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  • Global Warming Conference: Why all the Alarmism?

    The Chicago-based Heartland Institute is hosting its Third International Conference on Climate Change and its second this year. The event, taking place in Washington DC, has a lot of the same players as the second conference but all of them are worth hearing again. It’s a group of climatologists, scientists, economists and a few politicians.

    Kicking off the event is Dr. Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He argues there are three reasons why purported climate science typically supports global warming alarmism. The first is triage, typically used as a medical term to prioritize patients based on severity of their condition. When it comes to alarmist ideas as opposed to “there’s not a problem”, you can guess which one will be priority for the media.

    The second reason is what Lindzen refers to as opportunism of the weak. Environmentalists will pick up on weak studies – studies not based on solid evidence and run with them. In other words, you don’t have to produce sound scientific studies to get your name in the paper or environmental alarmists’ support.

    The third is free riding. If scientists can relate their work somehow to global warming, politicians and the media will quickly pick them up. Governments begin to fund these scientists and it becomes a circle of one playing off the other.

    There are a many questions we don’t know the answers to: Is the sensitivity of climate change such that we might reasonably expect such large warming in the future as a result of human activities. Is the net impact of such warming likely to be beneficial or detrimental?

    He points to the economic claim of the IPCC study (Al Gore’s magnum opus) that most change of the temperature over the period since 1954 was due to man. Even if this were true, with Dr. Lindzen argues it is not, the temperature has only changes a few tenths of a degree since then. Is this the reason we’re going to extract trillions of dollars from the economy and create jobs losses of one million per year on average through a cap and trade program? Why all the alarmism?

    There’s a question of sensitivity and feedback of carbon dioxide. That is to say, how much of an effect can a small increase in carbon dioxide have on global temperatures. The amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is miniscule when compared to other natural greenhouse gases, but increased carbon dioxide could have effects on clouds, water vapor and react with other greenhouse gases. It is these reactions, as claimed by Al Gore and the IPCC, that could lead to dramatic temperature increases.

    Dr. Lindzen, unsurprisingly, disagrees. He argues that the models and data the IPCC uses to create global warming alarmism are way off base and simply not credible; in a normal field of science this would just be beating a dead horse, but when it comes to global warming, it somehow manages to resuscitate the alarmism. Why? Because they can get away with it. Only a very small percentage of the population truly understand the science behind global climate change or who are even trying to understand it. This paves the way for alarmists to highlight faulty science for the media to sell. Optimistically, less people are buying.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Global Warming Conference: Why all the Alarmism?

    1. Lelia Thomas, Americ says:

      As much as I think the warming period we are going through is not due to man, and is rather cyclical and within norms, I'm not sure that Dr. Lindzen should be one to use as an argument against the alarmist theories. Indeed, it is ironic that Lindzen calls the IPCC results not credible, when he himself should be seriously questioned.

      Lindzen is known for being a naysayer and arguing against most all popular theories and discoveries. This man still says that smoking and secondhand smoke aren't a big deal. He is not a positive advocate for reason, I don't think.

    2. Rmoen, Reno, NV says:

      I am a Democrat who for the past 20 years believed global warming was caused by CO2. But more and more it looks like is a natural phenomenon to me, possibly exacerbated by CO2.

      A year ago I launched http://www.energyplanusa.com where I try to bring common sense discussion to our country’s energy policy. I set out to find the 'smoking gun' that proves global warming is driven by CO2. Instead, I found that the wellspring of man-made global warming theory, the UN’s IPCC reports on climate change, are compromised by politics and an agenda, and that man-made global warming theorists cherry pick facts and ignore contradictory evidence from reliable studies. In short, there is no smoking gun yet the man-made crowd refuses to entertain other possibilities. Yes, CO2 MAY contribute to global warming but to say it DRIVES global warming goes beyond science into the realm of agenda driven politics.

      Before the United States increases the cost of energy with a carbon tax or cap-and-trade, we need to establish a non-political commission to review the facts and evidence surrounding global warming. The UN, a political organization, should not be determining American energy policy. The stakes are huge. If we respond to global warming incorrectly, our children and grandchildren will likely lead lives of increasing hardship and desperation.

    3. Nicolas Loris Nick Loris says:

      Lelia,

      You may be right, I don't know. There are, however, a number of credible scientists here, so please check back for more updates.

      Nick

    4. Pingback: Latest Global Warming news - Page 4 - theBubbler

    5. Pingback: The denialfest so nice they held it twice? « The Way Things Break

    6. Steve Beltz; Social says:

      Of all the studies I've looked at, only one thing I can say for sure – there are people manipulating the facts; it has always been a downfall of human inquiry to support information that fits a particular belief system and the climate change debate is no different. If you stay the course long enough you can recruit more people to your cause. In the end, this is and always will be a battle of ideologies about how we as a species should live…

    7. AntonioSosa says:

      Those brainwashed to the point of wanting to destroy the economy to "prevent global warming" are behaving like the most primitive human beings who were duped into believing that human sacrifices would ensure them good weather. Human beings don't have the power to control climate! We can’t even accurately predict the weather a month in advance!

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