- - Monday, April 15, 2019

Even with the recent Senate setback of the Green New Deal, the climate will persist as a hot topic, and atmospheric angst is likely to continue through at least November 2020. Perspective on the climate change issue is sorely needed.

For 40 years, I have worked as an atmospheric scientist in a variety of venues from government service to industry consulting to university teaching. I have never been employed by or consulted for “Big Oil” or “Big Coal.” The closest I ever get to an oil company is when I pump gasoline into my used car.

I am just one professional of the likely thousands of seasoned practitioners who work in the atmospheric-science and related fields every day, and who are skeptical of the increasing distortion of the science behind climate change. At American Meteorological Society meetings and in professional practice, I constantly meet fellow atmospheric scientists who are skeptical of the ability of others in the field who confidently claim to know the distant future of earth’s climate. And, we see tremendous misrepresentation by the news media, environmentalists, and politicians of what is and is not known about the earth’s climate.

Most skeptics I encounter are older, like me. It makes sense that older, experienced atmospheric scientists are skeptics of climate claims and remedies, because we have witnessed the climate panic mode before.

In the 1970s, the fear was the onset of a new Ice Age. Some scientists and technocrats back then suggested applying coal dust to the encroaching Arctic ice so that it would absorb sunlight and melt. Thankfully their solution to a problem that didn’t exist on an earth-shaking scale was never attempted.

Nonetheless, that apparently hasn’t stopped today’s proposals of meteorological meddling to counter anticipated climate overheating by, for instance, injecting particles into the upper-atmosphere to cool the planet by intercepting a tiny percent of sunlight hitting the earth.

And, the hoopla that we must do something immediately before we all die from living too comfortably will roll on. The Green New Deal and its army of supporters will insure this.

The Deal’s cosponsor was freshman congresswoman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat. Miss Ocasio-Cortez, a newcomer political and climate activist, has claimed that we have only 12 years before once again (for the umpteenth time) people and the planet are doomed. The biggest mistake of this novice is her prediction that will be validated within her lifetime.

After all, as Derek Hunter, political consultant, observed in his recent book “Outrage, Inc.: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood” (HarperCollins, 2018), because of so many failed climate-catastrophe prophesies since the 1950s, “believers simply moved the goalposts back. Suddenly ten-year predictions of doom and gloom became hundred-year predictions of doom and gloom. if you say something awful will happen in a hundred years, well, no one will be around to call you out for being wrong. “

Miss Ocasio-Cortez needs to boot her goalpost further afield. Although, from the political grandstand, the greenest field seems to be stretched only as far as the win-at-all-costs November 2020 election anyway.

And, Miss Ocasio-Cortez does have the advantage of the popular strategy to claim any mundane weather anomaly as a confirmation of manmade climate change. Once again, as Derek Hunter points out: “When a major storm hits, it is blamed on climate change. When a predicted major storm fizzles or the weather is quite nice and normal for a particular season in a certain area, we are told that weather isn’t climate, so something happening as expected cannot lead to any sort of conclusion.”

Regardless, as seen so many times in the past, the Green New Deal exaggerates a global-scale problem that likely does not exist and this time provides statist technological and economical wealth-transfer solutions that likely will not work as planned and may very well be counter-productive.

Hotter, colder, drier, wetter? I don’t know what the global atmosphere will be like by mid-century. But, one thing that’s certain is that the climate of atmospheric science research and application will benefit enormously by constructive independent thinking, not by rigid conformity to groupthink and outcomes induced by politicized science and government largesse.

• Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist and author of “In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail” (Stairway Press, 2016).

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