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Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Is The Earth Heating Up Or Cooling Down?”

November 7, 2013 Frontpage No Comments

By BRIAN CLOWES

(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 18 of The Facts of Life, “The International Abortion Situation,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)

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Since global warming is the primary environment-related motivation of the population control movement, pro-lifers should be familiar with the principle. If the thesis that human activity causes global warming is disproven, the population control movement will lose one of its primary justifications: That there are too many people in the world.
Many of us remember the early 1970s, when almost everyone in academia and government insisted that the world was rapidly cooling off. Newsweek asserted: “The central fact is that the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity.”
The New York Times warned us: “A major cooling of the planet is widely considered inevitable.” The (London) Times worried that “this cooling trend could result in a return to another ice age.” Science News told us that “we are going to have a full-blown 10,000-year ice age involving extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”
And International Wildlife fretted: “A new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery.”
Back then, global cooling proponents defended their beliefs just as vehemently as global warming alarmists do today. In the 1970s, “coolers” usually ridiculed anyone who disagreed or even asked a reasoned question. Remarkably, some of the same people who mocked those who did not believe the global cooling threat now laugh at “global warming deniers.”
NASA scientist James E. Hansen recently called global warming deniers “court jesters.” But in 1971, he and fellow NASA scientist S.I. Rasool wrote that “in the next 50 years [by 2021] fossil-fuel dust injected by man into the atmosphere could screen out so much sunlight that the average temperature could drop by six degrees, resulting in a buildup of new glaciers that could eventually cover huge areas.”
The elitists have completely reversed their message. In 2001, Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations, said: “Imagine melting polar icecaps and rising sea levels, threatening beloved and highly developed coastal areas such as Cape Cod with erosion and storm surges. Imagine a warmer and wetter world in which infectious diseases such as malaria and yellow fever spread more easily. This is not some distant, worst-case scenario. It is tomorrow’s forecast.”
Others have predicted that almost all Americans will get skin cancer if the global warming trend is not stopped and that we will soon be able to “tie our boats to the Washington Monument.”
The global warming alarmists’ primary tactic is to simply proclaim that the science is “settled,” and that their opponents are crackpots. This is a common liberal tactic. After Roe v. Wade, pro-abortionists simply proclaimed that the issue was “settled,” and obstinately refuse to even look at the evidence supporting the existence of post-abortion syndrome and the link between abortion and breast cancer. And homosexualist groups say that people cannot change their sexual orientation, despite the inconvenient existence of tens of thousands of “ex-gays.”
This is behavior associated with people who are afraid of open discussion and debate, and for good reason. Neither the science nor the data support them.
Most people, before facing a major surgery, want a second and even a third opinion. But environmentalists and government officials seem perfectly willing to perform major surgery on the world’s economy while refusing to listen to any opinions other than their own — a certain recipe for disaster.
Centuries of history have proven that economic growth — always powered by the expansion of available energy — leads to wealth that produces societies whose people can pay more attention to working for a clean environment and less attention to just struggling for survival. Advanced societies generally possess cleaner air and water, are healthier, and use natural resources more efficiently.
National poverty is strongly correlated with environmental degradation; see Haiti’s example. Population control programs short-circuit the process of economic development by suppressing population, and burdensome environmental regulations and punitive tax rates strangle energy growth. Combined, they deprive poor nations of the two absolutely essential ingredients they need for success: people and energy.
The apparently illogical behavior of environmentalists can be explained by viewing them as members of a religion we could call “Climatism.” This faith has a god (Gaia, the Earth Mother, etc.), a pope (Al Gore), a priesthood with religious orders (PETA, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and others), dogmas that must not be questioned (population control and global warming), rituals (recycling and Chevy Volts), feast days (Earth Day celebrations), sacraments (sterilization and abortion), and even indulgences for “sins” such as driving a big SUV (carbon offsets).
This religion also features excommunication of apostates and persecution of contrasting beliefs (climate change alarmists have said that “deniers” are morally equivalent to slave owners, Holocaust deniers, and racists). This faith even has a Devil called “Capitalism,” and it demands not only repentance from carbon-based sins, but an Inquisition against those who commit it.
Like any other religion, it also has its hypocrites, including environmentalist John Travolta, who often flies his personal four-engine Boeing 707 long distances by himself or with one or two other people. Its fuel economy is about 440 yards per gallon, or 75 times worse than the gas-guzzling SUVs he condemns.
And, of course, the “Climatists” are very selective about what environmental damages they choose to emphasize. No environmental group, for instance, has expressed the slightest concern about the tons of contraceptive hormones in our rivers and streams, which are threatening the continued survival of many species of frogs, otters, and fish, including the rainbow trout.
Strangely, Al Gore and others have declared global warming to be a “moral matter,” and that sweeping legislation and stringent enforcement is the only solution to the problem. Yet the same people claim that “you can’t legislate morality” when it comes to abortion.
In summary, saying that climate science is “settled” is like demanding what religions demand — that you have faith. This is a very curious attitude indeed among those who have no use for “traditional religion” and who consider themselves to be rationalists.
The biggest failure of global warming theology is that its science is “settled” dogma; that is itself unscientific and an obvious gross violation of the most basic principles the scientific method. This is a grave error sufficient to render all of its conclusions invalid.
Competent scientific research starts with study and data collection, from which a hypothesis (theory) is formed. Then the scientists formulate predictions to test the hypothesis. If the predictions are repeatedly accurate, the hypothesis is proven.
By definition, it is impossible to prove the hypothesis of global warming because the world is simply too large and complicated to test or predict by any known model. Global warming is influenced by a dozen major factors, whose trends cannot even be accurately predicted in isolation. These factors include volcanic activity, sunspots and flares, changes in deep ocean currents, atmospheric reflectivity and water content, human activity, and even animal behavior. How they interact in the environment simply cannot be predicted.
Computer modeling must take into account assumptions about the future values of many variables. Those who study climate change tend to use assumptions that are favorable to their desired conclusions, that is, a human population increasing much faster than it actually is.
This principle was recently confirmed when global warming simply stopped 15 years ago. Every model used by global warming advocates predicted a smooth and unbroken increase in the world’s temperature, but since 1998, the Earth has warmed only 0.05 degrees Celsius — a statistically insignificant increase, despite steadily rising levels of greenhouse gases. And climate change scientists don’t have a clue why this has happened.
Climatists even act dishonestly in order to keep people anxious.
Three years ago, the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain was caught green-handed by hackers who found that they modified, forged, and withheld data, changed study results, censored dissenting opinions, and even plotted to have one influential opponent fired from his job.
Nature rarely acts in a straight line. Throughout recorded history, and undoubtedly long before it, the Earth has been warming and cooling in a cyclic pattern. During the Medieval Warming Period, temperatures rose faster than they have since the beginning of the 20th century — 1 to 3 degrees Centigrade.
Since the birth of Christ, the Earth’s surface temperatures have fluctuated by 9 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, compared to the past 1,500 years, the 20th century has actually been on the cool side. It was warmer in 1100 BC, the time of the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt, than it is now. We can safely say that the Hebrews did not drive a whole lot of gas-guzzling SUVs when they escaped Pharaoh’s clutches.
Climatology is a “frontier science.” We cannot know what the future holds, and must not act as if we do — especially when we have the power to influence the lives of millions of other people. But we do know that there is at least one thing that is melting with alarming speed: the credibility of global-warming alarmists.

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Next article: “The Racism of the Population Control Movement.”

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