Media outlets routinely quote various experts who predict that
human activity on Earth will result in soaring temperatures, rising sea
levels, increasing storms, prolonged droughts and other disasters.
Many of these “forecasts” and “predictions” are the product of climate change computer models that produce a variety of “worst-case scenarios.” Others are simply made up. Are these projections valid? Are they a sound basis for policy decisions that will have incalculable, far-reaching impacts on our energy security, economy, living standards and lives?
A trio of scientists who are indeed experts in forecasting and climatology say no. They will be presenting Monday at the second International Conference on Climate Change organized by the Heartland Institute.Here’s their thinking:
Climate change forecasts are useless for policymaking
Why rush to ruin the economy over some dodgy forecasts?
-- By Kesten C. Green, J. Scott Armstrong, and Willie Soon
Even as we struggle with serious global financial and economic difficulties, some people believe manmade global warming is a real problem of urgent concern.
Perhaps this is because, almost every day, media outlets quote “experts” who predict that soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, increasing storms, prolonged droughts and other disasters will result from human activity.
NASA scientist James Hansen claims “death trains” carrying coal are putting our planet “in peril.” If we continue using hydrocarbon energy, he predicts, “…one ecological collapse will lead to another, in amplifying feedbacks.”
He further forecasts that only by eliminating coal-fired power plants and other sources of carbon dioxide can we prevent the collapse.
The situation recalls a 1974 CIA report that concluded there was “growing consensus among leading climatologists that the world is undergoing a cooling trend”… one likely to cause a food production crisis. Dr. Hansen would probably appreciate the frustration those CIA experts must have felt when Congress ignored their forecasts and recommendations.
If it makes sense to enact measures to reduce CO2 emissions when experts forecast warming, then surely it also makes sense to emit extra CO2 when experts forecast cooling. Or perhaps not. Perhaps any link between climate change and carbon dioxide is not so strong or important. Consider the historical record.
The tiny fraction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased through the twentieth century. And yet, during that time, global average temperatures rose till about 1940, fell till about 1975, rose again till 1998, and then dropped away again. It is not surprising, then, that despite claims “the science is settled,” thousands of scientists disagree with forecasts of dangerous manmade global warming.
History again provides useful guidance.
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