Planet Gore

Reasons for Skepticism

Mona Charen’s column today makes some key points, several excerpted below:

It’s chilly. There is the pesky fact that, contrary to the dire predictions of climate alarmists, there has been no measurable increase in world temperatures since 1998. Yet the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere has continued to rise. The computer models immortalized by Al Gore did not anticipate this; in fact, they predicted that temperatures would continue to rise steeply more or less forever, except that human beings would all die in 50 years or so with unknown (though presumably salutary) effects on the by-then Venus-like surface of planet Earth. . . .
It’s Freudian. The Viennese analyst taught that if you say you hate your mother, you hate your mother. And if you say you love your mother, you are in denial about hating your mother. Climate-change believers are like Freudians. If the weather is warm, it’s proof of global warming. But if the weather is cool, this is evidence of the sinister tricks global warming can play.
Sunspots. Look at the graphs comparing sunspot activity since 1860 with global sea surface temperatures. They look like matching S curves (unlike the graphs comparing temperatures with CO2 output). Harvard astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon notes that 2008 may have been a cold year because sunspot activity was low. The sun has been quiet in 2009 too. “If this deep solar minimum continues,” Dr. Soon explains, “and our planet cools while CO2 levels continue to rise, thinking needs to change. This will be a very telling time and it’s very, very useful in terms of science and society, in my opinion.” . . .
Fool me once. The same people whose hair is on fire now about climate change have dressed up in fright masks before. Thirty years ago they were (no joke) enormously agitated about the coming new ice age. From these same precincts (the Club of Rome, 1972) we were warned that the world was rapidly running out of oil, gas, aluminum, lead, zinc, copper, tin, and uranium. (We didn’t.) At the same time, all of the smart people were absolutely convinced that overpopulation was the greatest threat to the globe and to humanity itself. Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, offered in 1980 that “if I were a gambler, I would bet even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” That same year, the Carter administration issued a global forecast predicting that “the world in 2000 will be more crowded, more polluted, less stable ecologically . . . and the world’s people will be poorer in many ways than they are today.” Um, no.

The rest here.