On Nov. 17, Cash Lambert filled this column with an alarming call to act now on global warming.
But Mr. Lambert fails to make his case. Why? Simply regurgitating "conventional wisdom" just doesn't suffice when that conventional wisdom is just plain wrong.
For example, did you know that ... 1) the earth hasn't warmed for 17 years? 2) the Pacific Ocean is cooling and Antarctic ice is at 30-year highs? 3) there's no conclusive evidence that man-made greenhouse gases cause warming? 4) higher CO2 levels and modest warming would be good for the planet? And 5) sea levels are extremely unlikely to rise materially in the intermediate term, if ever?
Why haven't you likely heard all this before? It's because of the conventional-wisdom sources - a powerfully vocal admixture of several interest groups: research scientists, thousands of whom would lose their livelihood if man-made global warming is invalidated; environmentalists trying to "save the planet"; and the mainstream media, which knows that crises, real or supposed, engage subscribers.
The alarmists' case rests on a three-legged stool: a strong, and accelerating, upward trend in temperatures; a rise in CO2 and other man-made greenhouse gases; and the harmful net effects justifying international policies to limit greenhouse gases.
Clearly, the failure of any leg invalidates proposed action calls.
Turns out, the hard facts - from a bevy of credentialed scientists - undermine all three legs.
Rising-temperature trends have been exaggerated
The earth has not warmed over the past 17 years (period). A prior 20-plus-year warming interval incubated the man-made global warming hysteria. But it was preceded by a 30-year global-cooling period - so substantial that many of the same alarmists (including The New York Times, Time
magazine and Science Digest
) were calling for global actions to stem the "coming ice age."
Hard data show that any Arctic melting has been dwarfed by the 2013 30-year record-high Antarctic ice cover.