The Climate Change Debate: Where Are We Now?
The Heartland Institute's climate change conference highlighted progress and issued challenges to the skeptical community.
May 24, 2012 - 12:37 pm
The problem is that skeptics have allowed the AGW proponents and their allies in the media to define them. Writing in Forbes, Heartland senior fellow James Taylor reported on a recent survey of meteorologists and how their skepticism regarding AGW is used by climate alarmists:
According to American Meteorological Society (AMS) data, 89% of AMS meteorologists believe global warming is happening, but only a minority (30%) is very worried about global warming.
This sharp contrast between the large majority of meteorologists who believe global warming is happening and the modest minority who are nevertheless very worried about it is consistent with other scientist surveys. This contrast exposes global warming alarmists who assert that 97% of the world’s scientists agree humans are causing a global warming crisis simply because these scientists believe global warming is occurring. However, as this and other scientist surveys show, believing that some warming is occurring is not the same as believing humans are causing a worrisome crisis.
In another line of survey questions, 53% of respondents believe there is conflict among AMS members regarding the topic of global warming. Only 33% believe there is no conflict. Another 15% were not sure. These results provide strong refutation to the assertion that “the debate is over.”
President Klaus laid out the major challenges facing attendees:
Discussing technicalities is not sufficient, because the supporters of the GWD are not interested in them. We are not dealing with people who are authentically interested in science and in incremental changes in temperature and their causes. For them, the temperature data are just an instrument in their plans to change the world, to suppress human freedom, to bring people back to underdevelopment. Their ideas are the ideas of ideologues, not of scientists or climatologists. Data and sophisticated theories will never change their views.
We have to accept that they have succeeded in establishing the religion of environmentalism as the official religion of Western society, as the religion which asks for a radical transformation of the whole Western civilization. We – at least some of us – have to play with them in the arena chosen by them.
The forces arrayed against climate realists are “organized and due to it are able to push this doctrine further ahead because to do so is in their narrowly defined interests,” says Klaus. It’s not about the planet, stupid. It’s about the money. And the power. And the simple, human desire to control. Global warming is the bludgeon that the coalition of governments, corporations, and environmentalists who have been empowered by the United Nations through the funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are using to impose a new social paradigm on the world — one that would destroy capitalism, limit human freedom, and, not coincidentally, make them masters of the earth.
Can it be stopped? Next month in Rio de Janeiro, the Rio+20 conference on “sustainability” will be held. Twenty years ago at the first Rio conference — the first “Earth Summit” — nations adopted “Agenda 21″ — a blueprint for disaster. As the conference website states:
Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where countries adopted Agenda 21 – a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection – the UN is again bringing together governments, international institutions and major groups to agree on a range of smart measures that can reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable and fair use of resources.
Rio+20 is a chance to move away from business-as-usual and to act to end poverty, address environmental destruction and build a bridge to the future.
Reading the reports and research papers on that website is extremely illuminating — and not a little frightening. This is not just a question of redistributing wealth on a worldwide scale. Resource sharing, technology transfers, no intellectual property rights, world taxes, transfer payments — it’s all there in black and white if anyone cares to read about it. You couldn’t help but feel a little dismayed looking around at the 300 climate realists who attended the conference and realize how small and disorganized the opposition to this juggernaut really is.
But fewer people have accomplished far more in the past. A handful of colonists challenged the mightiest empire of the 18th century and came out winners. Perhaps if we keep that example in mind, it will embolden and inspire the rest of us to keep fighting the good fight.
There simply isn’t an alternative.