(June 26, 2013) President Obama’s recent presentation to Georgetown University rolled out a major plan to combat climate change in a speech “laden with myths, fables, distortions and outright lies” according to this editorial by Investors.com. Lawrence Solomon is quoted.
Published by Investors.com on June 26, 2013
False Witness: President Obama is being lauded for his plans to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. But the scheme looks more like the last refuge of a desperate movement, because the speech he gave in its defense was full of lies.
Al Gore called Obama’s Tuesday presentation at Georgetown University a “terrific and historic speech.” It was not an honest message, though.
His text was laden with myths, fables, distortions and outright lies. Here are the top five:
1. “The planet is warming.”
The Earth’s post-1950 warming trend stopped at least 16 years ago. This is an admission made by Britain’s Met Office last fall. The media have confirmed the lack of warming, including the New York Times, which says the warming stopped 15 years ago rather than 16.
2. “Human activity is contributing to it.”
There is no way that Obama or anyone else can say with any degree of certainty that human activity is contributing to climate change. Weather and climate are complex, are controlled by a multitude of variables, and are only dimly understood.
Scientists are free to claim that man is causing the planet to warm. And of course they do. But if they say it’s an indisputable fact, that there is no room for the possibility that humans aren’t responsible for post-Little Ice Age warming, then they are being dishonest.
3. “The overwhelming judgment of science — of chemistry and physics and millions of measurements — has put all that (doubt) to rest.”
There is dissent in the scientific community, and it’s not insignificant.
Consider a survey of 1,077 professional engineers and geoscientists, conducted by academics and its findings peer reviewed. The researchers discovered that 24% of the respondents “believe that changes to the climate are natural, normal cycles of the earth” while another 10% consider the “‘real’ cause of climate change” to be “unknown” and acknowledge that “nature is forever changing and uncontrollable.”
Two of the study’s academics reported that “skepticism regarding anthropogenic climate change remains” among climate scientists.
4. “Ninety-seven percent of scientists, including, by the way, some who originally disputed the data, have now put that (doubt) to rest.”
This claim is from something called the “Doran Survey,” which supposedly found that 75 of 77 climatologists agree that man is causing global warming. But 77 isn’t an adequate sample size from which to draw such a conclusion and this group of scientists holds “unknown qualifications,” says Lawrence Solomon, a Canadian environment writer. It’s a dubious finding.
I think the 97% comes from a site called, misleadingly, skeptical science. The 97% has been widely quoted but is false. Only 32% actually claimed man was to blame, the rest offering no opinion.
Clarification, the study, which was widely reported, showed that 97% of scientific studies that examined climate change and its causes showed that human actions are contributing to climate change. 66.4% of the studies examined did not take a stance on human influence (meaning that was not the focus of the studies.) You can read more about it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/18/scientists-agree-on-climate-change-so-why-doesnt-everyone-else/
I find it strange that this fact continues to eluded most conversations. Humans with ALL our activities contribute only 3% to greenhouse gas emissions. This number can be disputed + / – a few % however our impact is minor compared other natural events that occur every day to greater effect on GGE.
This fact should pour cold water on the belief we can wholly change the environment by reducing our footprint by an impossible 100%.
That may be true, but even a small increase like that can make a difference. Remember, we are dealing with very complex ecosystems here, where every living AND nonliving thing plays a part. When one player behaves differently (such as humans slightly increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere) it can tip the balance and lead to catastrophic consequences. Global warming has only increased the average temperature about 3 degrees, which doesn’t sound like much to a human, but it is enough to melt the ice caps, causing ocean levels to rise, flooding our coasts. It’s not a simple issue like ‘global warming means it’s getting hot’ or ‘all CO2 is bad’, it’s much more complicated. Of course, we need a LOT of CO2 in the atmosphere (most of which comes from other sources than humans) because that’s what plants ‘breathe’, and then they give us oxygen in return. It’s all about the balance, and trying to keep our place in it!