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Monday, April 5, 2010

What to Say to a Global Warming Alarmist

Global warming true believers claim that humans, by using carbon-based fuels such as coal and oil, are degrading the earth’s climate. Their solution is to have a government policy which will restrict the use of these fuels, world-wide. They favor international multi-lateral agreements to accomplish their goal, coupled with economic sanctions to force compliance. They see the United Nations playing a key roll, perhaps evolving into a form of world government. They claim to have a scientific consensus on their side, and they are willing to marginalize anyone who disagrees with them, with charges of being anti-science and anti-environment.

What do you say to such people? Here are a few of their most frequent claims, followed by my thoughtful response.

“Humans have been polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide by burning coal since the industrial revolution, and that has raised the earth’s temperature, because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.”
First, it is wrong to label carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Carbon dioxide is a vital component of the atmosphere and is absolutely necessary for all life on earth. Second, the total accumulated amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide contributed by humans is estimated to be only 100 parts per million, or one hundredth of one percent! This is about 150 times smaller than the average concentration of the main greenhouse gas, which is water vapor. The carbon is theoretically warming, but you will never see it in real world measurements.

“But the earth has warmed in the last 100 years!” That’s right, and the observed warming, decade by decade, correlates quite well with measured solar activity, and not with carbon dioxide content.

“You will be sorry when Greenland melts and floods the everglades, and when polar bears and penguins go extinct.” Greenland was green when first discovered one thousand years ago, yet the everglades have been around for at least ten times that long. Polar bear populations have more than doubled in the last 30 years. Penguins suffer from over-fishing of their feeding areas, not from an un-noticeable amount of extra carbon dioxide.

“The debate is over, the science is settled, and a consensus has been reached.” Yes, a consensus exists among climatologists corrupted by an obscene amount of government funding. The rest of the scientific community disagrees.

“We have a moral imperative to save the earth.” No, we have a moral imperative to preserve human liberty; it is never moral to expand government.

“You global warming deniers are no better than holocaust deniers.” The similarity between global warming alarmism and the holocaust is that both are the result of too many people accepting uncritically what their government is saying. In the case of the holocaust, it was the idea that the Jews were responsible for all of Germany’s misfortunes. In the case of global warming, it is the belief that carbon fuel is responsible for everything that can go wrong with weather and climate. Both belief systems are false.

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