How Did Global Warming Evolve Into Such a Contentious Issue?

How Did Global Warming Evolve Into Such a Contentious Issue?
October 2, 2013

Nancy J. Thorner

Nancy J. Thorner is a writer, cellist, and Tea Party activist based in suburban Chicago. (read full bio)

How appropriate that Rupert Darwell and his book, The Age of Global Warming:  A Historyshould be featured by The Heartland Institute at its Author series on Thursday, September 26, the day before the release of the UN IPCCreport on global warming.  The UN's 2013 report followed the same set hypothesis as in prior years; namely, that the root cause of global warming was man-made and that its cause was CO2.  Unexplained was how the probability factor of man-made global warming was cited as 95% in the 2013 IPCC report, while in the 2007 report it was five points lower at 90%. 

About Rupert Darwell, he read economics and history at Cambridge, after which he worked at the Conservative Research Department and then in the City as an investment analyst and in corporate finance.  He has written or leading publications in the UK and the US and for London-based think tanks.

This brief synopsis of Rupert's book appears on its dust jacket:

Rachel Caron's epoch-creating Silent Spring marked the beginnings of the environmental movement in the 1960's, its "First Wave" peaking at the 1972 Stockholm Conference. The invention of 'sustainable development' by Barbara Ward,  along with Rachael Carson the founder of the environmental movement, created an alliance of convenience between First World environmentalists and Third World set on rapid industrialization.

The First Wave crashed in 1973 with the Yom Kippur War and a decade long energy crisis.  Revived by a warming economy of the 1980s, environmentalism found a new political champion in 1988 with Margaret Thatcher.  Four years later at the Rio Earth Summit, politics settled the science.  One hundred and ninety-two nations agreed that mankind was causing global warming and carbon dioxide emissions should be cut.  Rio launched rounds of climate change meetings and summits, with developing nations refusing to countenance any agreement restraining their greenhouse gas emission -- their blanket exemption from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol leading to its rejection by the United States that year, and again twelve years later in Copenhagen.

In the absence of The Heartland Institute's CEO and president Joe Bast and Communications Director Jim Lakely (Both were out-of-town making appearances in Washington, D.C., New York, Tampa, and St. Louis promoting Heartland's published September 17th NIPCC report based on a "null" hypothesis that global warming is caused by natural factors.), Donn Dears introduced author Rupert Darwall.  Dears, one of many Heartland experts and a retired General Electric executive and Energy Expert, prefaced his introduction with a few remarks of his own.

Stressed by Donn Dears was this fact:  Concern over global warming in this nation started in 1992 at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, out of which came the UN treaty which was ratified by the U.S. Senate.  Continuing, Dears offered this remark:  We are now committed to stopping global warming, whatever that is!

After expressing his delight at being in Chicago on such a beautiful day, and applauding the great work of The Heartland Institute, Rupert Darwall wasted no time in getting to the "meat" of his book. Fundamental is how debate and argument form the lifeblood of a democracy and for those who believe in objectivity and freedom.  As such, global warming is a question of truth and freedom.

To demonstrate how opinions of global warming alarmist are unaffected even after experiencing a happening that should at least made them a bit curious, Darwall related a story as published on Sept.18th of this year in the Valdez Star. Four adventurers and believers of climate change attempted to row through the Northwest Passage, only to have to abandon their journey due to winds and an ice-clogged passage from Cambridge Bay northward.

In another example, when a report in May of 2009 noted that temperature had remained level since 1998, those invested in global warming called for another 15 years to ascertain whether this was an actual trend or just a time out period.  This is akin to a doctor telling a person he has a serious disease, only to tell him to come back in 15 years to see if it's really so!

When oceans don't rise, more time must be given for climate model predictions to come true.   When surface temperature of oceans don't rise, it is because the warming is now in the deep ocean.

Most scientists knew that the Hockey Stick graph -- a plot of the past millennium's temperature that shows the drastic influence of humans in the 20th century --  developed by Michael Mann in 1998 was bad; nevertheless, they all lined up behind it. The lack of curiosity by scientific bodies to investigate what they knew was untrue could only be called incredulous behavior.  This is what happens when science is based on what scientists want the message to be, so as not to tinker with what the public already believes and thinks is true.

These three men played an important part in the history of global warming, Bacon, Locke, and Popper:

  • Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was a medieval philosopher who advocated a scientific foundation to engage in discovering the knowledge of causes.  For Bacon, knowledge about nature was not to be acquired for its own sake, but for the purpose of enabling man to use nature to better his material conditions of life.
  • John Locke (1632-1704) based his views on the Socratic insight that to err is human.  The framers of the American constitution followed Locke:  Checks and balances and the separation of powers are an implicit repudiation of the assumption that 'the people', or, at any rate, a majority of them, cannot not err.  Page 8 of The Age of Global Warming
  • Karl Popper (1902-1994), a leading twentieth century thinker on the theory of science, viewed science theories as being provisional, only valid until they've been refuted, which conflicts with the political need to characterize the science of global warming as settled. 

Rupert Darwall described global warming for the true believers as a mission to save the world.  In so doing Darwall likened those passionate about man-made global warming to Don Quixote, who obsessed with the chivalrous ideals in the books he has read, decides to take up his lance and sword to defend the helpless and destroy the wicked to honor one who was but a figment of his imagination.  Friends realizing that Don Quixote was crazy, and attributing Quixote's madness to his books, destroyed his book by burning. However, unlike the story of Don Quixote, the belief in global warming does have human and financial consequences.

In a question about climate change markets, Darwall called them phony markets, riddled with corruption, that don't work and never will.

Regarding what the future holds for global warming, Mr. Darwall opined that the scenario, although deposing and fraying because of predictions that are wrong time and again, will still be around for some time simply because political interests and financial capitalists are invested in it.

Diane Bast, Executive Editor and Finance Manager of The Heartland Institute, asked those present to go to where reviews of organizations are listed for donating and volunteering.  As The Heartland Institute is controversial to those who do not think warmly about the organization's stance as a recognized worldwide skeptic of global warming, Bast asked that positive comments be posted to counter the negativity expressed.

Heartland Author Series event in October will feature:

Wednesday, October 2 - Henryk A. Kowalczyk:  "Why do we have such a big immigration Problem?"

Thursday, October 17 - Donald J. Devine:  "Ameica's Way Back - Reclaiming Freedom, Tradition, and Constitution"

Thursday, October 24 - Travus G. Brown:  "How Money Walks"

Wednesday, October 30 - Mark Q. Rhoads:  "Land of Lincoln, Thy Wondrous Story"

For more information about the events, all 312/377-4000 or visit heartland.org.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 at 07:13 AM | Permalink

Nancy J. Thorner

Nancy J. Thorner is a writer, cellist, and Tea Party activist based in suburban Chicago. (read full bio)

Articles By Nancy J. Thorner