In the 80s and 90s, adults could remember the typical cool temperatures and snowfalls of the 60s and 70s, so the claim the world was warming was relatively easy to accept. In fact for much of the northern hemisphere the average temperatures had gone up over that span, from the time of the global ice age scare in the 1970s to the 1990s.
Many of those sounding the alarm about this global warming put the blame on carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by human industry, transportation, and power generation. This claim lead some to call it anthropogenic global warming (AGW), meaning the warming was caused by human activities. Some of these alarmists further claimed that if the levels of carbon dioxide increased too much then a global climate catastrophe would occur, like melting ice caps. These claims lead some to call it catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW).
Unfortunately those making the most alarmist claims were ignoring history, when the temperature rise in the 1930s during the infamous Dust Bowl was very similar to that in the 1990s and yet carbon dioxide levels were rather static during that decade as they did not begin their noticeable rise until the world's economy began its boom in the 1950s and 1960s. Instead of relying on observational evidence to confirm or deny whether CO2 really had an effect on the recent warming even though it evidently did not have an effect in the 1930s (when temperatures went up with no change in CO2), mathematical models were used to suggest what 'might' happen in the future by extending the increasing temperature trend of the the 80s and 90s into the 21st Century, leading to claims of very high temperatures by the year 2100, far higher than was recorded in many thousands of years. This was in contrast to the evidence the world was much warmer than now back about 1000 during a time known as the medieval warm period.
In 1998, a very strong El Nino in the Pacific Ocean resulted in a big increase in the world's temperatures for the months that followed (and then the temperatures dropped again with the subsequent La Nina). However when the results for 1998 were checked in 1999, the average was found to be the 3rd highest in the last 100 or so years, still surpassed by 1934 (when many of the highest temperature records were set across the country) and also 1921. In the subsequent years, the world's temperature trend has been rather flat and there have been a number of severe winters and/or severe winter snow falls in the following 15 years.
If global warming is supposed to be so alarming then the lack of warming in 1998 not being the hottest ever was something of a problem. If temperatures were still warmer in the past then why should be so alarmed about current temperatures that are not as high? These observations had two significant impacts on the presentation of the CO2 and global warming debate.
First, the temperature record was manipulated so in the course of the years following 1999 the older temperatures in the 20th Century were decreased while the most recently recorded temperatures were increased. This change in the 'new' average temperatures resulted in 1998 becoming the warmest year surpassing the other years that had been warmer when using the historical data as of 1999.
Second, the warning about global warming in the 1980's and 1990's become the threat of climate change after 2000. The warning could not remain only about warming temperatures because they had stopped their relatively rapid increase observed during the 1990s. Instead the increased carbon dioxide levels were claimed to have many other effects, like causing more hurricanes and tornadoes, more rain, more droughts, more snow, etc.
The alarms about climate change actually warns about carbon dioxide causing just about everything that is seen to be bad. If there is a heat wave then it must be climate change. If there is a hurricane then it must be climate change. If there is a flood then it must be climate change. If a coral reef is deteriorating then it must be due to climate change. It never matters whether the historical data shows similar heat, or similar storms, or anything, nor if there are other relevant conditions (like those affecting coral growth). If there is bad weather then it must be caused by climate change.
There are always new announcements about any recent weather event being unprecedented so immediate action on CO2 is required to somehow prevent that type of weather from repeating, even though very bad weather events happened during times of lower CO2 levels.
Unfortunately for those alarmists, with each passing month, there are new studies about weather history to find recent weather events are not unprecedented so such hysterical claims about climate change are unfounded. There are also new studies that reveal the unreliability of the climate models used to predict the future catastrophes. If the models are wrong then their predictions of future climate catastrophe are unfounded.
However, with the media being firmly in the climate change alarmist camp, those problems in the hysterical claims are rarely disclosed immediately so many people still believe the initial erroneous claims.
This situation makes a reasoned debate impossible. The alarmists will dredge up so many unwarranted claims that the skeptics are always having to counter those claims. Frequently some will claim 97% of scientists agree but that study was long ago proven to be statistically wrong (the number was based on only a selected subset of the much larger sampled group just to get the big %). In any case science is not settled by a consensus, that is for politics (which is the climate change hysteria). It takes only one observation to falsify any scientific theory and the evidence does not support the predicted claims for catastrophe. Others will claim because oil companies might have provided some minimal financial support to some minor group at some time in the past, that means all skeptics (regardless of whether they get any financial aid from any corporate entity of any kind) are not trustworthy to be honest; that position is so ridiculous but hysteria wins over reason for many in this debate. Others will claim we have the warmest temperatures ever when that is only a result of the manipulation of the temperature record. Others will claim some recent hurricane or tornado was so bad that it must be due to climate change even though for the last decade the level of hurricanes in the world is down and 2012 had one of the lowest counts of tornadoes on record - but alarms about climate change never depend on historical accuracy.
The simple rule for alarmists is: bad weather means it was caused by climate change. This claim should not be credible and yet many believe it.
The unfortunate aspect to this climate change debate is though hurricanes have been more infrequent lately, there are natural cycles in the global weather. When those numbers naturally increase again as they must eventually, then no doubt the alarmists will claims the increase is caused by climate change. For example, 2012 was a rather warm year in America to be followed by the very cold winter of 2013, but the warm period came first to apparently validate the alarmist claims and when the cold followed (to level out the increase in earlier months) that opposite could be ignored rather easily by the alarmists.
Fortunately for those not given to this hysteria but unfortunately for those affected, the few years on either side of 2010 have seen a number of severe winters, with substantial snowfalls. Apparently this return of colder winters perceived to be closer to that expected (or colder!), even when accompanied by those claims of very warm summers, has reduced the numbers of people expressing severe concern about climate change or the supposed catastrophic effects of CO2. Over time it seems many people are slowly being convinced the hysteria about CO2 is not scientifically justified.
One can only wish reason will eventually prevail over hysteria. Unfortunately, as described in the recent book The Righteous Mind, the human tendency is to immediate react with intuition and/or emotion and then reason follows later to justify that initial reaction. It takes time and effort for someone to learn about and correct their wrong first impressions so the next time an appropriate reaction occurs when someone again makes those claims that have been since contradicted.
I was recently told by a retired college professor that I have a high level of self deception because I do not believe the climate change alarmists. There is no rational way to proceed in that context when I have looked at the climate data myself, calculated and observed the trends around the world (and put those charts in this site) to see the trends have natural cycles unrelated to CO2 levels. After I studied a problem and considered the alternatives before reaching my conclusion, I cannot find a way to argue against the view my study was flawed simply because I did not continue to believe the alternative. The claim CO2 affects temperatures only in the last 20 years and will have a positive feedback effect in the future (so the temperatures will increase even faster than before) but never had such an effect in so many previous centuries when natural cycles prevailed is just not believable.
Climate Change and World Government
There is an international movement (with many activists and organizations including the IPCC) against carbon dioxide, where the greenhouse gas produced by many human activities (including transportation and power generation) is thought to cause so much global warming (even though it is measured as only about 400 parts per million, only a trace presence) as to threaten the global climate. The apparently needed solution to this address perceived problem is a new world government body for monitoring CO2 and redistributing wealth due to the various effects of CO2 and warming on the world's climate and ecology. This is not a democratically elected body so how any level of accountability is provided is unclear.
As mentioned in an topic about social equilibrium, a world government is one of the worst possible suggestions to solve any problem. There will not suitable accountability (if any) for such an organization, so corruption and malfeasance must be expected, especially when its justification is spurious. In this day when most people can see how ridiculous it is to confront the annoying claim a corrupt bank or company is 'too big to fail' (meaning no accountability is possible) how idiotic is the plan to create an even bigger entity?
created - June 2013
last change - 06/16/2013
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