Global Warming Orthodoxy -Shoots from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii – Jan. 11, 2005

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Postulate for a moment you are watching the evening news. The weather forecaster comes on and predicts a sunny day tomorrow. You can safely leave the umbrella at home. The next day, much to your chagrin it turns out to be a rainy day and you get soaked. Undoubtedly, this has happened at least once in your life.

The example of this most recent New Year’s Eve celebration in these Isles is apropos. New Year’s Eve in Hawaii was predicted to be stormy. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending upon your point of view, the storms held off nearly another 24 hours.


Or consider the recent floods in Manoa. These were a complete surprise. There was no inkling that such an deluge would take place. It is very difficult for any meteorologist to predict such events. Even the weather forecast for an upcoming weekend a few days ahead is doubtful and subject to qualification. Conditions may change and things may be entirely different than projected.

The further out these projections, the more unsure they are. There is no reputable weather forecaster or meteorologist that would seek to accurately predict weather two weeks or a month hence. To do so would be foolhardy. And the idea of attempting to forecast the weather a year or more ahead is beyond ludicrous.

Yet there is a contingent of scientists who claim to accurately predict what weather conditions will be like decades from now. One wonders how this can be when accurately forecasting the climate a week or month ahead is well nigh impossible. Could there be something else at work here?

There probably is. As the old saying goes, all one has to do is “follow the money.” In this case though it isn’t the usual suspects that those on the left continually castigate as being less than objective is such matters: Namely, corporate sponsored scientists. No, in this case, it is government sponsored ones. It is they who have the most to gain by advocating such alarming scenarios.

If university researchers, NASA scientists and others of their ilk were to claim there is no human caused global warming, there would be no reason to fund their research into this area. Why research a problem that no one claims exists? To assert however that there is a dire problem that requires immediate attention can justify all manner of research in this area, and also justify the government research money that goes into investigating it. Thus there is every reason for conformity of opinion by this group.

And to the contrary, when one merely questions the validity of global warming theories, such skepticism is viewed as a preconceived rejection of this established orthodoxy. One is simply not allowed to question those who have a vested interest in promoting this theory. Thus the belief in global warming takes on all the aspects of a faith. It simply cannot be questioned. To do so is heresy.

The fact that the main stream media is complicit in only reporting one side of this debate is all too obvious as well. They too have a vested interest in spreading the alarmism, as it helps to sell their product and claiming there is no such problem is a non-story.

The fact is the planet has been both warmer and colder than at the present time, and in each case could not have been caused by human activity. Such facts are blithely ignored by the proponents of global warming theories. The extensive research going into global warming research presumes that first, it is a valid theory, and second, that it is human caused. From a purely scientific standpoint neither of these hypothesis can be tested. Therefore global warming theories are not science. They are faith.

So one has to wonder why the fervent advocacy of the theory, even by those that aren’t in the field. The answer is in the nature of government sponsored research, which is a huge industry in and of itself; sponsored by, you guessed it, you the taxpayer. To question the validity of the research of such an allegedly widely held view is to question the whole funding system. If such researchers could be wrong about this, then what about other, perhaps equally dubious programs?

The fact is, the taxpayers of this country are being soaked to pay for an endless number of research programs of questionable value. Thus these researchers fall into line whenever the orthodoxy of such research is called into question, whether it is in their field of expertise or not. And oftentimes they do so without revealing that they themselves have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. One has to wonder whether this is an honest practice as well.

While a great deal of good has come out of publicly funded research, a great deal of the money has also been wasted. These researchers also quickly reverse themselves as new facts become known. Just 3 or 4 decades ago the fear was that the planet was entering a new ice age, now it is global warming. Such concerns could reverse again in short order.

Over 17,000 scientists have signed a petition sponsored by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine that asserts that there is no concrete evidence for human caused global warming at this time. It specifically opposes the Kyoto accords and other such attempts to stifle human economic activity because of the supposed risks of global warming. The project is supported entirely by individual contributions and not by corporate, business or government interests.

The list of qualified physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists that have signed the petition is impressive and their names a matter of public record. Further, the website for this project contains extensive documentation on climate change and clearly reveals the fact that global temperatures are not rising dramatically as global warming proponents claim.

Science is about following where the facts lead you, not in deciding ahead of time where they must lead. Anytime that an orthodoxy, such as exists in the global warming field today, demands that only one view be permitted, that becomes more than merely a nuisance, it becomes a danger. As history has shown time and time again, from Galileo to Einstein, one must question the unchallenged orthodoxy, or become a slave to it. This is how science, and human knowledge, progresses. No matter what the fearmongers say.


”’Don Newman, senior policy analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Hawaii’s first and only free market public policy institute focused on individual freedom and liberty, can be reached at:”’

”’This editorial is intended to provoke thought, discussion and an examination of issues. It does not reflect official policy of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. See the GRIH Web site at:”’

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Daily Policy Digest


Thursday, January 6, 2005

Changes to forest regulations will improve management and sustainability of forests, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Environmentalists have raised objections, but the Journal says the old rules are outdated, no longer work and needed to be changed:

The Government Accountability Office estimates that one in three forest acres is dead or dying, which has contributed to a rise in wildfires.

Of the 1,300 species of wildlife the government has listed for protection over the past 30 years, 12 have recovered (been removed from the endangered list).

The new regulations will put environmental policy back at the local level where managers will be more capable at adapting to new threats and at much less cost:

Managers of each of the nation