Lawrence Solomon: Warmed right over

(September 16, 2011) The global-warming theory is nearing its end as evidence against it mounts.

Why do a majority of Canadians — 52% according to the latest Angus Reid poll — still hold the belief that humans are mainly responsible for global warming?

I think I know, based on the feedback I’ve received from literally thousands of Canadians who have commented in recent years on my articles dealing with global warming. Most of that 52% have so often been told that the science is settled on global warming, and so rarely that there is any credible dissent, that they have not yet twigged to straightforward information, such as the rejection by most top scientists of the global-warming dogma.

Nobel-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, who resigned as a fellow from the American Physical Society this week over its endorsement of warming.

Just this week, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever resigned as a fellow from the American Physical Society, saying he could not live with its nonsensical endorsement of global-warming alarmism. Dr. Giaever joins a host of other eminent scientists who have dismissed concerns over global warming, including Freeman Dyson, a Princeton physicist and America’s best known scientist, Antonino Zichichi, the president of the World Federation of Scientists and Italy’s best known scientist, Claude Allegre, a former socialist Minister of National Education, Research and Technology and France’s best-known scientist, and America’s Reid Bryson, known as the “father of scientific climatology” and judged “the world’s most cited climatologist” by the journal of the Institute of British Geographers.

In contrast to this Who’s Who of the scientific world, the list of top global-warming scientists falls far short. No scientist has been awarded a Nobel Prize in a science field for his work on global warming because no piece of science in the field has achieved a major scientific breakthrough. This despite the global-warming issue’s dominance of the scientific world for more than two decades, garnering the lion’s share of scientific funding and an inordinate amount of coverage in scientific publications. The only Nobel Prize conferred on global-warming advocates came from the political wing of the Nobel Prize establishment, which awarded them a prize for peace in consolation for their failure to merit a prize for science.

The most celebrated global-warming scientist by far has been NASA’s James Hansen, whose 1988 testimony in the U.S. Senate first brought the climate change issue to the popular press. Hansen presented projections, based on his computer models, showing dangerously high temperatures in the decades between then and now. Had those projections been borne out, he would today have a Nobel Prize in science. Unfortunately for him, his models proved to be duds. And aside from his global-warming work, he has precious few scientific accomplishments.

The next most celebrated global-warming scientist is Michael Mann, developer of the infamous hockey stick model that showed temperatures on Earth to have shot up dramatically in the last century, after 900 relatively stable years. That model, Mann’s sole claim to fame, also proved to be a dud. Once the icon of the global-warming movement, Mann’s hockey stick is now the subject of court proceedings and an icon for deceit.

What about all the thousands of scientists associated with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who are said to endorse the IPCC’s global-warming theory? Do the global-warming proponents make up in quantity of scientists what they lack in quality? No. Those thousands of scientists never endorsed the IPCC position, or any position. They were merely peer reviewers of the IPCC reports, and they often disagreed with the material they reviewed.

Some Canadians blame humans for global warming because they’ve been told that Antarctica is melting in unprecedented ways, the “proof” being spectacular film footage of huge chunks of ice breaking off into the Antarctic Ocean. They don’t yet know that Antarctic ice has always broken off, that satellites show Antarctica to be gaining ice overall, and that Antarctica has been getting colder, not warmer, over the last half century.

Other Canadians think the Arctic ice is in danger of disappearing, unaware that several times over the last century the Arctic Ocean was actually navigable — ­today’s Arctic is no different from before.

What about all the hurricanes predicted to ravage our shores because of global warming? They never happened, and for good reason: As the IPCC’s own hurricane expert said in resigning from that organization, there is no evidence that global warming will cause an increase in hurricanes.

The submerged islands in the Pacific? That, too, never happened. Yes, the oceans have been rising, as they have been for centuries, but not because of recent carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, the recent evidence shows the oceans’ rate of rise has been slowing.

The correlation between carbon dioxide and global warming? In the last century, there has been none. While carbon-dioxide emissions have steadily increased, the temperature has gone up and down like a yo-yo. The down period in the 1970s was so severe that many scientists at the time thought we were heading for a period of global cooling, as many do again, now that the planet has again stopped warming.

There is, in fact, not one important claim made by the global-warming alarmists that has stood up to scrutiny. The chief reason why so much of the Canadian public remains misinformed is that the Canadian press has failed to provide the scrutiny, or even to report the news — unlike the U.S. and European press, for example, no mainstream Canadian news outlet has yet reported Ivar Giaever’s resignation earlier this week — this column is likely the first you’ve heard of it.

Despite the media’s general reluctance to report dissenting views of global warming, Canadian are slowly becoming informed. Two years ago, 63% of Canadians told Angus Reid that they blamed humans for global warming; last year 60% did so and last week, 52%. Next year, as Canadians continue to better inform themselves, the percentage should be in the 40s. We will then join the civilized peoples of the world in having a healthy skepticism of those selling us pet theories on global warming as if they were established fact.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute and author of The Deniers.

This article first appeared in the Financial Post.

To see Ivar Giaever’s suffer-no-fools letter of resignation, click here.  For the American Physical Society endorsement of global warming that led to Ivar Giaever’s resignation, click here.

To see the Angus Reid poll, click here.

About Lawrence Solomon

Lawrence Solomon is one of Canada's leading environmentalists. His book, The Conserver Solution (Doubleday) popularized the Conserver Society concept in the late 1970s and became the manual for those interested in incorporating environmental factors into economic life. An advisor to President Jimmy Carter's Task Force on the Global Environment (the Global 2000 Report) in the late 1970's, he has since been at the forefront of movements to reform foreign aid, stop nuclear power expansion and adopt toll roads. Mr. Solomon is a founder and managing director of Energy Probe Research Foundation and the executive director of its Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute divisions. He has been a columnist for The Globe and Mail, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the editor and publisher of the award-winning The Next City magazine, and the author or co-author of seven books, most recently The Deniers, a #1 environmental best-seller in both Canada and the U.S. .
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