Given the weather pattern trends we have seen over the past decade, the debate about whether or not we are experiencing climate change appears to be over. The evidence of climate change is undeniable. However, the debate over whether or not this trend will continue and over the root causes for climate change are still open for discussion and exploration. Unfortunately, that is not the way that many people see the situation.
The debate is not closed due to the fact that several prominent scientists and climatologists have come forward with alternate theories regarding the causes for the current global warming trend and climate changes we are observing. Things are not quite as Al Gore would have you believe when he states that there is a complete consensus among scientists around the world that man is causing global warming. The real fact is that no one on Earth knows the real cause of global warming–or how long the current trend will last.
The planet has gone through several warming and cooling trends in recent history. In the 1930s the planet was subjected to a sharp spike in temperatures that scientists have never been able to explain. This short-term climatic change caused a severe drought called the Dust Bowl in the Midwestern United States that destroyed farming for several years. In many ways, the short-term climatic changes experienced in the 1930s were much more devastating that anything we have recently experienced and most of the previous record temperatures set in the 20th century were experienced during these years. One thing that is certain is that man was not responsible for the severe changes we saw in the 1030s.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the planet experienced a cooling trend that caused many scientists to predict that the planet was entering a new ice age. In 1974 Time ran a special article on the subject called, Another Ice Age. That prediction proved to be premature, but started in a similar fashion to the way that the global warming debate started in the 1990s.
The Cult of Global Warming
While the intent of this article is not to downplay the possibility of a long-term global warming problem, it is intended to broaden the discussion about the root causes for climate change. The fact is that there has been tremendous pressure placed on scientists to join the global warming bandwagon. The pressure has become so strong that any scientist who does not agree with the current global warming assumptions is finding that he is excluded from the discussions and his grants and funding are cut off or not renewed. The fact is that grants and funding are the life blood for research and without funding for alternative theories, those theories are quickly starved to death.
Richard Lindzen, MIT’s Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science, said in a 2006 article called Climate of Fear that attempts to verify the widely accepted claim that the 1990s were the warmest decade in a millennium were met with resistance and refusal to release the research data for analysis and verification. The research, performed by Michael Mann, has been used by Al Gore and others to pressure politicians to take action. It would appear that if the research is valid, any scientist would encourage validation by another group of scientists, which adds credibility to the claims. Instead, we see dogmatic beliefs and refusal to allow verification.
In the same article, Richard Lindzen also mentions several prominent European scientists who were ostracized and excluded from the debate when they questioned the basis for several global warming assumptions. Richard Lindzen does acknowledge that global temperatures have risen slightly, and CO2 levels have also risen, but he sees little correlation between the two. Lindzen believes there are many other scientists who share his views but do not speak up for fear of losing funding.
Challenging the current global warming dogmas goes well beyond just a belief. It has a very strong driver that is rarely discussed. I mentioned earlier that grants and funding are the life blood of research. With out such finding, there is not research. Scientists–like everyone else–like to get paid. Government funding for global warming research really began after Bill Clinton announced that he had become a believer in the global warming issue and displayed a global warming research project with a summary section commissioned by Al Gore. 5000 scientists signed up in agreement with the Al Gore summary section which stated that global warming was here and we need to act now. At that time, Bill Clinton announced a $1 million research grant to explore the issue. As John Stossel of ABC News later reported, the part that wasn’t said was that 18,000 scientists didn’t agree with the assumptions. Which group do you think got the grants?
During the past 6 years, the Bush administration has poured an average of $5 million per year into global warming research. Global warming research is becoming a cash cow and where there is money, there is bias. I suspect that the annual expenditures will grow substantially now that the Democrats are in charge of Congressional spending.
In 2004, Richard Lindzen published articles that first compared the fear of global warming to a religious belief. In recent years it has clearly gone beyond that and has approached cult status. Anyone who challenges the current beliefs about global warming in a blog or other outlet are immediately set upon by hordes of global warming fanatics who blindly believe what they have been told by Al Gore and other global warming alarmists. While religions are built upon faith-based belief systems, cults take that one step further and violently reject anything and anyone who challenges their beliefs. Just something to think about as we get deeper into the global warming debate.