From so-called documentaries like Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and shameless cheerleading of journalists and celebrities to children's books designed to scare and indoctrinate America's future generations, global warming hysteria is gripping the world. The truth is, little or no scientific data supports the notion of man-made global warming apart from natural warming, and there is certainly no scientific consensus on the issue of global warming as alarmists and the media would have us believe.
First, let's take a look at the actual science here, and I don't mean computer models, which the global warming alarmists refer to on the rare occasions when they actually attempt to defend their views as opposed to the usual dismissal consisting of, "Oh, don't listen to our critics, they still subscribe to geocentrism too."
Global warming alarmists seize upon two things, principally, in advancing their theories. One is the aforementioned computer models, and the other is the hockey stick temperature chart created by climatologist Michael Mann. This chart demonstrates global temperatures remaining relatively stable for the last 1,000 years or so and then spiking dramatically since 1900.
Administered by the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a major backer of man-made global warming theory and the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas admissions, will release a much publicized report soon which will likely invoke the hockey stick temperature chart as evidence of global warming. Al Gore advanced the same theory in his so-called documentary.
Not surprisingly, this temperature chart has been called into serious question. In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences released a report titled "Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years." This press release accompanying the report noted that "the reconstructions show relatively warm conditions centered around the year 1000, and a relatively cold period, or 'Little Ice Age,' from roughly 1500 to 1850 (AD)," and as a result, "even less confidence can be placed in the Mann team's conclusions."The statistical underpinnings of the theory have also been shown to be inaccurate.
Given the fluctuations in temperature before green house gases were supposedly a factor, it is hard make such drastic conclusions about present global temperatures.Note that from 1500 to 1850, the climate was abnormally cool. As US Senator James Inhofe put it, "Trying to prove man-made global warming by comparing the well-known fact that today's temperatures are warmer than during the Little Ice Age is akin to comparing summer to winter to show a catastrophic temperature trend."
Of course this won't stop Al Gore and the IPCC from brandishing the hockey stick chart as evidence of catastrophic global warming.
The other major evidence cited by climate change radicals are computer models, of which few, if any, have come close thus far to accurately predicting fluctuations in global temperature. For example, using computer models, NASA scientist James E. Hansen predicted a 0.34 degrees Celsius rise in average global temperature in the subsequent decade (the 1990s) to the delight of environmentalists.
As noted by University of Virginia climatologist Patrick J. Michaels, the prediction was way off, with temperatures rising "a mere 0.11 degrees Celsius during the decade, while temperatures of the lower atmosphere measured by satellites and weather balloons actually declined by 0.24 degrees Celsius and 0.36 degrees Celsius, respectively." The fact is, actual observed temperatures have never come close to increases predicted by computer models.
As far as sea level goes, it has been rising for at least 1,000 years, despite variations in global temperature. Contrary to the claims of alarmists, many polar areas are actually getting colder. A few melting ice sheets, normally rising sea levels and seemingly chaotic weather all merit discussion but to conclude that man-made global warming is responsible erroneously asserts a cause and effect relationship.
In addition to the evidence presented above concerning dramatic climate variations over the last 1,000 years, data shows that the first half of the twentieth century, prior to the proliferation of greenhouse gas producing technologies, to have warmed more than the second half of the twentieth century.
Interestingly, during some periods of natural history, carbon dioxide levels have increased while global temperatures have decreased. Also, carbon dioxide is naturally occurring and essential for life on Earth.