Here we present some insights from some of the members of our Energy Counsel that we hope will, at the least, be fodder for discussion—and maybe prompt you to delve into some additional research on your own.
We’d love to hear from you! What do you think?
The IPCC report warns us it can’t explain the recent surge of warming from 1976–1998. Therefore, it claims the surge must have been caused by human-emitted CO2. But the IPCC also can’t explain why more than half of the current warming occurred before 1940, before the Industrial Revolution improved global living standards and increased CO2 emissions.
Look at this interesting coincidence: The “inexplicable” l976–1998 surge in global temperature looks very much like the warming surge from 1916–1940. After 1940, we had a 35-year cooling—which the IPCC also can’t explain. But in 1996, researchers discovered a 50–60 year Pacific-wide climate cycle they call the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. This cycle caused the salmon decline in the Columbia River after 1977. It also causes shifts in sardine and anchovy catches all around the Pacific.
The PDO shifted into a cool phase in 1940, with lots of salmon in the Columbia, until 1977. That’s almost exactly the period of the 1940–76 global cooling. Then the PDO turned warmer and the Columbia salmon declined—until about 1999. That closely matches the 1976–98 surge in global temperatures.
Does the Pacific climate cycle explain the last two short-term blips on the world’s temperature chart better than humanity’s small contribution to the CO2 that makes up only 0.03 percent of the atmosphere? It is certainly worth exploring more carefully before we make huge changes in our standards of living world-wide.
Past climate warmings haven’t correlated with CO2 changes. The Antarctic ice cores show that after the last four Ice Ages, the temperatures warmed 800 years before the CO2 levels increased in the atmosphere. The Warming produced more CO2 in the atmosphere, not the other way around.
It’s worth noting that the environmental movement and the politicians also blamed human activity for the salmon decline. Farming, fishing, and logging were reined in, sending the Pacific Northwest’s rural economies into despair. Now we’ve found the PDO. Is a natural cycle also the answer for the UN climate change panel?
DENNIS T. AVERY
Former senior policy analyst for the U.S. State Department, co-author Unstoppable Global Warming—Every 1500 Years
We need to take a deep breath and recognize that there are reasons more people now support climate “consensus”—other than concern over climate disasters created by deficient computer models and Hollywood special effects. There is money to be made, and power to be gained from climate alarmism and symbolism is a major reason so many are getting on the bandwagon. Aside from honest, if unfounded, fears of climate disasters, why might others support climate alarmism?
Scientists who use climate change to explain environmental changes greatly improve their chances of getting research grants from foundations, corporations – and US government programs that budget a whopping $6.5 billion for global warming in 2007. Global warming claims also increase the likelihood that scientists will get headlines and quotes in news stories. Climate disaster skeptics face an uphill battle on grants, headlines, quotes and job security.
Politicians can curry favor with activists who support reelection campaigns and higher aspirations; transform $14-billion in alternative energy pork into ethical planetary protection; and promote policies that otherwise would raise eyebrows.
Corporate actions that cause injury or death are penalized; but praise is heaped on mileage standards that cause hundreds of deaths, when cars are downsized and plasticized to reduce fuel and emissions. High energy prices are denounced at congressional hearings, if due to market forces – but lauded if imposed by government to “prevent climate change.”
Alarmist rhetoric has also redefined corporate social responsibility and created the Climate Action Partnership and an emerging Enviro-Industrial Complex.
Environmental activists use climate fears to raise billions of dollars via direct mail and foundation and corporate grants – to promote government control over resource use, technological change, housing, transportation, living standards and economic development. Recent developments promise greater rewards. Climate cataclysm claims also enable activists to gain official advisory status with companies and governments – and make it “ethical” for them to oppose power generation in Third World countries, where few have access to electricity.
Companies in the CAP and EIC can develop and promote new product lines, using tax breaks, subsidies, legal mandates and regulatory provisions to gain competitive advantages. They get favorable coverage from the media, and kid-glove treatment from members of Congress who pillory climate chaos skeptics. DuPont and BP will get money for biofuels, GE for its portfolio of climate protection equipment, ADM for ethanol, Lehman Brothers for emission trading and other deals. (Al Gore is on the Lehman Bros. board.) Pew, ED and NRDC will be able to influence corporate, state and federal policy, and rake in more cash. Insurance companies can blame global warming for rate increases and coverage denials.
To determine the losers, look in the mirror. We’ve created a Frankenstein climate monster on steroids. We should improve energy efficiency, reduce pollution, and develop new energy technologies. But when we act in response to exaggerated or imaginary crises, we railroad through unworkable programs that impose horrendous unintended consequences.
We need to debate these issues, now – not after the mistakes are made.
Senior policy advisor for the Congress of Racial Equality and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power ∙ Black Death