Confessions of a Lukewarmist
Today, the Wall Street Journal published a letter from 16 distinguished scientists addressed to political candidates entitled, No Need to Panic About Global Warming.
“Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now,” they write, a fact that “is known to the warming establishment…”
The piece directly attacks the notion that carbon dioxide emissions are warming the globe, concluding with:
“Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of ‘incontrovertible’ evidence.”
The term ‘incontrovertible’ refers to a policy statement of the American Physical Society which states, “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”
These guys are no lightweights. The group includes a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, the aerospace engineer who designed Voyager, past and present editors of scientific journals; professors from Princeton, Cambridge and MIT, and the president of the World Federation of Scientists.
This letter propels my shift from ardent warmist to lukewarmist, to, eventually, full blown skeptic, it seems.
In 2006, I was amused at the irony of my global warming action on a street corner in frigid temperatures, though I understood that anecdotal data is not a mathematically sound method of discerning trends. A slick patch of ice at the curb prompted warnings from me that people heeded probably far more than my warmist sign. My inner sadist was even more amused when people didn’t absorb my ice patch warning, though I still feel a little guilty by the hurt look in one guy’s eyes when he caught me snickering as he slip-slided away.
My own doubts about global warming did not begin until Climategate 2009, when the University of East Anglia was caught publishing false data showing temperature increases. Significant errors in a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where it grossly exaggerated glacial retreat, also raised a question.
But I held fast to the belief that global warming must be real because forests are being denuded, deserts are growing, mass tracts of prairie and wetlands are being converted to asphalt and concrete, and the toxicity of our atmosphere is directly attributable to 150 years of military and industrial pollution.
In 2010, an independent investigative body told the IPCC to stop lobbying on behalf of global warming programs. Members of the IPCC were also ordered to reveal their financial connections to such programs. In the end, the warmists were found innocent of any wrongdoing.
Cognitive dissonance is bearable with topics that seem remote. But because chemtrails feel like a more immediate threat than global warming, IPCC promotion of geoengineering strengthened my doubts about warming.
In UN Climate Concern Morphs into Chemtrail Glee Club (Dec. 2010), I wrote of the connections between Indian businessman and economist, Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the IPCC. In his comments at Cancun’s opening ceremony, he stated, “The scope of the AR5 has also been expanded over and above previous reports, and would include, for instance, focused treatment of subjects like clouds and aerosols, geo-engineering options,” and the usual climate related issues.
A close look at Pachauri revealed his extensive interests in companies that stand to benefit from geoengineering schemes. In the Science and Public Policy Institute’s April 2010 investigative report entitled, “Dr Rajendra Pachauri and the IPCC – No Fossil Fool,” Pachauri is criticized for using his IPCC position “to attract major funding to his own organization, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).”
The IPCC’s assertion that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 “was based on a decade-old interview of one climate scientist in a science magazine, The New Scientist,” which apparently misquoted him, reported the NYTimes in January 2010. The scientist, Dr. Syed Hasnain, is a glacier specialist who works at Pachauri’s TERI research institute.
But my doubts did not develop into full blown skepticism until Climategate 2.0, when the November 2011 leaked emails showed that IPCC scientists discussed manipulating the data to agree with policy, and began deleting their emails.
“The science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run,” wrote one IPCC scientist, Peter Thorne.
From journalist Andrew Orlowski’s first look at the Climategate 2.0 emails:
“To their credit, some of the climate scientists realised the dangers of the selective approach politicians demanded, which meant cherry-picking evidence to make it suitably dramatic, and quietly hiding caveats. ‘We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest,” pleads Thorne, in another email from 2005. Thorne noted that a telltale ‘signature’ of greenhouse gas warming was absent. ‘Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.’”
Charges of intellectual corruption stem from the fact that the IPCC did not clarify that its conclusions were based on a fair amount of uncertainty: the data was based “on modern temperature trends and historical temperature reconstructions,” Orlowski summarized. With that speculative data as its starting point, models were then built to predict future temperature trends and impacts, which East Anglia climatologist Phil Jones describes as “all wrong” in one of the leaked emails.
But what is most shocking to me is that those scientists deliberately deleted emails to hide their uncertainty from the public. No doubt that is what triggered someone to snag them before the evidence disappeared.
Global Warming Initiatives
Like 95% of the public, I’m reliant on scientific integrity, no matter how wary I am of corporations and governments. As I morph from science-educated warmist to skeptic, I follow a variety of sources to give myself the best chance of ascertaining the truth of climate change. The models presented in college made logical sense, but, I have since learned, failed to include decades of deliberately altering the atmosphere with aerosols aimed at altering the weather.
No one at Ohio State mentioned the 1977 United Nations ban on hostile environmental modification programs enacted after the US chemtrailed Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, creating deluge after deluge. I doubt the school mentions to undergraduates the 2010 ban on “friendly” ENMOD programs, either, despite the incredibly toxic effects of these programs.
While industry-funded organizations posing as populist fronts continue to deny decades of geoengineering activities, simple logic refutes this. The UN would not ban fictional activities based on conspiracy theories. They have hard evidence. Some of that evidence led the UN’s World Meteorological Organization to complain in 2007, “In recent years there has been a decline in the support for weather modification research, and a tendency to move directly into operational projects.”
When governments actually admit to chemtrails, they advise it is done to combat global warming, to provide rain or drought as needed, or to weaken or redirect hurricanes and other storms.
The extent of government-industry deception over climate and ENMOD is deeply disturbing, while indisputably toxic drilling on land and sea remains legal. Hypocrisy can be cynically amusing, but overturned paradigms can be emotionally devastating.
While warmists may eventually be proven correct that industrial pollution is warming the planet and changing its climate, honest climatologists at the IPCC admit that the evidence is not yet solid.
While watching Fargo, my college roommate, who delivered newspapers in Cleveland during the wee hours of the morning, repeatedly replayed the scene where a kid tosses a paper from his bike, causing it to slide out from under him. She bellowed with laughter. I think her inner sadist is bigger than mine. I also think Frances McDormand is one of the most talented actors in Hollywood, though she did attend an Oscar party in 2006 to benefit “global warming initiatives.”
It is those initiatives that concern me the most. Geoengineering deliberately alters the chemistry of the sky and seas. Regardless of whether humans have suicidally warmed the planet, the last thing we need to do is pile more pollution on top of what the military-industrial complex has already pummeled the biosphere with.
© Rady Ananda 2012. All rights reserved. This article first appeared at Activist Post.