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The New Climate Science Deniers: Liberals

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“Despite these relentless setbacks for the climate campaign, environmentalists are not going gentle into this well-lit night, nor will they abandon their decades-old crusade to kill off hydrocarbon energy. The movement is too well funded, and has established ample footholds in the policy machinery stretching down to the local level in the United States. Having a ‘climate action policy’ is de rigueur for just about every self-respecting city council and county commission in the country.

– Steven Hayward, “The Climate Circus Leaves Town,” The Weekly Standard, April 29

On April 4, Maine newspapers carried a story headlined, “Will Maine revive plans for climate change?” with a subtitle that read, “An Augusta hearing attracts groups urging a restart on efforts that were dropped in 2011.”

It continued, “Testifying before the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee, representatives of groups ranging from the Nature Conservancy to the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute asked that the state resume work on the plan, designed to help guide Maine through its looming challenges with climate change.”

What might those be? “The effects, according to a University of Maine study, will likely include more rain, rather than snow, more storms that damage beaches and coastal structures, and other changes to Maine as residents and visitors have known it for centuries. The study concludes that rising temperatures in Maine threaten everything from tourism to farming to forestry, and that the state must plan for changes.”

And why does the plan need to be revived? “Efforts to develop a climate change adaptation plan were halted by the LePage administration in 2011.”

That wasn’t all, either. An April 22 story, “Maine climate change on conference agenda,” noted that the University of Southern Maine was hosting a conference April 25 featuring “climate adaptation experts” to discuss what moves might be made if a new plan were to be adopted.

These folks aren’t the only ones furrowing their brows. On April 7, former U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, now president and CEO of the American Association of Publishers, wrote a Sunday Telegram Insight Section cover piece based on his new book, “Dangerous Convictions: What’s Really Wrong With the U.S. Congress” (if anyone should know, it’s him).

Allen listed a number of things that one side of the aisle believes that the other side simply can’t take seriously.

Thus, a “hardening conflict” makes compromise less likely and inspires each side to attempt to marshal its power to overwhelm the other, rather than confer with it.

For the purposes of this column, note that one thing Allen says Republicans believe makes that Democrats think “they could not believe what they were saying” was that “climate science isn’t proven.”

This point was so important to him that he listed it twice, saying later, “Why do so many Republicans deny what is, in fact, an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists about the nature, sources and consequences of climate change?”

It’s a good question, and it deserves an answer, so here it is, stated briefly:

Republicans (and many others with no political axe to grind) can concede that a substantial number of climate scientists hold to the opinion that observed increases in average global temperatures (which have leveled off over the past 17 years) are due primarily to human action instead of natural forces.

But they regard that claim as not only unproven, but flying in the face of many constantly developing natural phenomena and research results that, if they don’t disprove “anthropogenic global warming” outright, at least cast it into serious doubt.

So much doubt, in fact, that taking the kinds of steps that these experts and their political and cultural allies recommend (or, should I say, demand) is not only unnecessary based on our current knowledge, it has as much — or more — likelihood of doing harm than good.

It’s true, I’m not a climate scientist. But then, neither is former Vice President Al Gore — or, for that matter, Tom Allen. Yet, what matters is not who says something, but how well they can back up what they say.

And lots of people — not just scientists, but leaders of governments all around the world, who presumably can access the same studies as anyone else — are fleeing from the so-called “climate science consensus” as fast as they can.

Of course, you don’t have to take my word for all this. The “post-consensus consensus,” if I can call it that, is building every day. For evidence, the best resource over the long haul is an English source, Benny Peiser’s Global Warming Policy Foundation (www.gwpf.org), where Peiser cites original sources about what’s happening in Europe and around the world on climate change — or, rather, what isn’t happening.

Other sites include the aggregation site icecap.us,www.globalwarming.com, Anthony Watts’ science-heavy wattsupwiththat.org; Steve Milloy’sjunkscience.com; and many others.

Watts’ site just published a piece with the best short description of the principle issue I have found. In a guest post from Philip Lloyd of the Energy Institute at New Zealand’s Cape Peninsula University of Technology, titled “A Climate of Skepticism,” Lloyd wrote:

“There is about a 2-to-1 chance that the temperature may vary by up to 1oC per century from natural causes, but only about a 1 in 10 chance that it will vary by more than 1.9oC naturally. Between 1900 and 2000 it varied by about 0.9oC, which is, therefore, within the range of natural variation. And that, in simple terms, is why there is skepticism about the thesis that carbon dioxide is causing global warming — there is no clear signal of any such warming effect.”

But it’s not the data the warmists are preaching, it’s the way their computer models massage it: “However, the proponents of the anthropogenic warming thesis claim to have models that show how added carbon dioxide will lead to a warmer world. There are major problems with these models, not least of which is the fact that the proponents claim that doubling the CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the temperature by over 3ºC. This is well above any physical reason. It results from arguments about the effect of water vapor in the atmosphere, which is supposed to exacerbate the effect of increased CO2.”

And yet, it hasn’t: “The doubling effect is so far invisible (my italics). Other estimates have suggested that doubling the CO2 may increase the global temperatures by less than 1ºC. The evidence for this is building. For instance, there has been about a 40 percent increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1945, which would imply 1.2ºC of warming if doubling the CO2caused a 3ºC rise. Figure 1 shows that the actual warming over this period has only been about 0.4oC. Has the globe cooled by 0.8ºC while the added CO2has been warming us? It seems unlikely.”

Yes, it most certainly does.

Finally, here’s a summary paragraph from a new report, “Consensus and Controversy” produced this month by SINTEF, “the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia:”

“This report positively concludes that an alleged near unanimous scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), that ‘the science is settled,’ is overstated. The report finds a robust, critical scientific discourse in climate-related research, yet it highlights that a ‘consensus-building’ approach to science might represent a politicized and unscientific belief in science — a belief in tension with the ethos of ‘normal science.’ The report calls for a continuing questioning, critical, and undogmatic public debate over man-made global warming, and a clearer separation between science and policy.”

There’s much more to say on this topic, as the issue changes from day to day. Recent reports cited as “final evidence” of warming by the media have been withdrawn by their authors under scrutiny, and Europe itself has seen its major carbon-trading scheme entirely fall apart.

But that can wait for now. Suffice it to say that it might be a good idea if Maine adopts some “adaptation” goals in case the temperature starts to rise again (it could, of course, fall). But hugely expensive, economy-wrecking measures are failing all over the world, so we don’t need to follow that fruitless path.

And that, Mr. Allen, is why we think you’re talking through your hat.

M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a free-lance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at: mdharmoncol@yahoo.com

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