FIRST-PERSON: The tide turning on global warming 'alarmism'?
British Lord Christopher Monkton was a guest in June on the Point of View radio program, calling in from the Rio Plus 20 conference. He told us that at last year's climate conference in Durban, South Africa, the U.N. was about to grant Mother Earth the right to sue any Western nation in a new International Climate Court (no kidding), and to cut allowable carbon dioxide emissions by half (thereby killing most economies).
CO2 is what people exhale, so it's not surprising that Lord Monkton described a poster he noticed at the conference which "showed the sun dressed as a doctor diagnosing the Earth's disease: 'I'm afraid you've got it: humans.'" He spoke of the overarching goal of U.N. planners, which is to enact some kind of a global tax, perhaps on financial transactions, and to assess developed nations billions in order to help developing nations fight global warming.
Cooler heads prevailed. But climate change -- with us since the earth began -- continues to be the boogeyman of choice for the U.N. To them, the way we live, with things like cars -- and air conditioning -- is simply not sustainable.
Global warming hawks have been fairly successful in creating an aura of scientific consensus around global warming. But that's changing. Sixteen prominent climate scientists have signed a document to try to dispel the myth that something needs to be done about global warming. One of them, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever publicly resigned last September from the American Physical Society. He declared he could not live with the group's policy statement that the evidence for global warming is "incontrovertible" and its alarmist warnings about what will happen if "no mitigating actions" are taken.
The Wall Street Journal recently published the 16 scientists' statement in an article entitled, "No Need to Panic About Global Warming." The article highlights this defection from global warming orthodoxy and states that, despite institutional persecution and the fact that there's more money in the climate alarmist camp, the number of scientists joining the ranks of "heretics" is large and growing.
The scientists' statement emphasizes that there's been a "lack of global warming for well over 10 years." Plus, over the last 22 years, the planet has not warmed as much as computer models predicted. These models have also greatly exaggerated the amount of warming carbon dioxide could possibly cause. We hear less lately about CO2 causing warming because there isn't the evidence. Instead, the alarmists are now claiming we have to cut greenhouse gasses because they cause "weather extremes" -- events like hurricanes and storms.
As stewards of the earth, man should do his best to protect the environment. But when nations get together to figure out how to do that, they ought to drop the presumptuous idea that man can control the climate. While they're at it they should stop trying to penalize the wealthier nations for their success. When economies grow, they can better afford policies that protect the environment.
The statement by the 16 scientists cites a recent study of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus that showed one of the best growth scenarios for less-developed nations could be achieved with "50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls." Someone ought to propose that to the United Nations.
Penna Dexter is a conservative activist and frequent panelist on the "Point of View" syndicated radio program. Her weekly commentaries air on the Bott and Moody radio networks. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).