Last summer as the temperatures soared and crops wilted in the fields across much of the nation, the professional fear mongers had a field day. They blamed the drought on global warming, global cooling, GMOs, ethanol, livestock flatulence, green house gasses, fossil fuel gas, coal-powered electric generating stations, and of course, George Bush. They predicted world starvation, skyrocketing food prices, increasing cancer rates, ice cap melting, flooding, hurricanes, tomatoes, species extinction, population shifts, food riots, food wars, and a host of other calamities. Much to their disappointment, none of these things came to pass.
But wait, the drought is back, some areas of the US have gone one almost a month without significant rain. Temperatures in September are in the 90s and crop yields are being reduced. So bring out the old predictions of disaster and the unscientific research, and make some political hay out of climate change.
President Obama, a well-known authority on hot air, recently stated that “Global warming has accelerated during the past 10 years.” Armed with this bit of scientific insight, Senator Barbra Boxer held a congressional hearing titled “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now.” At this event a panel of “experts” with impressive sounding credentials made all kinds of assertions and assumptions — many not backed by scientific fact.
At one point, Senator Vitter (R-LA) asked the panel of experts “Can any witnesses say they agree with Obama’s statement that warming has accelerated during the past 10 years?” This question was met with a deafening silence. After much hemming and hawing, the experts admitted that global warming has actually slowed — not accelerated — over the past 10 years.
Dennis Avery, with the Center for Global Food Issues and one of the few people on the planet who uses scientific facts to discuss climate change, says any discussion of climate change must be done in 300 year cycles. This is too long for elected officials with 2 and 4 year election cycles. “In the short term, the weather will obey the dictates of the Pacific Ocean, our biggest heat sink. The Pacific’s 60-year warm/cool cycle, superimposed on the 1,500-year cycle, currently predicts continued global cooling—until long after the current crop of politicians has retired or been defeated,” said Avery.
Avery uses weather data stretching back several centuries to show that weather extremes are no greater today than they have been in the past. This is a reality that does not make for good breaking news on the 24 hour a day news channels. Yet, slowly but surely, the public is getting the message. Recent polls show that people today are less fearful of global warming than they were a few years ago.
Still, the professional Chicken Little’s of the world will continue to predict the sky is falling and lay the blame on modern agriculture, industry, and society. The real danger is not what changes in climate will do, but what hastily and ill-considered government regulations based on reactions to unscientific predictions will do to our farm, businesses, and standard of living.
By Gary Truitt