Thursday, January 18, 2007

Global Warming Meltdown

There were two interesting items in the news today concerning the debate on global climate change. First, the Wall Street Journal had an article about how former Vice President Al Gore ducked an interview with a Danish newspaper:

Al Gore is traveling around the world telling us how we must fundamentally change our civilization due to the threat of global warming. Today he is in Denmark to disseminate this message. But if we are to embark on the costliest political project ever, maybe we should make sure it rests on solid ground. It should be based on the best facts, not just the convenient ones. This was the background for the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, to set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore. And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore's tune.

The interview had been scheduled for months. Mr. Gore's agent yesterday thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he's been very critical of Mr. Gore's message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore's evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands-Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled. What happened?

Apparently, Al Gore never wants to debate anyone who has actually researched the topic of global climate change. The article also points out that:

  1. Al Gore claims that malaria is a growing problem in Nairobi, Kenya. His claims are contrary to World Health Organization statistics. In fact, malaria was a worse problem back in the 1920s and 30s, when average temperatures were cooler.
  2. Al Gore makes scary claims about the 2% of Antarctica that has melting ice, but ignores the other 98% that is getting thicker.
  3. He speaks of heat-related deaths, but conveniently leaves out that more people die of cold than heat.

The second item concerns how a Weather Channel climatologist is "advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming." Apparently, she has also featured an environmental activist (from Grist Magazine) who advocates "Nuremberg-style trials" for skeptics of global warming. I might add that Grist Magazine spread claims by former TV talk show host Bill Moyers that Christian conservatives want to accelerate global environmental destruction in order to hasten the second coming of Jesus. Moyers was forced to apologize to former Interior Secretary James Watt for misquoting him in this regard.

So what do we make of this? Well, these kinds of news items should tell all of us that global warming advocates are not really confident in their "science." They know they are relying on faulty data models. Believe me, I work in the environmental field and have seen just how environmental models need constant revision. Remember, "garbage in, garbage out" is a very appropriate way of looking at all this.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, adoption of the radical measures Gore is pushing will make us much poorer and do very little, if any, good. A lot of wide-eyed environmentalists think that we will be building a more compassionate world, but in fact the lives of many will be made more miserable. Of course, Al Gore with his millions of dollars, multiple mansions, and lots of SUVs won't feel too much pain.

Have you ever gone to a time-share sales presentation? The people who do this always embark in these high-pressure sales tactics because they know that if you walk out the door without buying, the chances are you will never buy from them. Well, I feel like we are being subjected to high-pressure sales tactics, and the snake oil salespeople do not want any competing points of view.

UPDATE: See comments by I'm Not Emeril and by Squeaky Wheel. Time shares are going going going . . . LOL