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Environmental Madness (VIII)

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Chapter III

Stinging Scientific Denial of Environmentalist Theories

From what we have seen so far, we can say that scientists disagree on countless points of environmentalist propaganda as it is disseminated around the world. Putting it very simply we can say that environmentalist claims are fiercely stubborn seek support for their views by any means necessary.

 

Scientists opposed to the environmental agenda, known as “skeptics,” point out scientific errors and even fraud in the works and findings of global warming theory proponents, accusing them of being sectarian and ill-intentioned catastrophe-mongers.

 
Below we summarize the main arguments of both sides.

1. The Greenhouse Effect, Loathed by Alarmists

Surveys show that the doomsayers claim the twentieth century, as a result of the greenhouse effect, was the warmest in the last 500 years.

Among the main causes of this greenhouse effect, they point out:

• Agriculture and cattle-raising, which require the clearing of natural forests responsible for regulating the temperature, wind and rainfall levels in various regions.

• Industrial development and consumption habits, responsible for releasing large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, especially in large urban centers. These gases arise primarily from the burning of fossil fuels (diesel and gasoline). Carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) concentrate in certain regions of the atmosphere forming a layer that blocks heat dissipation. This works like a thermal insulator, retaining heat in the lower layers of the atmosphere and causing global warming.

The consequences of such global warming are said to be numerous:

• Melting ice caps and rising sea levels. As a result, many coastal cities could disappear from the map.

• Many ecosystems might be affected, destroying plant and animal species.

• Typhoons, hurricanes, tsunamis and floods might occur with greater intensity.

• Reduction in the amount of food, caused by a fall in agricultural production in several countries.

• ​It could change the course of ocean currents, causing the extinction of various marine animals and decreasing the amount of fish available for human consumption.

2. Skeptical Scientists Dispute Environmentalist Doomsayers

Realistic or skeptical environmentalists dispute the claims of their alarmist counterparts with the following arguments:

• The mathematical models currently used to simulate future climate situations have serious flaws that disqualify them from making reliable predictions.

• Experts of recognized competence have discredited the scientific dataset said to show the existence of global warming.

• Highly reliable information obtained by satellites show that the temperature increase in the last twenty years of the 20th century was much smaller than the one claimed by doomsayer scientists. And a significant drop in that increase took place in the first decade of the 21st century.

• Current CO2 concentrations are among the lowest in the geological history of the Earth; furthermore, higher CO2 concentrations and higher temperatures would be beneficial to mankind.

3. Scientific Basis of Environmental Skeptics

From what has been said in this chapter we conclude that the global warming hypothesis – whose advocates claim it would cause serious harm to humanity – is a seriously doubtful theory. Moreover, some of the world’s most important science centers  have  questioned and even denied it. . This information appears in an open letter to the UN Secretary General by 100 renowned scientists from more than 19 nations in December 2007.[1]

A very large group of scientists opposes the doomsday predictions, showing they lack a serious scientific basis. Those scientists also denounce a misuse of available data and errors in the inferences drawn from statistic results.[2]

In the Leipzig Declaration, for example, the realists condemned the Kyoto Protocol and emphasized the negative aspects of its policy of imposing quotas and taxes on industrialized countries. They also warned about the environmental policies of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), accusing it of preaching hasty scientific theories and employing flawed computational models that lack a solid foundation to show there will be a global catastrophe as a consequence of climate change. [3]

The Oregon Petition, first published in 1999 by the Oregon University’s Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) and signed today by over 30,000 American scientists, including over 9,000 PhDs, greatly influenced the American Administration’s negative decision regarding the Kyoto Protocol. It advised the United States to reject the agreement on global warming written in Kyoto (Japan) in December 1997 and any other similar proposals. The limits proposed for greenhouse effect gas emissions would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and help deteriorate the health and well-being of humanity. The text states verbatim:

“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

Heartland LogoThe Heartland Institute, founded in Chicago in 1984 is another institution that has stood out in the combat against the positions of doomsday ecologists.[4]

The Heidelberg Appeal was launched in Rio de Janeiro during the Eco-92 conference and was signed on that occasion by 425 scientists. More recently it attained 4,000 signatures, including those of 72 Nobel Prize winners. The Appeal’s signers, disputing the irrational attitudes in some circles, stated:

We are, however, worried at the dawn of the twenty-first century, at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development. We contend that a Natural State, sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look towards the past, does not exist and has probably never existed since man’s first appearance in the biosphere, insofar as humanity has always progressed by increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse. We fully subscribe to the objectives of a scientific ecology for a universe whose resources must be taken stock of, monitored and preserved. But we herewith demand that this stock-taking, monitoring and preservation be founded on scientific criteria and not on irrational pre-conceptions.”

Further on they warn about a matter that directly relates to Brazil and which we will call to mind as we analyze the Brazilian situation in Part II of this book:

We do however forewarn the authorities in charge of our planet’s destiny against decisions which are supported by pseudo-scientific arguments or false and non-relevant data. We draw everybody’s attention to the absolute necessity of helping poor countries attain a level of sustainable development which matches that of the rest of the planet, protecting them from troubles and dangers stemming from developed nations, and avoiding their entanglement in a web of unrealistic obligations which would compromise both their independence and their dignity.”

[1] See full text in Annex I at the end of this book.

[2] Among this group of scientists stand out Dr. Daniel Schrag, of Harvard; Claude Allegre, one of the most decorated French geophysicists; Dr. Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT; Dr. Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia; Dr. Fred Singer, Ph.D., founder and president of the Science & Environmental Policy Project and professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia; Professor Bob Carter, geologist at the James Cook University, Australia. Also part of this group are 85 scientists specialized in climatology, who signed the Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change, which called for drastic emission control policies “lacking credible support from the underlying science… ill-advised and premature;” 17,000 scientists and leaders involved in climate studies signed a petition by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. The document states there is no convincing evidence that greenhouse gases cause global warming; and 4,000 scientists and other leaders from around the world, including 70 Nobel Prize winners, signed the Heidelberg Appeal, referring to global warming theories related to greenhouse gases as “pseudo-scientific arguments or false and non-relevant data.”

[3] The Leipzig Declaration is based on the conclusions of the International Symposium on the Greenhouse Controversy, held in Leipzig on Nov. 9-10, 1995 and in Bonn, Germany, on Nov. 10-11, 1997. Signatories include world-renowned scientists such as Dr. Tor Ragnar Gerholm, member of the Nobel Prize selection committee, Professor Eckhard Grimmel, and Professor Richard S. Lindzen.

[4] See information on the activities of the Heartland Institute in Annex II at the end of this book.

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