OK, I’ve tried really hard not to write about global warming, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I asked my usual question about identifying the primary source of global warming to some 12- and 13-year-olds last week, and I got the standard answers of mankind, pollution, and CO2. Not one of them correctly identified the sun as the primary cause of global warming on Earth. After all, without the sun, the Earth would be a frozen ice ball drifting in space. To be fair, it’s a trick question because I asked them about global warming, and they responded as if I had asked about human-caused global warming. The two are not the same.

Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is an edifice constructed of five floors. Here is how Warren Meyer of Coyote Blog explained it:

There are a lot of reasons not to be worried about “inaction” on global warming. To justify the enormously expensive cuts in CO2 productions, on the order of 80% as supported by Obama and Clinton, one has to believe every element of a five-step logic chain:

  1. Mankind is increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere
  2. Increased atmospheric CO2 causes the world to warm (by some amount, large or small)
  3. The increases in CO2 from man will cause substantial warming, large enough to be detectable above natural climate variations
  4. The increases in world temperatures due to man’s CO2 will have catastrophic impacts on civilization
  5. These catastrophic impacts and their costs are larger than the enormous costs, in terms of poverty and lost wealth, from reducing CO2 with current technologies.

Climate alarmists have adopted a rhetorical trick that no one in the media seems willing to call them on. They like to wage the debate over global warming policy on points one and two only, skipping over the rest. Why? Because the science behind numbers one and two are pretty strong. Yes, there are a few folks who will battle them on these points, but even very strong skeptics like myself accept points one and two as proved.

I have no problem accepting #1 and #2 as being proven, but I do not accept #3 as proven. I believe that enough science has been presented to show that the fluctuations in global temperatures have more to do with seasonal variations and solar cycles and less to do with any effects by man, and I’ve written about this before.

I found a ZNet article from 2004 that appears to follow along the lines Warren points out: start with an accepted point, then build on unproven guesses from there:

Before proposing answers to these questions, let us summarize the issues explained so far:

— The world climate is getting warmer. [Depending on your definition of what is "normal temperature," I can accept that. -CM]

— Climate models show that the burning of oil, gas and coal in the industrialized countries is responsible for the climate change. [Climate models are intellectual guesswork and can only reflect reality when they are heavily tweaked after the fact. -CM]

— The expectations for the near future are very disturbing and many catastrophes are highly probable. [But these expectations are based on the guesswork of deeply flawed, and therefore useless, computer models. -CM]

— Today’s (in)action’s will have long-term consequences for the entire biosphere and the living conditions of many future generations. [Yet more guesswork. -CM]

But the uncertainties about AGW do not prevent people from reacting as if they were the gospel truth. Consider the Bishop of Stafford.

A senior bishop in the Church of England has compared people who ignore climate change to Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who kept his daughter locked in a cellar for 24 years, repeatedly raping her and fathering seven of her children.

The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Rev. Gordon Mursell, made the comparison in a parish “pastoral” newsletter and said that people who fail to act to prevent global warming are “as guilty as” Fritzl and “destroying the future of our children,” the Times of London reported Monday.

The bishop denied Monday that he was accusing those who ignore climate change of being child abusers, but said Fritzl was “the most extreme form” of a common selfish streak in humankind.

“In fact you could argue that, by our refusal to face the truth about climate change, we are as guilty as he is we are in effect locking our children and grandchildren into a world with no future and throwing away the key,” he wrote in the letter entitled “following our dream,” distributed around the Diocese of Lichfield.

He defended his comments, saying he did not wish “to shock people unnecessarily.” But he said: “I am simply trying to use an analogy to get people to wake up to the consequences of what we are failing to do, because if we don’t there won’t be a future for our children either.”

Nothing like a sermon of hellfire and global warming to scare obedience right into people. Recycle or you’re destroying the future of our children! Bow down before Saint Gore, or the Earth will burn for your ecological sins!

And if a rousing sermon isn’t sufficient to get you stirred up, how about finding out when you, the evil planet-killing human that you are, should die? This gem comes from ABC in Australia, and based on the answers you give, this Flash game tells you at what age you should die based on how fast you use up your “fair share” of the planet.

Die! You pig, DIE!

As you can see from the picture, my little piggy exploded and told me I should have died at age 2.2 since that’s the age at which I “used up [my] share of the planet.” What a nice way to spread the gospel news of Saint Gore! I know I always look to an exploding cartoon pig to tell people — especially kids — that they should just die, already. It just warms the cockles of my heart, and what’s left of the exploded pig’s heart, to spread that cheery news.

Too bad it’s all a load of tripe. The vast majority of my piggy’s CO2 was calculated based on the amount of money I make and spend, and since I don’t choose to spend my money on global warming indulgences, the Flash game made my pig swell up to a horrible size. But here’s the question — how does my spending now suggest that I should have been offed in the name of Gaia at the age of two, when I wasn’t spending a thing?

But none of that means anything to the irrational anthropogenic global warming supporters. The thing that bothers me most about this nonsense is how such people could easily use it to justify sweeping, radical changes in our society. It’s a short journey between discussions of “when you should die” and justification of when you WILL die. Unconvinced? Government-enforced euthanasia in pursuit of a society filled only with “useful people” has a terrifying historical precedent. It’s happened before, and it could happen again.

Just in case you have missed some of the news coming out of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, we are all gonna die! Here are some of the news articles about this report:

A world dying, but can we unite to save it?

Humanity is rapidly turning the seas acid through the same pollution that causes global warming, the world’s governments and top scientists agreed yesterday. The process – thought to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans for 20 million years – is expected both to disrupt the entire web of life of the oceans and to make climate change worse.

UN Panel Gives Dire Warming Forecast

Global warming is “unequivocal” and carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere commits the world to an eventual rise in sea levels of up to 4.6 feet, the world’s top climate experts warned Saturday in their most authoritative report to date.

U.N. Report Describes Risks of Inaction on Climate Change

In its final and most powerful report, a United Nations panel of scientists meeting here describes the mounting risks of climate change in language that is both more specific and forceful than its previous assessments, according to scientists here.

U.N. report: Global warming accelerating, suffering, species extinction ahead

The Earth is hurtling toward a warmer climate at a quickening pace, a Nobel-winning U.N. scientific panel said in a landmark report released Saturday, warning of inevitable human suffering and the threat of extinction for some species.

Yep, Earth is going to Hell in a handbasket, and it’s all your fault!

Or not, but it certainly makes for great headlines. And as race-baiting poverty pimp Jesse Jackson could tell you, managing a crisis (rather than solving it) is like minting your own money. Plus, when you are in crisis mode, it’s possible to make statements to stifle the opposing forces. Chest-thumping statements that “the debate is over” serve only to shut up actual debate because this is not settled science. Here’s a good example of this type of rhetoric:

The debate is over: global warming is real and the scientific consensus identifies human-caused greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, as the primary cause.

They take a statement that is factual and provable: “global warming is real,” and mix it with a statement that is pure speculation: “the scientific consensus identifies human-caused greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, as the primary cause.” I’ll ask again — what is the primary cause of global warming? The answer is the sun, but you will get dirty looks and angry responses when you point that out to people. It is undeniable that gases like carbon dioxide and methane certainly help in helping keep the heat from the sun here with us, but they are not the primary greenhouse gases. Water vapor is the greatest in overall amount and effect.

And it is propaganda because, despite all the rhetoric, the theory of anthropogenic climate change is not settled science yet. The first question that needs to be answered is whether the Earth really is warming up or not. “Of course it is warming! Didn’t you see photos of retreating glaciers in Alaska, the vanishing snows on Kilimanjaro, and the starving polar bears?” I’ve heard people put forward these three examples as proof positive of global warming. But they do not prove global warming. They are anecdotes, not data. Data comes in the form of temperature measurements, not stories.

Global Temperatures“But the temperature measurements show that we have been warming up!” Really? The commonly-used graph of global temperature (on the right) put forward as proof of warming shows temperature changes over the last century. From the look of this graph, it does seem that temperatures were going up until the 1940s, dropped to a low in the late ’70s, and have been warming up since then. But I’m not all that impressed by the graph because I know the world was recovering from the Little Ice Age at the beginning of the graph, so it’s not surprising that the initial temperatures are lower there. If we expand our time frame to the past 1,000 years, we would see that the Medieval Climatic Optimum was warmer than it is now. If we look at the last 10,000 years, we will see still warmer spots, and before that was the Pleistocene ice age with Manfred, Diego, Sid, and Scrat. Expanding our time frame out to many millions of years in the past, Earth has undergone much hotter time periods than our own.

“But if we don’t do anything, species will die!” So? If we look at the history of life on Earth, the commonest state for a species is extinct. The estimate is that 90-95% of all species that have ever lived on the planet are currently extinct. That’s why T-Rex doesn’t go rampaging through Los Angeles except in bad movie sequels. I am happy to know that T-Rex is no longer a danger since I doubt my .30-06 would do much damage to it. In any case, it would be tough meat, even though it would probably taste like chicken. “But what about the polar bears?” Yeah, well, what about them? Let’s imagine that the entire Arctic ice sheet melted completely in the summer. It’s not all that hard to imagine since it has happened before in the recent geological past. And oddly enough, the polar bears made it through those times, too. If they were really smart, they would have moved to a condo in Florida with the rest of the retirement crowd.

You’ll continue to hear more and more about how messed up the world is, and how it is all our fault. But before you come to believe this is settled science, you should spend some time listening to what some scientists are saying. I suggest you watch the following videos at the very least. The first is Bob Carter talking about the nature of global warming. He basically says that the world has continually warmed and cooled, and if we look at the averages for the past few million years, it’s more common to be cooler than hotter. It’s not a question of if we will have another ice age, but when.

The second video is David Archibald talking about how the 24th solar cycle will very likely be wimpy, similar to the wimpy cycle from the 1900s.

The third video is by Warren Meyer of CoyoteBlog.com and Climate-Sceptic.com, asking the obvious but rarely-voiced question, “What is normal?” He explains much of the fear-mongering and bad science being put forth by the supporters of the anthropogenic global warming theory. These are many of the topics he has addressed already, but it’s nice to see them in a single video.

Is the debate on climate control over? Not by a long shot, but certain people like to tell us that it is. After watching these videos, you should have a good idea of some questions you can ask supporters of the anthropogenic global warming theory.

OK, so I’ll stop writing about Global Warming for a while. Well, I will until something interesting comes up on the subject. But before I voluntarily silence myself on this subject, there is a fine bit of information I strongly suggest you read. Warren Meyer runs CoyoteBlog.com, and he has done a masterful job in discussing from the point of view of a skeptic the idea of man-made global warming, or to use a 21-point Scrabble word, anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

To begin with, you should read his post, “The 60-Second Climate Skeptic,” that nicely condenses the skeptic’s arguments against AGW into a one-page read. Once you have read that blog entry, you can go for the meat of Meyer’s skeptical look at AGW in his paper “A Skeptical Layman’s Guide to Anthropogenic Global Warming.” The PDF version can be downloaded separately and clocks in at 82 pages.

After you have read these (and my posts on global warming, of course), you should know how to respond when people start discussing the topic of global warming. Well, that’s assuming you don’t want to be attacked as a heretic.