In the interest of full disclosure, I am a “global warming” skeptic, and have been for a while. I’m 26, and back when I was in elementary school in the late 1980s and through the 1990s (until I got to high school, really) I remember components of my education that including warnings about “global warming” and the coming disasters.
Now, I know how susceptible young minds are to suggestions made by people in their lives – especially teachers. Teachers are respected and trusted as intelligent, all-knowing people (especially in elementary school) and their word is practically gospel. I remember how my 4th grade teacher once told us that if there were ever a World War III, my hometown would be one of the first bombed because we have a lot of factories that could be converted into building tanks. I know now that her assertion is total bunk, but when you’re 9 years old the mental image of being blown to bits in a war is terrifying.
So imagine how your school-aged kids feel when their teachers, often driven by the same political agenda behind Al Gore and this cap and trade bill, are told people are killing the planet. That we’re all going to burn up. That seas are going to rise and drown people on the coasts. It sticks with them. It forms them. It is a brand of indoctrination that continues through college. Only if you’re lucky, and do your job as a parent correctly, will your kids not turn into the next wave of eco-facists.
Anyway, aside from talking about the bill, its coming economic impact, and how to stop this insanity, one of the other things this blog focuses on is the “science” behind “global warming” and how – despite President Obama’s vow to “shield politics from science” – it is the most politicized agenda operating under the guise of “science” in contemporary times (I could talk about health care, but that’s for another blog).
The Lies in Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”
Probably the most notorious piece of propaganda in the global warming debate is Al Gore’s “documentary” titled “An Inconvenient Truth.” In October, 2007, Newsbusters reported that a British court ruled there are 11 inaccuracies (or lies, whichever you prefer) in the film.
Not only that, but the court ruled that any teacher who showed the film in his class had to disclose the following:
1.) The Film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument. 2.) If teachers present the Film without making this plain they may be in breach of section 406 of the Education Act 1996 and guilty of political indoctrination. 3.) Eleven inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.
What are those 11 inaccuracies (emphasis Newsbusters):
- The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.
- The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
- The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.
- The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.
- The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.
- The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
- The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
- The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.
- The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.
- The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
- The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.
Yet the film won several awards, and Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with the UN Climate Panel. So much for “truth.”
Intentional Language Barriers
First, and perhaps most overlooked, is the language used when discussing global warming. Language is a great tool but, when used for nefarious purposes, it can be a great weapon. Changing the meaning of words – either conotatively or denotatively – regardless of the true meaning or connotation of the word, can give someone tremendous power over another.
Just one case I can think of is the use of the word “niggardly.” Now, it sounds an awful lot like a terrible racial slur that would (rightly so) render the speaker criticized or ostracized. But it doesn’t even remotely mean the same thing. “Niggardly” is an adjective meaning stingy or miserly. David Howard used the word in reference to a budget and someone took offense. Howard resigned from the uproar, but was later reinstated. Incidents with the same word also happened at the University of Wisconsin, a school in Wilmington, NC, and elsewhere. It’s a sad testament to the political correctness in America that undermines rational thought, open debate, and our lack of educational standards when people are offended at a word that doesn’t mean the same thing as they think it means.
My point is not to obfuscate the cap and trade debate with a tangent. But what the “niggardly” incident proves is that changing even the connotative meaning of words (not to mention the denotative meaning of them) has consequences. It not only confuses people, but it paralyzes them in fear that they, too, may have their own “niggardly” moment and get in trouble for it.
How does this apply to the global warming/cap and trade debate?
Well, how many of you were actively aware that the term “global warming” has, in recent months, been replaced with the more ambiguous term “global climate change”? I’m guessing most of you noticed the switch, but do you know what it means?
It’s simple, really. The term global warming has been used since about the 1980s to describe an “increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation.” Now, if the temperatures increased as global warming scientists, alarmists, and politicians claimed, that’d be an accurate description.
Except, it isn’t.
Let’s go back in time a bit. During the 1970s, global cooling was the catastrophe du jour, and even Newsweek reported on “The Cooling World” and the belief was earth was on the brink of another ice age. 31 years later, Newsweek issued a contraction on that story (which it wholeheartedly believed at the time), in favor of the new catastrophe du jour, global warming.
When the earth didn’t enter a second ice age terminology shifted from “global cooling” to “global warming”. But the basic assumption was the same: man was the cause and evil man needed to do something or the earth would be destroyed.
And, today, after at least a good decade and a half of global warming hysterics, the term “global warming” is now replaced by “global climate change.” Why?
Because those dramatic temperature increases that were going to obliterate the polar ice caps, flood the coasts, and burn us all to a crips didn’t happen. In fact, weather trends have been cooling or increasing far less dramatically that scientists predicted. ClimateCooling.org has a plethora of information about climate change, including tracking trends in news cycles that fluctuated between global warming and global cooling since 1895.
Second, the shift in language also includes the use of the words “consensus” and “settled science.” This is a backhanded way of introducing the liberal argument of “Shut up, they explained” into the debate. Saying global warming/climate change is a “consensus” closes the door for debate, and leaves open a window through which global warming alarmists can hurl epithets at their opponents. Same thing with “settled science.”
Except that it isn’t.
Skepticism on the rise
Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that the “number of skeptics is swelling everywhere”:
Steve Fielding recently asked the Obama administration to reassure him on the science of man-made global warming. When the administration proved unhelpful, Mr. Fielding decided to vote against climate-change legislation.
If you haven’t heard of this politician, it’s because he’s a member of the Australian Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country’s carbon-emissions scheme. Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.
Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as “deniers.” The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.
And this comes on the heels of news that the Obama administration’s EPA sat on a report questioning the science behind global warming prior to the vote on cap and trade in the House. From Michelle Malkin:
The Obama administration doesn’t want to hear inconvenient truths about global warming. And they don’t want you to hear them, either. As Democrats rush on Friday to pass a $4 trillion-dollar, thousand-page “cap and trade” bill that no one has read, environmental bureaucrats are stifling voices that threaten their political agenda.
The free market-based Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington (where I served as a journalism fellow in 1995) obtained a set of internal e-mails exposing Team Obama’s willful and reckless disregard for data that undermine the illusion of “consensus.” In March, Alan Carlin, a senior research analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, asked agency officials to distribute his analysis on the health effects of greenhouse gases. EPA has proposed a public health “endangerment finding” covering CO2 and five other gases that would trigger costly, extensive new regulations of motor vehicles. The open comment period on the ruling ended this week. But Carlin’s study didn’t fit the blame-human-activity narrative, so it didn’t make the cut.
On March 12, Carlin’s director, Al McGartland, forbade him from having “any direct communication” with anyone outside his office about his study. “There should be no meetings, emails, written statements, phone calls, etc.” On March 16, Carlin urged his superiors to forward his work to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, which runs the agency’s climate change program. A day later, McGartland dismissed Carlin and showed his true, politicized colors:
“The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision… I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”
Contrary comments, in other words, would interfere with the “process” of ramming the EPA’s endangerment finding through. Truth-in-science took a backseat to protecting eco-bureaucrats from “a very negative impact.”
Malkin’s column supports the claim in the Wall Street Journal article that this news has been greatly suppressed in the U.S., with the specific intention of passing cap and trade.
So let’s recap what we’ve learned.
- When global warming alarmists (aided by the media) realized people weren’t buying the hysteria, and that global temperatures were declining, the term “global warming” was replaced with “global climate change.”
- Al Gore’s award-winning movie was found to be rife with errors and politically biased by a court in the UK (hardly a bastion of right-wing conservatism).
- The number of global warming skeptics is growing.
- The EPA suppressed a vital report before the House voted on cap and trade in order to quell dissent and skepticism and to help the Obama administration pass a massive, regressive, jobs and economy killing bill that will affect every single American.
Which begs the question: is this really science?
Or is it a political game masquerading as “science” to pass a very specific agenda. Any logical person will look at the evidence and know it’s the latter.