Climatism Is Driven by Money, but Truth Will Prevail

Climatism Is Driven by Money, but Truth Will Prevail
September 8, 2012

Jay Lehr, Ph.D.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. (jlehr@heartland.org) is science director at The Heartland Institute, an... (read full bio)

Review of The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, by Steve Goreham (New Lenox Books, 2012), 312 pages, ISBN- 978-0982499627

There is big money in saving the planet, says author Steve Goreham in his new book, The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism. Companies now have a financial motive to promote green business, even when global warming alarmism and other environmental scares are contradicted by sound science.

Thousands of firms profit from selling green products, supplying renewable energy, trading carbon credits, and providing consulting or legal advice on climate change. Indeed, nearly the entire renewable energy industry, which cannot compete against conventional energy, exists solely because of government subsidies supported by feel-good environmental rhetoric. 

Government Money Corrupts Science

Most people have heard President Eisenhower warned the nation of the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address, but few remember that he also warned of the unfortunate movement of scientific research out of small, private research labs and into the great government bureaucracy. Goreham reminds us Eisenhower warned of just the sort of practice going on today with universities and science organizations beholden to government for their funding.

Scientific organizations, Goreham explains, often appoint small panels of carefully selected members to write position statements warning of a human-caused global warming crisis. These organizations rarely if ever survey their member scientists before formulating such position statements, and surveys of scientists within organizations such as the American Meteorological Society contradict the alarmism conveyed by the panels.

The panels are carefully selected to ensure an alarmist message, Goreham explains, because alarmism is what brings in government money. 

Government grants go to universities and science organizations that study global warming. Yet government will fund global warming studies only to the extent that people are convinced global warming is a serious problem. Thus, government money drives universities and science organizations to proclaim a global warming crisis. If and when universities and science organization proclaim global warming is not such a crisis after all, their funding will immediately disappear. 

Science vs. Madness

If madness can be defined as being out of touch with reality, Goreham explains how much of society is indeed in a state of climate madness. The idea that a small increase in a trace gas in our atmosphere can cause snowstorms in New York, heat waves in Europe, and polar bear extinctions throughout the Arctic does not hold up under scientific scrutiny. Similarly, the idea that we can stop the rise of the seas by changing our light bulbs is ludicrous.

Readers will be impressed by Goreham’s meticulous scientific research, but this dedication to accuracy does not produce a dry book. For example, he presents this wonderful quote from comedian Georg Carlin: “The planet has been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles, bombardment by comets, asteroids, and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages—and we think some plastic bags and aluminum cans are going to make a difference.”

Goreham makes short and amusing shrift of renewable energy, documenting how this power source is very expensive and unreliable and does little if anything to reduce greenhouse gases. He shows the absurdity of lifestyle changes being forced on us, including the use of electric vehicles, home de-carbonization, reduced air travel, reduced meat intake, less freedom, and larger government. In so doing, he amusingly skewers the horrible specter of global governance.

Focusing on hard science, Goreham easily explains the flaws in global warming alarmism, and with colorful graphs aimed at laymen shows how our present climate is well within natural bounds.
Countering the self-assurance of climate alarmists, Goreham explains the amazing complexity of the planet’s climate. The earth’s climate, Goreham notes, is driven by a multitude of factors, including gravitational forces of our solar system, radiation from the sun, and cosmic rays from stars in deep space. He presents these factors in a clear and memorable manner with high-quality charts and graphics.

Fear-Mongers, Whoppers, and Misconduct

Throughout the book he highlights quotes from prominent fear-mongers such as the late astronomer Carl Sagan, who said in 1985 that greenhouse gas emissions would increase the earth’s temperature by about 9 degrees Fahrenheit by around the year 2000. This obviously did not happen. Goreham includes an entire chapter on the Big Whoppers about climate change.

He mined thousands of Climategate emails, presenting in color boxes the most egregious of the bunch. Among my favorites is Phil Jones writing, “I am getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act.”

It would be easy to become pessimistic and depressed in light of all the outrages, absurdities, and fear-mongering of climatism. Goreham, however, counters such an inclination, concluding his book on this optimistic note: “Year after year temperatures do not follow model predictions, sea levels do not rise abnormally, the polar bears thrive, and predicted disasters do not occur. World citizens will figure it out. Changes in public opinion already show citizens are beginning to learn the real story. The crash of Climatism will be thunderous.”

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. (lehr@heartland.org) is science director of The Heartland Institute.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. (jlehr@heartland.org) is science director at The Heartland Institute, an... (read full bio)