Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Time to Examine Those Climate-Zealots

New scientific evidence and political realities demand rethinking California's plan to impose economy-stifling rules and congressional and Obama administration plans for even more potentially devastating interventions to curb manmade greenhouse gases.

Clearly, the science is not settled, as claimed, and the politics even less so. If the global warming case is solid, scientists who advocate it should be willing to permit extensive review, something they resisted for years.

"Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it," Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the U.K.'s East Anglia University, complained in 2005 when a fellow scientist inquired.

We may now understand his resistance. Questionable global warming claims increasingly are being challenged, as is their advocates' credibility. Documents leaked in December from Mr. Jones' center suggest data was manipulated, perhaps purposely distorted and definitely withheld from critics to prevent challenges.

A Russian think tank last month said the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cherry-picked data, dramatically inflating Russian temperature readings. The think tank called for the IPCC's entire temperature database to be reevaluated.

Critics have long challenged computer models using that data to predict increased warming. They can't even replicate historic temperatures, let alone forecast a century into the future. Others insist the globe is entering a prolonged cooling period because of a particularly calm solar cycle.

Meanwhile, Qing-Biln Lu, a physics and astronomy professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, reported in a peer-reviewed paper that satellite, ground-based and balloon measurements show chlorofluorocarbons and cosmic rays – rather than greenhouse gases – cause global climate changes. Moreover, CFCs decreased around the year 2000, corresponding almost perfectly to a decline in temperatures since. Lu also noted that CO2 emissions, which global warming zealots claim cause rising temperatures, have increased dramatically during that period.

A University of Bristol, England, study last week concluded that, contrary to IPCC assumptions, the proportion of manmade CO2 retained in the atmosphere hasn't risen the past 150 years or even most recent five decades, directly contradicting the basic assumption of global warming zealots.

Last month's touted 193-nation Copenhagen climate summit failed to reach binding agreements to curb greenhouse gases, and on how much money developed nations should pay developing nations to battle the presumed threat. The rush to impose regulations and wealth-redistribution schemes has more to do with money and control than climate.

In the Senate, economy-damaging cap-and-trade regulations are unlikely to pass in an election year with the nation still reeling from recession. A ballot measure is proposed to suspend California's Global Warming Solution Act, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce demands the U.S. EPA hold hearings on the scientific basis behind for its proposed regulations. The Competitive Enterprise Institute plans to sue to pry loose information from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies after two years of refusals. It's time to reassess the science of global warming and its implications.