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Junk Science: The Great Global Warming Race

Can global warming’s vested interests close the deal on greenhouse gas regulation before the public wises up to their scam?

A new study indicates alarmist concern and a need to explain away the lack of actual global warming. Researchers belonging to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, reported in Nature (May 1) that after adjusting their climate model to reflect actual sea surface temperatures of the last 50 years, "global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations … temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming."

You got that? IPCC researchers project no global warming over the next decade because of Mother Nature. Although the result seems stunning in that it came from IPCC scientists who have always been in the tank for manmade global warming, it’s not really surprising since the notion of manmade climate change has never lived up to its billing.

When NASA’s James Hansen sounded the alarm in Congress 20 years ago, he predicted that rising concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, or CO2, would drive global temperatures higher by 0.34 degrees Celsius during the 1990s. But surface temperatures increased during that decade by only 0.11 degrees Celsius and lower atmosphere temperatures actually decreased.

Global temperatures remain well below an El Nino-driven 1998 spike despite ever-increasing atmospheric CO2. Global warming hysterics purport that manmade emissions of CO2 are the primary driver of global climate and that controlling emissions will favorably affect climate. While this is obviously not so since it virtually supposes that without human activity climate change would not occur, it nevertheless remains their viewpoint.

The Nature study, however, reasserts Mother Nature in her rightful place as our climate dominatrix. Although there is no evidence that manmade CO2 emissions play any detectable role in climate change, the very idea that Mother Nature may cool the planet despite humanity’s furious output of greenhouse gases should be even worse for the climate alarmists’ way of thinking.

It would mean that greenhouse gas emissions are actually beneficial, since without them, Mother Nature’s cooling could be quite damaging. The last time the Earth significantly cooled was during the 14th to 19th centuries — a period known as the Little Ice Age.

Among other things during that period, the Vikings were forced to withdraw from a freezing Greenland and cooler Northern Hemisphere temperatures were responsible for, and or contributed to, numerous famines and much-related social upheaval. So will the Nature study dump climate alarmism into the ash can of history? Doubtful.

Just this week, Al Gore drummed up $683 million for an investment fund that aims to profit from government-subsidized global warming-related technologies. A few weeks ago, Gore launched a $300 million global warming ad campaign. Do you think he’s at all interested in returning that money to investors and contributors? Or that he and the IPCC are interested in returning their Nobel Peace Prizes?

The federal government has been doling out more than $5 billion annually for research into climate change and alternative energy. A generation ago, there were only a handful of climatologists around the world; now there are legions of taxpayer-funded climatologists, scientists and public health professionals from many disciplines also hooked up to the climate gravy train.

What about the private-sector profiteers? Will the carbon footprint industry give up its CO2-offset ATM? Will companies that have been lobbying to receive trillions of dollars of free carbon credits from Congress — including Alcoa, Dow Chemical, and Dupont — stop pushing for all that free money?

How many outspoken politicians and celebrities will be willing to acknowledge that they have made fools of themselves? I suppose that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Madonna and others could at least jet on back to their hypocritical Green lifestyles with a clear conscience of sorts.

Finally, there’s the environmental movement that is now just a November presidential election away from its dream of turning the United States into a centrally planned Green state where under the guise of saving the planet, the Green elites would get to pick and choose who gets to use how much energy and at what cost.

The bottom line of global warming — and that is why so many are behind it — is that its many vested interests are on the verge of a financial and political bonanza, something that scientific facts and climatic realities are likely only to spoil.

So when global temperature doesn’t behave as predicted, excuses and explanations must be found to prevent the almost-mature golden goose from being roasted for dinner. The spin on the Nature study provided by its authors to The New York Times is that, "We’re learning that [natural] climate variability is important and can mask the effects of human-induced global change. In the end this gives more confidence in the long-term projections."

The attempted logic here is that even though the alarmists have been wrong in the past — been there, done that — their failure somehow sets them up for more certain future success. We look past this logical fallacy at our own peril. I can’t wait for their Orwellian pronouncement that global cooling is the new global warming.

For the next 10 years, while alarmists ram through their misanthropic agenda, their time-buying story line will be "aren’t we lucky that Mother Nature has given us a temporary reprieve."

This will no doubt be followed 10 years later by "Whew, aren’t we glad we spent trillions to prevent catastrophic global warming?"

Meanwhile, for trained observers, it will simply be a matter of realizing that the global warming apocalypse never materialized because it was simply never going to happen anyway.

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

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