With the Democrats about to take control of the House along with the funding for crucial programs in health care, education, natural resources and science, hysteria over global warming is about to get hotter.
Former politician and current entrepreneur Al Gore has been preparing an army of devotees to fight for the atmosphere. This air force has been trained in multi-day indoctrination sessions via slick PowerPoint slides that have become part and parcel of the former vice president’s tactic. Such training, under the flag of the Climate Reality Project, has reportedly produced more than 15,000 Climate Reality leaders worldwide. The Climate Reality website urges participants to: “Fight like your world depends on it.” The political world of command and control certainly does.
Prophets of doom use the power of the purse to pursue penitent proselytes to produce profits from PowerPoints. OK, the alliteration may be a bit much, but the catastrophe promoters certainly reap fortune from misfortune. The misfortune includes skewed science.
The official Gore-based presentation continues to push the idea that increased hurricane severity in the U.S., for instance, is a result of filthy carbon emissions, even though the recent U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) cautions against such conclusion. After all, the nearly 12-year lapse in land-falling hurricanes greater than a Category 2 in the U.S. ending in 2017 could be claimed as a positive result of fitting carbon consumption. But, when you’re paid to assess the “risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for potential adaption and mitigation ,” which is the original stated role of the IPCC, the claim of “good carbon” could be problematic.
The IPCC’s mission assumes from the get-go that manmade global warming is a fact. So, it’s understandable that a climate researcher looking for grant monies might craft their study proposal in such a way as to meet the needs of public and private entities seeking to endorse the IPCC position. This is not necessarily dishonest. The researcher is identifying a need and being paid to meet that need. Fair enough. “You get what you pay for.”
But, this is not how authentic, objective scientific research is supposed to work. As Mr. Gore noted in his movie and book, “An Inconvenient Truth”: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it” — a quote from socialist Upton Sinclair.
Consider the alternative. Suppose an organization pays a scientist to research the possibility that human impact on long-term, global climate change is negligible or even beneficial. Is this considered improper with respect to authentic, objective science while payment to research endorsement of human-induced climate change is not?
What seems to be happening now is an agenda-driven, catastrophe-mitigating science program with a foregone conclusion to be defended.
A crisis-driven science can be like a shady business. An authoritative consortium (such as the IPCC) identifies an urgent condition (anthropogenic global warming), financial backing is procured (largely from the deep pockets of Uncle Sam), solutions are proposed (altering lifestyles, shutting down coal-fired power plants), services are offered (education, research, consulting, trading for carbon credits) and oversight/enforcement is mandated (national and international bureaucracies).
Everyone seems to be cashing in on the doomsday predictions, from private companies (consulting and technology firms) and academic institutions (university research and education) to governments with their expanding power and workforces.
The big losers are, as usual, the ones stuck paying the bill — the middle-class taxpayers — and the world’s poor, who are deprived of immediate relief with low-cost, abundant fossil fuels. Science also ends up losing thanks to a system of penalties and rewards favoring the crisis-mongers.
Yet, onward, climate soldiers, marching as to war, with the power and purse of politics going on before.
• Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist and author of “In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail” (Stairway Press, 2016).