The Nation's Pulse

Greenhouse Gasbaggery

The latest winter of our discontented. But then there is S. Fred Singer.

By 1.23.07

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Blizzards in the Central states. Icicles all over New England. The California citrus crop frozen. Where is Global Warming, now that we need it?

If Al Gore and his friends are right about Global Warming, the solution to this winter's deep freeze is at hand. If everyone in, say, Chicago and Boston were to buy a large new SUV the aggregate emissions should drive up the temperature in no time. (Southern California citrus growers will just have to make do with smudge pots.)

This solution is no less fanciful that the notion that fluctuations in the earth's temperature are caused by human activity. Although ground temperatures have increased slightly over the last century, that is not true of air temperatures. Nevertheless, it has provided the golden opportunity long sought by environmentalist militants: stopping industrial society in its tracks.

Feeding assumptions into computers to create predictive models (keep in mind GIGO -- Garbage In; Garbage Out), using selective temperature data and dishing the information out to media writers who are either gullible, lazy or sympathetic, the militants have managed to persuade a large number of people -- including politicians -- that their sky-is-falling theory is, indeed, Truth Revealed.

Add to this a choir of Hollywood celebrities always on the lookout for a cause and top it off with the certitude of Al Gore, who once thought he would ride environmentalism to the Oval Office, and you have a potent cadre of propagandists who make Henny Penny look like a dumb cluck.

These folks and their compliant media chorus beat us about the ears daily with alarms of rising sea levels, flooded coasts, dying penguins and polar bears unless we stop driving automobiles, cutting trees and populating the planet.

There are more than a few Global Warming skeptics among scientists; however, the sky-is-falling people work assiduously to demonize and silence them. Fortunately, two of them not only refuse to be silent, but also mince no word in a candid new book, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 years. The authors are S. Fred Singer, a physicist and professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia, and Dennis T. Avery, a Hudson Institute fellow.

The crux of their book is that the earth's slight warming is part of an ages-old cycle of warming and cooling that has gone on for about one million years. Their conclusion is based on a detailed review of historical climate data. They say that these cycles last about 1,500 years each and have no correlation to levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Rather, the swings are connected to activity of the sun.

The authors point out that most of the 20th century's warming occurred before 1940, while the greatest period of industrialization occurred afterward. They conclude that all the Greenhouse Gasbaggery to which we are subject these days is prompted by stop-the-world ideologues and ambitious politicians who have managed to mislead and frighten the public.

"We are being humbugged by activists with no credentials, of whom we should automatically be wary," they write. And, "Now we are being humbugged by highly-trained professional scientists, many of them working on government research grants."

The Russians aren't buying the Greenhouse Gas arguments either; however, they have a different explanation for the unusually mild winter they are experiencing. According to NTV television, the mild weather is caused by the 1908 Tuguksa Event in which a meteor is believed to have exploded over a remote corner of Siberia with the force of a nuclear blast. The television report suggested that the current winter weather might be one link in a chain reaction leading to a new ice age and the end of the world in 2019.

Quick -- rush thousands of SUV from Detroit to Russia before it's too late!

Peter Hannaford is at pdh3292@aol.com.

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About the Author
Peter Hannaford was closely associated with the late President Reagan for a number of years. He is a member of the board of the Committee on the Present Danger. His latest book is “Presidential Retreats.”