By LEONA HEMMERICH
Special to the Herald Times
RBC I Recap: In part one, we discussed the makeup of the atmosphere and challenged some of the current talking points of those wanting exclusive government control to take action on climate change.
Dr. Soon and others insist that water vapor (H2O), which makes up most of the earth’s greenhouse gasses, has far more effect on the climate than CO2. (1) Plus, there are other aerosols and pollutants in the air that are not considered into the equation. In years past aerosols and other particulates definitely played a bigger role in the realm of air pollution, but thanks to modern technology we have made great strides in keeping those particulates to a minimum.
A number of scientists, including Freeman Dyson, a retired professor of theoretical physics from Princeton University (2), Dr. Indur Goklany, a science and technology policy analyst for the United States Department of the Interior and US representative on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (3) (4) and others are saying that thanks to the increased CO2 in the atmosphere, the world is becoming a greener place. In other words, plants are thriving because they need CO2, which will be a big benefit to us as those plants produce more oxygen. Professor Dyson and others agree with Dr. Soon that sun activity also plays a bigger role in this whole picture of Climate Change than those who are sounding the alarm. While there doesn’t appear to be any actual consensus on the sun’s role, we do know that solar flares and the lack thereof have had extreme effects on this planet. (5) According to the charts shown by Dr. Soon, solar flares peaked in the mid 1930s, which would explain the hot temperatures then. (6)
What about the ice caps? Aren’t they melting more than ever? Apparently that depends on where you are measuring the ice. In the past century there is evidence that Greenland ice sheet has grown, even if the edges have thawed some. An anecdotal story will easily prove there has been more growth than shrinking at least in Greenland. During WWII, a group of fighter pilots got hit by a snowstorm with very thick clouds and since they were running low on fuel, had to land their planes on the Greenland ice sheet. The pilots all got out safely, but the planes were left behind. After the war was over, a crew went back to get the planes, but couldn’t find them. Starting in 1983, 12 different expeditions tried to find the planes, but none were successful until the 13th try on July 15, 1992, 50 years to the day of when they landed on that ice cap. Thanks to modern technology, they were able to finally locate the planes, which had been buried by 269 feet of ice. (7) (8) Think about that. In just 50 years the Greenland ice sheet increased a whopping 269 feet, almost as high as the Statue of Liberty.
What about the scientific “consensus”? First of all, there really doesn’t appear to be total consensus on this topic. In addition to the scientists already mentioned, there are others, but not everyone is willing to risk their job to come forward. However, apparently a Professor Frederick Seitz, former president of America’s National Academy of Sciences wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal claiming that the IPCC had deleted at least 15 key sections of the science chapter so it wasn’t what was actually approved by the scientists. Then they included even the names of the dissenting scientists in its list of 2,500 consenting scientists. This is documented in the film: “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” (9) Dr. David Legates and other scientists with the Cornwall Alliance created a 10 part lecture series that not only disagrees with the “consensus” science, but also discusses the dangers of yielding to that viewpoint. (10) (11)
There’s also the co-founder of Green Peace, Dr. Patrick Moore, who, in an interview on a program called Conversations that Matter, stated “We need more CO2 in the atmosphere if we are going to survive. (12) In fact, some of those who grow plants commercially in greenhouses actually pump in extra CO2 to help the plants grow faster, stronger and with added benefit of needing less water. How much? Up to 1500ppm. (13) Also, some Finnish scientists released a paper titled “No Experimental Evidence for the Significant Anthropogenic Climate Change.”(14) This is not a peer-reviewed paper, so there have been some criticisms about it. Lack of peer review, though, should not make anyone reject these comments out of hand. I am simply pointing out you can find scientists around the globe who disagree with the consensus.
In actuality, though, how much should we trust consensus? Good science changes, or at least it should, as new information becomes available. After Darwin’s books “Origin of the Species” followed by the “Descent of Man”, many decided that black people were inferior. In this country, we even put an African Pygmy, Ota Benga, (15) in with the monkeys at the Bronx zoo, so everyone could see the living “missing link.”(16) Keep in mind, this was done by consensus science of the day. (17) With the approval of consensus science, Margaret Sanger and others started a Eugenics movement in this country. According to a letter she wrote to a Clarence Gable in 1939, her project was targeting “the Negro population.” She is credited with the founding of Planned Parenthood, and her writings were responsible for many of the eugenics laws that were put in place in the early 20th century in this country. (18) (Most of the Planned Parenthood Clinics are still located in minority neighborhoods. (19)) Another consensus science view resulted in many people in this country being forcibly sterilized. (20) One case went all the way to the Supreme Court, Buck v Bell, (21) (22), and the “consensus” of the scientists won the day, and the poor woman lost.
These are extreme cases, but, of course, if we went further back in history, we can find even more. Did you know that less than two centuries ago doctors not only weren’t required to wash their hands, some of them considered their blood covered hands and aprons as a badge of honor, which is why many women died in childbirth? They went straight from doing an autopsy in the morgue to the delivery room. It was the approved scientific “consensus” of the day. Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor working in the Vienna General Hospital in 1847, was the first to see that this practice of not washing hands was killing women and their babies. He made it a requirement for those working under him to wash their hands and the mortality rate radically dropped. However, he was not only ignored by the medical community at large, he was driven insane and subsequently killed in an institution for the insane when he was beaten by those taking care of him. This story, as Raquel Kahler, the author notes, is also an “example of poor objective peer review.” (23) In fact, it wasn’t until the early 20th Century that people started thinking more about hygiene when hand soap became readily available in the 1920s. The U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention was founded in 1946, and it wasn’t until 1981 that hand washing was implemented into public health as a standard practice. (24)
All of this was written to show you can’t always trust the “consensus” or majority view. Next time we will look into what may be attributed to the human element.