by Dr. Tim Ball (Climatologist)
A Washington Post article titled “Hot enough for you?” ends with the comment that,
“Future generations will curse our silence.”
They won’t! They will wonder how people could write such misinformed, hysterical, commentary. There are few subjects like weather or climate about which people have such definitive opinions with so little understanding. Indeed, most don’t know the difference between weather and climate.
Mark Twain said people talk about the weather, but do nothing about it. Thank goodness they don’t. What’s more frightening, dangerous and deluded are politicians who say they are going to do something and commentators who demand that they do.
The Post article is a classic example of what is wrong. It begins with incorrect information provided by the government. This claimed that 2012 was the warmest year on record and severe weather events have increased in number and intensity. It then uses the pejorative and false term “climate-change denialists” to blame those preventing government taking action. It targets,
“especially those who manipulate the data in transparently bogus ways to claim that warming has halted or even reversed course — have been silent, as one might expect.”
As a “denialist” and educator, I’ve done everything to educate people about the extent and cause of climate change. The real “denialists” are the government agencies that altered and manipulated records and produced misleading and incorrect information.
The article says,
“The thing is, though, that climate change has already put itself on the agenda — not the cause, but the effects. We’re dealing with human-induced warming of the atmosphere.”
Who put it on the agenda? Answer, government, from the UN through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to the national weather bureaucracies like the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) down to State and Municipal. Sensationalist, ill-informed, biased media provide amplification. Together they created and perpetuated as the cause the falsehood of “human-induced warming”. Then, they presented natural events as unnatural, abnormal, or never having occurred before. They labeled anyone who showed what was wrong with their science and claims first as global warming skeptics then climate change deniers.
They assume we can stop warming or climate change based on the claim that it is due to human addition of CO2 to the atmosphere. Since that is not the cause, then the talk is nonsense. The United Kingdom Met Office (UKMO) illustrated this when it recently acknowledged that lack of global temperature increase of the last 16 years is because natural factors overrode the CO2 effect. The reduction in the temperature increase forecast was a massive 20%.
What happens if warming and climate change predictions are wrong and we took remedial action? This is the precautionary principle argument pushed by environmentalist and enshrined in Principle 15 of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Agenda 21.
Recent history provides an answer. From 1940 through 1980 the concern was global cooling as temperatures declined. The CIA pursued its role of preparing contingency plans and produced a few Reports. Prevailing wisdom said cooling would continue so alarmists demanded action. Some advocated stopping the cooling with a variety of schemes called geo-engineering. These included building a dam across the Bering Straits to prevent cold water outflow from the Arctic, and putting giant reflectors in space to direct more sunlight down, especially in to high latitude cities. CO2 was not a concern at the time, but if sufficient public concern pushed political action and funding was available, somebody would have proposed adding CO2 to the atmosphere. Based on the current official (IPCC) science this would have caused warming. The trouble is natural warming began after 1980. If we accept their theory that CO2 causes warming, it makes the situation worse.
If you don’t know what is happening or why, it is wiser to do nothing. All the evidence, but especially the failed short, medium and long term forecasts of the IPCC and the UKMO, indicate their science is wrong. Governments upbraided in the article for inaction created the false hypothesis that human CO2 caused global warming/climate change. They pushed stories about weather events as abnormal when they were perfectly normal. The public and media were mislead because they knew little about weather or climate. Their education incorrectly teaches them that change is gradual over long periods. In fact change is rapid and dramatic naturally.
Everybody is familiar with the experience of being introduced to a person after which they are there every time you turn around. They were always present; they were just not part of your awareness. This pattern applies to weather events. They became frequent stories for the sensationalist, ill-informed, politically biased media. It appeared to confirm government stories about new and extreme events. The Washington Post article proves the point. It begins:
“All right, now can we talk about climate change? After a year when the lower 48 states suffered the warmest temperatures, and the second-craziest weather, since record-keeping began?”
The answer is we can and must talk.
The conversation must include the following. Understanding that the official government record is at most 100 years for a world some 5 billion years old. Involve participants with a basic knowledge and understanding of climate science. An explanation for why CO2, which is only 0.03% of the atmosphere and less than 4% of the greenhouse gases, is the sole focus of attention and concern. Understanding how climate science became a political agenda. Knowledge that all official weather and climate predictions come from computer models and are consistently wrong. An explanation of why what started as global warming, changed to climate change.
If we don’t have the talk future generations will curse the silence. They will curse why we allowed a few political bullies to undermine development and progress with the false claim that human CO2 is causing climate change.