There’s a lot of talk about science these days, with the battle for the planet itself at the forefront. Climate change alarmists have grown bolder and more vocal every year, and their media blitz has taken a toll. Allegedly, if you aren’t with them, then you’re an enemy of humanity.
Let’s review some of their strongest claims, and see what happens when we sprinkle a little truth on the subject.
Carbon Dioxide Levels
Greenhouse gases form the backbone of the alarmist movement. The claim is pretty simple: carbon dioxide is produced by human industry and it has a greenhouse effect that is raising global temperatures. This is taken as a point of fact, and disputing it with raw data will quickly get you labeled as a “science denier.”
I’ll take that risk and tell you a few things about the correlation between CO2 and temperature. First, carbon dioxide concentration measurements for any time before the 20th century are wildly unreliable, but even if we assume that they are accurate, then pre-industrial revolution saturation was in the ballpark of 280 parts per million (ppm).
This past week, an observatory in Hawaii measured saturation of 410 ppm. This would be terrifying news if the alarmists were correct about the relationship between CO2 and temperature.
Of course, that would mean that the average global temperature today would be close to double what it was before the industrial revolution. Instead, it is 0.7 degrees higher, a change of about 4 percent. We’ll talk about how serious that four-percent change is or is not in a moment.
“Hottest Year on Record”
You’ve heard this so many times now, and to the less skeptical among us, it’s a compelling presentation of the dangers of global warming. However, if you dig even a little into this reporting, it falls flat.
In the last decade, the average temperature has climbed by roughly 0.04 degrees. The margin of error is reported as 0.1 degrees. That means there is no significant change, and that’s the crux of the entire alarmist argument.
No one disputes that there is a positive trend line in global temperatures since the late 70s. The dispute is whether or not it should worry us, and margin of error is why we shouldn’t. In case you haven’t taken any statistics classes, I’ll try to simplify the idea.
Imagine you have waterfront property. You need to know how much the sea level changes with the tide and storms in order to take measures against flooding. In most places, the difference between high and low tide is measured in feet, as is the average ocean wave.
So, if someone told you that the sea level had changed by a few millimeters, you probably wouldn’t be concerned by that notion, would you? In fact, that fluctuation is so large, how could you be sure you didn’t just measure an unusually large or small wave? This is the primary issue with global temperature data. The range of temperatures on any given day is 150 degrees or more.
There’s a mathematical limit to how accurately you can average that kind of data, and it’s why we call the changes we’ve seen so far statistically insignificant.
Sea Ice Myths
“But the sea ice! It’s melting!”
Sure, let’s talk about that. Firstly, only arctic sea ice is melting. Antarctic sea ice hit a record high in 2014, and has stayed at high levels ever since. This isn’t some short-term high. We saw the most sea ice ever measured in the history of science.
The north pole is a decisively different story. While ice melts aren’t at their most extreme, there is no question that ice shelves have receded by statistically significant amounts. At the peak measurement, two-thirds of all arctic sea ice melted.
That seems pretty catastrophic. But, did you notice when this happened? Did the sea levels rise? Did species go extinct?
Ultimately, more than half the ice melted and absolutely nothing happened. Oceanographers measured a total ocean change of a few millimeters, but literally zero people on the whole planet had to relocate as a result. The closest that has come to happening is an Inuit fishing village that saw severe erosion during an El Niño event. That’s it.
Finally, we come to the politics of it all. You’ve heard that 97 percent of scientists believe in manmade global warming. It turns out that this statistic isn’t very reliable. It’s based on a single survey that cherry picked responses.
Only scientists who had been published in a particular left-leaning journal within the previous year were counted. Out of thousands of survey responses, only about a dozen were included in the 97 percent statistic. Other surveys have shown that 63 percent of meteorologists aren’t at all concerned with climate change. In America alone, over 30,000 scientists have signed the Oregon Petition urging government leaders not to base policy on alarmism.
Climate change alarmism isn’t the promotion of science – or freedom. It’s a power grab, and the left has shown that they will go to any length to consolidate power. When used correctly, science can be a wonderful tool for society. When abused, it’s just another weapon of manipulation.
~ Conservative Zone