Climate debate distorted by empty rhetoric
September 12, 2012
By Tim Ball
and Tom Harris
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
WINNIPEG, MB and OTTAWA, ON, Sep 12, 2012/ Troy Media/ – The most meaningless phrase in today’s global warming debate is ‘climate change is real.’ Those who blindly recite it, one of the silliest of the mantras chanted by climate alarmists, simply expose their ignorance.
Of course climate change is real; it has occurred continuously throughout Earth’s estimated five billion year history. What’s happening now is not new or unprecedented, even though that’s what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), virtually all of the world’s governments, most of the press and those leading our education systems want the public to believe. Few people, even among scientists, appreciate the extent of natural climate variability, so a small group of UN insiders was able to exploit this ignorance and guided the world to wasting trillions of dollars on a non-issue.
The range of those telling us that climate change is real, implying that today’s climatic events are somehow new and unnatural, is disturbing. CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research organizations in the world, heads an important Webpage with the ridiculous ‘climate change is real’ assertion. Echoing thousands of media across the world, The Columbus Dispatch, one of America’s leading newspapers, just published a piece, entitled ‘Climate change is real, and it’s urgent.‘ Last month’s statements of the Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, are a particularly egregious example of the use of this phrase by political leaders. He joins many politicians, including Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent, whose support of the climate scare undoubtedly contributed to the results of an Insightrix Research, Inc. 2012 survey that concluded: “Our survey indicates that Canadians from coast to coast overwhelmingly believe climate change is real and is occurring, at least in part due to human activity.”
Politically correct but deceptive statements such as ‘climate change is real’ are dangerous because they influence millions of people and, ultimately, important government policy. They lead to even more ignorant statements such as that of the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) that, ‘Together, we can turn back climate change.’
Most of those propagandizing the public in this way were alive in the 1970s when similar calls to stop climate change were heard; but then it was cooling. By DSF logic, the solution then would have been to add carbon dioxide to prevent a global cooling catastrophe.
Central to the climate scare is the IPCC campaign to show that human CO2 is causing dangerous global warming. They made it a virtual certainty by restricting their search to only human causes, omitting major natural mechanisms, and designing computer models that predetermine the result.
In the years since one of us (Tim Ball) issued a challenge for alarmists to demonstrate that CO2 precedes warming in the actual record of Earth’s climate history, no one has been able to do it. The challenge was triggered by a senior climate skeptic’s comment that it was better to accept that there was a small warming effect from human CO2, even if there was no evidence. In the real world, all records show exactly the opposite – temperature increases before CO2 does.
The IPCC has focused intensely on proving the assumption that CO2 increase causes temperature increase. When researchers published the Antarctic ice core record in 1991 it was touted as proof of IPCC dogma even though, on closer examination, the data actually showed temperature increase precedes CO2 increase. Since then, all records of any duration in any time period show the same thing.
For those who were paying attention, reality was driven home after 2000, when global temperatures leveled and gradually declined while atmospheric CO2 levels continued to rise. According to IPCC science, it should not have happened. It is revealing that climate scientist Kevin Trenberth wrote in a 2009 ‘Climategate’ e-mail: ‘The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.’
Alarmists could not admit that their hypothesis and its major assumption were wrong, so they simply moved the goalposts. They stopped talking about global warming and started talking about climate change. ‘Climate change is real’ became the new catch phrase and our society’s collective ignorance was exploited to allow one of the greatest hoaxes in the history of science to rumble on.
Tim Ball, a climatologist and former University of Winnipeg climatology professor and Tom Harris, Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition, are Advisors to the Frontier Centre (fcpp.org).
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