"Global Warming" had a precursor in capturing the hearts and minds of the world. Michael Crichton, in his novel "State of Fear," brilliantly juxtaposes the world's current political embrace of "global warming" with the popular embrace of the "science" of eugenics a century ago. For nearly 50 years, from the late 1800s through the first half of the 20th century, there grew a common political acceptance by the world's thinkers, political leaders and media elite that the "science" of eugenics was settled science. There were a few lonely voices trying to be heard in the wilderness in opposition to this bogus science, but they were ridiculed or ignored.
Believers in eugenics argued that we could improve the human race by controlling reproduction. The most respected scientists from Harvard, Yale, Princeton and other bastions of intellectual rigor retreated to a complex on Long Island named Cold Spring Harbor. Their support came from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman fortune working with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, State and other agencies.
The "science" was not lacking important public supporters. Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson were enthusiastic believers. The theory won approval of Supreme Court justices, leaders in higher education and Nobel Prize winners. The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was one of the most vocal adherents. She established the first "birth control" clinic in 1916.
They believed that "the best" human beings were not having as many children as inferior ones -- the foreigners, immigrants, Jews, Blacks, degenerates, the unfit and the "feeble minded." Sanger said "fostering the good-for-nothing at the expense of the good is an extreme cruelty." She spoke of the burden of caring for "this dead weight of human waste." H.G. Wells spoke against "ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens." Roosevelt said, "Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind." George Bernard Shaw said that only eugenics could save mankind.
Twenty-nine states passed laws allowing sterilization. Ultimately, 60,000 Americans were sterilized -- some legally. The Germans were the most progressive. They had help. The Rockefeller Foundation funded the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and the work of its central racial scientists, one of whom was Josef Mengele.
Ultimately the "mental defectives" in Germany were brought to newly built houses where they were interviewed. They were then shown to a back room where they were gassed. Eventually the German program was expanded into a vast network that killed 10 million undesirables. After World War II many of the public adherents to the pseudoscience of eugenics went silent. Colleges removed the textbooks and stopped teaching it.
But not everyone went away. As recently as July 24, 2003 Tony Platt testified before the California Senate Judiciary Committee on S.R. 20 relative to eugenics. He agreed that the state should apologize for its actions.
One must ask, "How in the world did university researchers come to conclusions that defended this outrageous affront to society?" A look back at the research concluded that the researchers adjusted their outcomes to support the theory of those paying for the research. This is not unusual. It is very easy to believe that the settled science regarding climate change is just as suspicious, and indeed may be another example of pseudo-science capturing the imagination of politicians, actors and the media elite who have a desperate need to embrace some "science" which may force us to change the way we live our lives. H. L. Mencken once wrote, "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it." We see pictures of huge blocks of ice crashing into the sea from the Antarctic Peninsula, which comprises about 2 percent of the continent. The fact that the remaining 98 percent of Antarctica is growing by 26.8 gigatons of ice per year is ignored.
We are told today that human activity is causing a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide levels that is responsible for "global warming." While a congressional delegation was visiting the Antarctic expedition in January of 2003 we were shown the results of the Vostok ice-sheet cores where temperatures and CO2 levels were measured as far as 400,000 years ago. At that time, the level of CO2 was 280 parts per million parts of atmosphere (ppm), about what it was 20 years ago. The levels of CO2 and temperature rode up and down in consonance over 400,00 years. "Who," I asked, "was burning the fossil fuels 400,000 years ago?" I was treated as though I was rude.
It has been known for years that most CO2 is dissolved in the oceans. It is called "carbon sinking." The oceans typically contain 60 times as much CO2 as the atmosphere. It is also known that colder waters dissolve more CO2 than warm waters. Which do you think is cause and which is effect? We currently have CO2 levels of about 380 ppm. A recent study completed at UC Davis concluded that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere 300 million years ago was on the order of 2,000 ppm. Then this, "the same increase that experts expect by the end of this century as remaining reserves of fossil fuels are burned." If it is a given that human burning of fossil fuels is what will cause an increase of CO2 levels up to 2,000 ppm in the next 93 years, don't they owe us an explanation as to who burned those fossil fuels 300 million years ago? In fact we are being treated to a modern scientific shell game. The most prevalent and efficient greenhouse gas is not CO2; it is water vapor, which accounts for about 60 percent of the heat-trapping gases while CO2 accounts for about 26 percent. So, why are we being served a daily diet of our destroying the environment with our behavior as it relates to CO2? Because our behavior has little to do with the amount of water vapor, so it is a non-starter when it comes to those whose principal goal is ruling our lives.
In order to focus on you and what you are doing to increase the CO2 in the atmosphere, which, as everyone knows will destroy the globe, we do not discuss the activities of termites. Fifteen years ago it was estimated that the digestive tracts of termites produce about 50 billion tons of CO2 and methane annually. That was more than the world's production from burning fossil fuel. Additionally, cattle, horses and other ruminant animals are huge producers of both CO2 and methane, but, being unable to respond to our demands on this issue, their activity is ignored.
When it comes to methane, another greenhouse gas, termites are responsible for 11 percent of the world's production from natural sources. Seventy-six percent comes from wetlands, which provide habitat conducive to bacteria, which produce 145 million metric tons of methane per year during the decomposition of organic material. It is curious that the very alarmists on climate change are alarmists on saving and increasing wetlands.
It becomes clear from the literature -- not to mention documentary films -- produced by the alarmists, that if human beings do not change the way we live the planet is doomed. This is not the first charge against human behavior. Many of you will remember the "scientific" studies 30 years ago about the destruction of the ozone layer, particularly at the poles, that would reduce the atmosphere's ability to stop infrared rays from the sun. We would see increasing incidence of skin cancer and increasing temperatures. It was theorized that this was caused by the increased production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were used -- as Freon -- in refrigeration units. When Freon was invented it was considered a miracle gas. It replaced, in refrigeration units, a combination of toxic gases that, if released, actually killed people. But the settled science concluded that human activity was a threat to the planet. We outlawed the production of CFCs and thousands of people across the world died from eating rancid food due to the loss of refrigeration.
The world's production of CFCs peaked at 1.1 million tons per year. If 100 percent of that was released it would have added 750,000 tons of chlorine into the atmosphere. That is insignificant compared to the 300 million tons the oceans yield annually by the evaporation of seawater alone. But that couldn't be controlled so the alarmists went after us. Indeed, the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in June of 1991 produced some of the highest levels of chlorine and bromines in history and led to some of the lowest ozone levels ever recorded. You would not know that today. The earth survived.
Today, if there is a settled science, it is adduced by climatologists who have been observing and studying the world for decades. Many are retired and not seeking government grants for research and thus not inclined to reach outcomes that are politically popular. Most have been through more than one alarmist cycle of doom. The predictions by scientists in Time magazine's "Another Ice Age?" in 1974 and Newsweek's "The Cooling World" in 1975 come to mind. The latter article stated that scientists "are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climactic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic."
But wise old heads believe that we are going through normal cycles of heating and cooling that we have seen over hundreds of millions of years as the earth heats and cools when the activity of the sun changes. The earth is heated by the sun. The sun is impacted by magnetic forces creating outbursts called sunspots, which increase the heat it imparts. During the coldest period in the Little Ice Age, which ended near the end of the 19th century, sunspots almost completely disappeared for 70 years. The earth cooled. Sunspot activity has been declining for a number of years and is expected decline by 40 percent over the next decade. The world is about to enter a cooling period. Be prepared to change your lifestyle.
INTERSTELLAR DUST: A SIGNIFICANT DRIVER OF CLIMATE CHANGE?
E. Kasatkina et al.
Tree-ring series collected from different parts of Arctic (Fennoscandia, Kola Peninsula and Northern Siberia) are investigated by means of the multi-taped method (MTM) of spectral analysis. Results of spectral analysis allow us to select the main periods of solar variability (22-, 30--33- and 80--90-year solar cycles) in Kola and Fennoscandia tree-ring chronologies. Besides it was found that only periodicities of around 20 years are present in Siberian and Stockholm series, respectively.
With respect to 11-year periodicity, which is the most prominent one in sunspot number spectrum (Schwabe cycle) it may be said that it hardly appeared in Arctic tree-ring series. Although the 22-year cycles in climatic records are perceivable (it is also evident from our and other results), any physical mechanisms by which a reversal in the solar magnetic field could influence climate are still missing.
To our mind, a potential cause of this phenomenon seems to be a variation of stardust flux inside the solar system. The most recent observations in frame of the DUST experiment on board the Ulysses spacecraft have shown that stardust level inside of the solar system was trebled during the recent solar maximum (Landgraf et al., 2003. Penetration of the heliosphere by the interstellar dust stream during solar maximum. Journal Geophysical Research 108, 8030).
It is possible that the periodic increase of stardust in the solar system will influence the amount of extraterrestrial material that rains down to the Earth and consequently down to the Earth's atmosphere and may affect climate through alteration of atmospheric transparency and albedo.
(The Doi (permanent) address for the full academic article above is here)
The Earth was warming before global warming was cool.
BY PETE DU PONT
Mr. du Pont is a former governor of Delaware. It is encouraging that the following summary of some simple facts was published in the widely-read Wall St. Journal
When Eric the Red led the Norwegian Vikings to Greenland in the late 900s, it was an ice-free farm country--grass for sheep and cattle, open water for fishing, a livable climate--so good a colony that by 1100 there were 3,000 people living there. Then came the Ice Age. By 1400, average temperatures had declined by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, the glaciers had crushed southward across the farmlands and harbors, and the Vikings did not survive.
Such global temperature fluctuations are not surprising, for looking back in history we see a regular pattern of warming and cooling. From 200 B.C. to A.D. 600 saw the Roman Warming period; from 600 to 900, the cold period of the Dark Ages; from 900 to 1300 was the Medieval warming period; and 1300 to 1850, the Little Ice Age.
During the 20th century the earth did indeed warm--by 1 degree Fahrenheit. But a look at the data shows that within the century temperatures varied with time: from 1900 to 1910 the world cooled; from 1910 to 1940 it warmed; from 1940 to the late 1970s it cooled again, and since then it has been warming. Today our climate is 1/20th of a degree Fahrenheit warmer than it was in 2001.
Many things are contributing to such global temperature changes. Solar radiation is one. Sunspot activity has reached a thousand-year high, according to European astronomy institutions. Solar radiation is reducing Mars's southern icecap, which has been shrinking for three summers despite the absence of SUVS and coal-fired electrical plants anywhere on the Red Planet. Back on Earth, a NASA study reports that solar radiation has increased in each of the past two decades, and environmental scholar Bjorn Lomborg, citing a 1997 atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, observes that "the increase in direct solar irradiation over the past 30 years is responsible for about 40 percent of the observed global warming."
Statistics suggest that while there has indeed been a slight warming in the past century, much of it was neither human-induced nor geographically uniform. Half of the past century's warming occurred before 1940, when the human population and its industrial base were far smaller than now. And while global temperatures are now slightly up, in some areas they are dramatically down. According to "Climate Change and Its Impacts," a study published last spring by the National Center for Policy Analysis, the ice mass in Greenland has grown, and "average summer temperatures at the summit of the Greenland ice sheet have decreased 4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since the late 1980s." British environmental analyst Lord Christopher Monckton says that from 1993 through 2003 the Greenland ice sheet "grew an average extra thickness of 2 inches a year," and that in the past 30 years the mass of the Antarctic ice sheet has grown as well.
Earlier this month the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a summary of its fourth five-year report. Although the full report won't be out until May, the summary has reinvigorated the global warming discussion.
While global warming alarmism has become a daily American press feature, the IPCC, in its new report, is backtracking on its warming predictions. While Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" warns of up to 20 feet of sea-level increase, the IPCC has halved its estimate of the rise in sea level by the end of this century, to 17 inches from 36. It has reduced its estimate of the impact of global greenhouse-gas emissions on global climate by more than one-third, because, it says, pollutant particles reflect sunlight back into space and this has a cooling effect.
The IPCC confirms its 2001 conclusion that global warming will have little effect on the number of typhoons or hurricanes the world will experience, but it does not note that there has been a steady decrease in the number of global hurricane days since 1970--from 600 to 400 days, according to Georgia Tech atmospheric scientist Peter Webster.
The IPCC does not explain why from 1940 to 1975, while carbon dioxide emissions were rising, global temperatures were falling, nor does it admit that its 2001 "hockey stick" graph showing a dramatic temperature increase beginning in 1970s had omitted the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming temperature changes, apparently in order to make the new global warming increases appear more dramatic.
Sometimes the consequences of bad science can be serious. In a 2000 issue of Nature Medicine magazine, four international scientists observed that "in less than two decades, spraying of houses with DDT reduced Sri Lanka's malaria burden from 2.8 million cases and 7,000 deaths [in 1948] to 17 cases and no deaths" in 1963. Then came Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring," invigorating environmentalism and leading to outright bans of DDT in some countries. When Sri Lanka ended the use of DDT in 1968, instead of 17 malaria cases it had 480,000.
Yet the Sierra Club in 1971 demanded "a ban, not just a curb," on the use of DDT "even in the tropical countries where DDT has kept malaria under control." International environmental controls were more important than the lives of human beings. For more than three decades this view prevailed, until the restrictions were finally lifted last September.
As we have seen since the beginning of time, and from the Vikings' experience in Greenland, our world experiences cyclical climate changes. America needs to understand clearly what is happening and why before we sign onto U.N. environmental agreements, shut down our industries and power plants, and limit our economic growth.
A survival instinct gone awry?
Post lifted from Dinocrat
Many bright people have written that Global Warming functions in much the same way as a religion. Michael Crichton has an entertaining piece to that effect that we’ve written about before in this space. Richard Lindzen, professor at MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, has said the same thing. So have many others. Standing as its own kind of proof of this thesis is the Wahhabi-like intensity that some believers (Ellen Goodman for example) have toward the crime of apostasy. Al Gore’s statement — really, a command — that “the debate…is over” conjures up an image of Torquemada, not of Galileo or Newton.
We are not here today to debate the merits of Global Warming. Frankly, we don’t care about the issue all that much. And to the extent there may actually be some global warming — manmade or otherwise — we’re all for it. As we have said, we plan to cash in big by buying muskeg in western Canada and hoping it becomes the New California someday.
Our question today is this: is there an survival purpose to the religious madness that grips the most fervent Global Warming adherents, turning them into harpies and hysterics? We think the answer is probably yes. The ancient story of Pharaoh’s dream tells us that the affluent and powerful have always had a little internal alarm bell warning them about the saven years of lean following the seven years of fat. Preparing for the lean times, and, as importantly, trying to ward them off, has been important for human survival — then and now.
Most people in America today have absolutely no idea how we became so rich over the last 130 years. They have no idea about the nexus of laws, an enterprising spirit of the people, available capital, good accounting, an expanding market, low cost resources, technology and engineering, and an adequate monetary policy that created the relative paradise that is capitalist America — a point we have made over and over again.
Moreover, the harpies and hysterics from the entertainment and political worlds are not only ignorant about how this prosperity came to be, they have themselves done almost nothing to create it — hence, in our opinion, they do not feel within themselves that they have earned the riches with which they have been showered. Thus, they seek, through magical incantations, to expiate their guilt at living, undeserved, in the seven years of fat, and hoping, through their professions of unworthiness and promises of self-abnegation, to ward off the anger of the gods. This kind of magical thinking should have become attenuated in the age of science and engineering, but these are people who haven’t the slightest clue about how an electric motor works, or why bad monetary policy causes inflation or depression. They are as kids in a candy store.
We comprehend the survival usefulness of an internal warning system for those who live lives of excess, but it is less clear why this has resulted in such hysteria, when a more appropriate response would simply be to consider better planning measures for the seven years of lean, in the event they arrive. Perhaps that comes from our ancient human history, when man had no technology to do any meaningful planning beyond a season or two into the future. Perhaps also the emotional agitation was a warning in the ancient days to be on the lookout for usurpers.
We note a final, amusing, parallelism from the time of Pharaoh to the modern potentates of our political and entertainment world. In both ages men worried and felt guilty about their privileged status, and wanted to ward off the seven years of lean by ritual incantations and professions of sorrow, penance, and self-abnegation. But when it came time for the actual ritual of human sacrifice, it was the little guy, not they, who paid the price to appease the gods.
Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.
Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists
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