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WILLIAMS: Global warming rope-a-dope

- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 27, 2008

COMMENTARY:

Americans have been rope-a-doped into believing that global warming is going to destroy our planet.

Scientists who have been skeptical about manmade global warming have been called traitors or handmaidens of Big Oil. The Washington Post asserted on May 28, 2006, that there were only "a handful of skeptics" of manmade climate fears. Bill Blakemore on Aug. 30, 2006, said, "After extensive searches, ABC News has found no such [scientific] debate on global warming." U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said it was "criminally irresponsible" to ignore the urgency of global warming. U.N. special climate envoy Gro Harlem Brundtland on May 10, 2007, declared the climate debate "over" and added "it's completely immoral, even, to question" the U.N.'s scientific "consensus." On July 23, 2007, CNN's Miles O'Brien said, "The scientific debate is over." Earlier he said that scientific skeptics of manmade catastrophic global warming "are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, usually."

The global warming scare has provided a field day for politicians and others who wish to control our lives. After all, only the imagination limits the kind of laws and restrictions that can be written in the name of saving the planet. Recently, more and more scientists are summoning up the courage to speak out and present evidence against the global warming rope-a-dope. Atmospheric scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, "It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don't buy into anthropogenic global warming."

Dr. Goldenberg has the company of at least 650 noted scientists documented in the recently released U.S. Senate Minority Report: "More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims: Scientists Continue to Debunk 'Consensus' in 2008." The scientists, not environmental activists, include Ivar Giaever, Nobel Laureate in physics, who said, "I am a skeptic. ... Global warming has become a new religion." Kiminori Itoh, an environmental physical chemist, said warming fears are the "worst scientific scandal in the history. ... When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists." "So far, real measurements give no ground for concern about a catastrophic future warming," said Jarl R. Ahlbeck, a chemical engineer at Abo Akademi University in Finland, author of 200 scientific publications and former Greenpeace member. Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh, said, "Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly [from promoting warming fears], without having their professional careers ruined."

The fact of the matter is an increasing amount of climate research suggests a possibility of global cooling. Geologist Don J. Easterbrook, emeritus professor at Western Washington University says, "Recent solar changes suggest that it could be fairly severe, perhaps more like the 1880 to 1915 cool cycle than the more moderate 1945-1977 cool cycle. A more drastic cooling, similar to that during the Dalton and Maunder minimums, could plunge the Earth into another Little Ice Age, but only time will tell if that is likely." Geologist David Gee, chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress, currently at Uppsala University in Sweden asks, "For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?"

That's a vital question for Americans to ask. Once laws are written, they are very difficult, if not impossible, to repeal. If a time would ever come when the permafrost returns to northern U.S., as far south as New Jersey as it once did, it's not inconceivable that Congress, caught in the grip of the global warming zealots, would keep all the laws on the books they wrote in the name of fighting global warming. Personally, I would not put it past them to write more.

Walter E. Williams is a nationally syndicated columnist and a professor of economics at George Mason University.