophic global warming looms over us, that human beings are the cause of it, and that the only solution is to turn more money and power over to the government to stop us from our dangerous ways of living.

Among the climate experts who are not part of that "everybody" are not only Professor Lindzen but also Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, whose book "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years," punctures the hot air balloon of the global warming crusaders. So does the book "Shattered Consensus," edited by Patrick J. Michaels, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, which contains essays by others who are not part of "everybody."

In the second of his series he addresses the effort of Global Warming proponents to silence the scientists who question the veracity and "facts" being perpetrated on the public. And in his latest piece of the series, he blows the lid off of the media hype surrounding this latest crusade. I say latest because I have seen the same hysteria hyped before with not facts but lots of emotion. Carsons "Silent Spring" and the hysteria that caused resulting in millions of deaths due to the total banning of DDT in the third world and then there was Paul Ehrlich and his Population Bomb. The book predicted that "in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death", that nothing can be done to avoid mass famin greater than any in the history, and radical action is needed to limit the overpopulation. And then we went through the Global Cooling scare and so on ad nauseum. Be sure to read all threee of Sowells articles.

Update: Chuck S pointed me to this article by Steven Malloy of in a Fox story. His first paragraphs sets the stage for an eye-opening look at the real science.

If you need further evidence that hysteria is outpacing science in the global warming debate, consider the study published this week about Northern Hemisphere forests actually causing significant global warming.

Researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reported in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (April 17) that while tropical forests exert a cooling influence on global climate, forests in northern regions exert a warming influence — and it’s not just a trivial climatic effect.

He ends with this:

Finally, let’s not overlook the scam factor.

For years, global warming opportunists (aka “climateers”) urged consumers to compensate for their so-called “carbon footprints” by paying to plant trees. But as the facts slowly emerged about reforestation, the carbon-offset industry quietly backed off planting trees and moved on to other offset schemes.

One carbon-offset vendor, The Carbon Neutral Co., says on its Web site, “In those early days, the icon of a tree and its emotional appeal were critical to attract audiences. But, thankfully, the market has grown in sophistication — markedly over the last 4 years, and such obvious symbols are less necessary.”

Translation? Perhaps, “the facts have caught up with us and so we’ve changed shell games”?

Science is slowly, but similarly catching up with global warming alarmism. The only question is how the race will be won — with facts or fear?

Steven Milloy publishes and He is a junk science expert, and advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Needles to say, read the whole thing...if you dare.