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Friday, July 07, 2006 

Global Warming Myths (Again)

A fellow blogger that I often visit posted a recent essay (long post of commentary) on Global Warming. He is of the same opinion that I am on the subject: It is a bunch of junk science used to raise funds from scare tactics.

I have don’t nothing more than copy and paste his post here as I think it is a very well reasoned and well thought-out argument against the impression that some activist try to push out. With no further ado, from Mustang at Social Sense:

Does global warming represent a threat to mankind?

Many argue that the increase in the earth’s temperature due to the production of carbon dioxide gas will severely affect man’s survival on the planet through massive crop failures, desertification, new diseases, melting icecaps, and an increase in the production of deadly weather phenomena.

Does science support such contentions?

Since vegetation thrives on carbon dioxide, wouldn’t an increase in those levels amplify crop production? Isn’t it also true that the world’s largest desert has decreased in size by up to six-thousand kilometers? It is also a fact that there have been no significant changes in weather patterns — none — in the past 100 years.

What evidence can anyone produce in support of the claim that our planet is losing as many as a million species due to extinction? The problem is, since no one knows how many species of life there are on the planet, it is impossible for anyone to predict some number being in danger of destruction.

Are the icecaps melting? Are our glaciers disappearing? There are more than 160,000 glaciers in the world today. We do not know for a fact that “glaciers” are disappearing. Some may be receding, but others may be expanding. If the icecaps are melting, why aren’t the ocean’s islands under water? The fact is that the oceans are rising – about 5/16th of an inch in the past one-hundred years. For my part, this kind of data doesn’t make me want to throw myself off a cliff.

The problem we have on the subject of global warming or any other ecological gloom and doom prediction by activists is that their claims cannot be substantiated by scientific data. It is true that some scientists do make dire predictions; it is also true that many of these people are producing non-verifiable data, and research funding comes from sources that demand a foregone conclusion. It isn’t science, and it isn’t honest.

In addition, history tells us that activists are doing more harm than good. One of the greatest miracles in modern science was the production of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, or DDT. It was the first modern pesticide. It was deadly to insects, but harmless to humans. In fact, it saved human life by protecting people from malaria, typhus, and other insect borne diseases. But in the early 1950s, American biologist Rachel Carson published a book that linked DDT to cancer in humans. Based on junk-science, activists took up the cause against DDT. Congress held hearings, but without bothering to listen to opposing views, the use of DDT was banned throughout the United States. More than this, the United States used its economic muscle to ban DDT in other counties too. Thanks to Rachel Carson, well meaning but incompetent activists, and a largely ignorant Congress, two million people — mostly children, have died each year from malaria. Fifty-five years times two million deaths per year seems to be a very heavy price to pay for bogus science. And what was DDT replaced with? Cancer causing chemicals.

What do we really know about our planet? We know that it is in a constant state of change. The earth today hardly resembles the earth of two hundred million years ago. Every earthquake, every volcanic eruption, every tornado, every hurricane, has the effect of changing the earth. Over thousands of years, people have had to adapt to their environment – and the environment has been changed by human activity. In 1775, there may have been 3,000 people living in New York City – very different from the ten million living there today. We used to use wood to build our urban structures, but today we use concrete, which radiates solar heat. Is the world really getting warmer, or is it just some places (like our mushrooming cities) that are getting warmer?

There are those who claim that automobile emissions are suffocating the earth’s inhabitants. Now I will agree that “smog” is a problem, but let me take you back to New York City in the year 1900. There were at that time some thirteen million horses inside the city limits. Exposure to the excrement and urine deposits made by that many animals could not have been very healthy. New York City today is 100 times cleaner and healthier than it was 105 years ago; one only needs to compare the infant mortality rates of then and now to figure that out.

The fact is that we know next to nothing about our environment. Without a scientific understanding of our environment, how can we hope to preserve it? With a constant barrage of gloom and doom messages from so-called environmental groups and the press, most people have become numb to the fact that we really should be taking better care of our planet. Worse, of course, is the damage that environmentalists are responsible for – such as in the case of DDT. Like the admonition to physicians, those who claim to care about the state of planet Earth should first, do no harm.