No Scientific Consensus On Global Warming


Sept. 1996 - I note with interest that everyone, from the President on down to the local papers, seems to be quoting the report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), a U.N. - sponsored panel of 2,000 scientists, as "proof" that global warming is occuring, humans are responsible, the sky is falling, and "something must be done" to prevent a global catastrophe.

The Clinton Administration wants the participate in a treaty to limit "Greenhouse Gases," with quantified and legally-binding emission targets;, an international emission trading system, and creation of a United Nations - type body that would monitor and enforce compliance. All "developing" nations, such as China, Mexico, etc. (132 out of 166) would be exempted from further commitments.

Clinton is quoted as saying "The science is sound," -- but IS IT? How did the IPCC arrive at its conclusions, and what exactly were the conclusions of the scientists who participated?

Over a year ago, the same claims were made in an article that appeared in the El Paso Times, written by Karl Rabago, a lawyer and Energy Program Manager for the Environmental Defense Fund, who also "served" as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Utility Technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy.

After reading his environmental propaganda, I was moved to write and publish on the Internet an article refuting his claims, and reveiling the truth of this "scientific report" published by the U.N.

Unfortunately, Mr. Rabago, a lawyer, seems to be accepted as an "environmental expert" by the media, who so willingly present his claims as gospel. If he is indeed an expert on environmental issues, then it seems to me he is purposely attempting to mislead the public concerning "Global Warming." (The same could be said for the Clinton Administration).

As a guest columnist in the El Paso Times, (Opinion, page 6A, Sept. 19, 1996), he claimed the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "reported that global warming is a real threat to the quality of life on this planet."

Mr. Rabago attempts to have us believe "For the first time, the world's scientists have concluded that changes in global climate are more than just the natural variability of weather. Human activity... is changing the Earth's natural climate system."

The published report may have made that claim, but it DID NOT reflect the peer-reviewed research of the "more than 2,000 scientists from 130 countries," as Mr. Rabago claims. The report approved by the scientists concluded just the opposite, that IF the climate really is changing, and not just part of natural variability, no clear evidence exists that human activity has contributed.

The conclusions of the report were changed or deleted by someone, according to an article by Frederick Seitz, President Emeritus of Rockefeller University and Chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute.

In his article, " A Major Deception on 'Global Warming,'" (Wall Street Journal, 12 June, 1996, p. A16), he charges that "key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version... more than 15 sections in Chapter 8 of the report -- the key chapter setting out the scientific evidence for and against a human influence over climate -- were changed or deleted after the scientists charged with examining this question had accepted the supposedly final text."

Passages peer-reviewed by the scientists but deleted from the published version include:

     "None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence
     that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the
     specific cause of increases in greenhouse gasses."
     "No study to date has positively attributed all or part
     [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic
     [man-made] causes."
     "Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change
     are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the
     total natural variability of the climate system are reduced."

Mr. Seitz states that "I am in no position to know who made the major changes in Chapter 8, (but) the report's lead author, Benjamin D. Santer, must presumably take the major responsibility."

One of the lead authors of the IPCC report, Keith Shine, HAS explained the changes. According to him, (the scientists) "...produce a draft, and then the policymakers go through it line by line and change the way it is presented... It's peculiar that they have the final say in what goes into a scientists' report."

Robert Reinstein, former chief State Department negotiator on the climate treaty under President Bush, agrees that the wording of the summary was negotiated at length by international delegations. "Because of this," he said, "the summary must be considered purely a political document, not a scientific one."

According to Mr. Seitz, IPCC reports are often called the "consensus" view, just as Mr. Rabago wished us to believe scientific consensus supported the theory of global warming. Mr. Seitz warns that (if the U.N. and environmental groups are successful in implementing them) carbon taxes and restraints on economic growth will have a major and almost certainly destructive impact on the economies of the world. "Whatever the intent was of those who made these significant changes, their effect is to deceive policy makers and the public into believing that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming."

Mr. Seitz concludes his article with the statement that "If the IPCC is incapable of following its most basic procedures, it would be best to abandon the entire IPCC process, or at least that part that is concerned with the scientific evidence on climate change, and look for more reliable sources of advice to governments on this important question."

In other words, U.N. reports are not credible sources of scientific data, because the final reports are produced by bureaucrats pursuing a political agenda, such as control of land and resources - producing environmental propaganda, not science.

Environmental groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund are apparently willing partners in this scientific fraud. While Mr. Rabago's suggestions for increased use of alternative energy, such as solar and wind power, certainly couldn't hurt, his dire conclusions on the effects of global warming are entirely conjectural: "IF climate change hasn't hurt us already, it PROBABLY will. The POTENTIAL warming MAY lead to..." (emphasis mine).

PERHAPS global warming would give the arid Southwest MORE precipitation, and more CO2 MIGHT reduce crop water requirements, as plants grow faster and taller with higher concentrations of CO2. Plants NEED CO2 for their growth.

Perhaps it would be best if Mr. Rabago stuck with law, and UN bureaucrats and environmental groups quit accepting taxpayer money to produce propaganda. Leave the environmental science to the scientists, who, using the scientific method and peer-review, can best come to a conclusion concerning climatology and human activity.

Some of the facts science HAS uncovered are:

NASA satellite measurements show no net warming over the past 18 years -- rather, they show a slight cooling trend.

Plant decay, volcanic activity, and other natural processes release around 200 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, compared to an estimated 7 billion tons produced by Human activity.

(Perhaps the EPA, if it needs something to justify its existence, could begin plugging volcanos. In 1991, Mt. Pinatubo blew two million tons of chlorine into the stratosphere in a day -- every minute it produced the equivalent of all CFCs produced in the entire world in 24 hours).

Mr. Rabago repeats the claim made by the Administration and environmental groups, that Western societies must scale back their industrial technology, (they have already accomplished that goal, have they not?... sending our industries overseas, our jobs to third-world countries, and giving away our technology to our enemies, such as China?) and adopt wind and solar power.

Are Wind and Solar Power really the best suggestions he can offer, after working at the Department of Energy? Apparently so - the Department of Energy has been with us for nearly two decades, and no modern technology has been developed for public use that I am aware of. What utility technologies were developed, while he was drawing his highly-paid salary?

In the latter days of WWII, the Nazi war machine was running almost entirely on fuel produced by coal gasification; yet, more than 50 years later, the U.S. Department of Energy is still studying the technology to see if it is feasible. (Clinton just denied the American people access to millions of tons of low-sulphur coal, so that we could "enjoy the environment" of our new Grand Staircase - Escalante "National Monument" in Utah).

The technology of Wind Power - windmill generators - is more than a century old, as is the internal combustion engine. Most "modern" technology is based on discoveries made decades ago, such as the transistor. Radio was invented over a century ago, television was developed in the 1930s. Yet Mr. Rabago, environmental groups, and the U.S. government would have us return to the technology of a century ago, and pretend no progress has been made. Where has all that taxpayer research money gone in the past decades, with nothing to show for it? Is there an agenda at work here, also?

Truly modern technology would drastically reduce pollution and energy consumption. Nicola Tesla, who invented the alternating current electrical distribution system, radio (a Supreme Court decision ruled his invention of radio pre-dated Marconi's), alternators, and much more, stated that energy could be broadcast without cost around the world. Though a U.S. citizen, his papers were confiscated by the Alien Property Custodian, an agent of the U.S. government, after his death in the 1940s, and have not been seen since.

Western civilization will need oil for some time to come, as it is used to produce many of the things we take for granted, besides its use as fuel and lubrication. We should develope all the sources of energy we have, and not lock them up just for the pretty scenery. The answer to pollution is MORE clean technology and development; not to go back to some romantic dream of the good old days.

For more information, see also:

National Center for Policy Analysis

Global Climate Information Project

World Climate Report


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