Fishing Boat in Greenland. Photo AFP
Recently, a documentary aired on the UK’s Channel 4, entitled “The Great Global Warming Swindle” , which challenged the prevailing political understanding that global warming is caused by man-made activity. The movie argues that it is in fact the sun that is responsible for the current changes in the Earth’s temperature and the film is riddled with the testimony of many scientists and climate experts, furthering a growing dissent to the man-made theory. After all, that’s all it is, a theory. As soon as people start to state that “the debate is over”, beware, because the fundamental basis of all sciences is that debate is never over, that questions must be asked and answered and issues raised in order for the science to be accurate. So what exactly are the arguments behind the Sun being the main cause of global warming?
First off, it is very important to address the fact that Earth is not the only planet to be experiencing climate change in our solar system currently. In fact, many astronomers have announced that Pluto has been experiencing global warming, and suggested that it is a seasonal event, just like how Earth’s seasons change as the various hemispheres alter their inclination to the Sun. We must remember that it is the Sun that determines our seasons, and thusly has a greater impact upon the climate than we could ever even try to achieve.
In May of 2006, a report came forward revealing that a massive hurricane-like storm that occurred on Jupiter may be caused by climate change occurring on the planet, which is expected to raise its temperatures by 10 degrees. National Geographic News reported that a simultaneous rising in temperature on both Mars and Earth suggest that climate change is indeed a natural phenomenon as opposed to being man-made. The report further explains how NASA has reported that Mars’ carbon dioxide ice caps have been melting for a few years now. Sound familiar? An astronomical observatory in Russia declared that, “the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun”. They further point out that both Mars and Earth have, throughout their histories, experienced periodic ice ages as climate changes in a continuous fashion. NASA has also been observing massive storms on Saturn, which indicate a climate change occurring on that planet as well. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has also been recording massive climate changes on Neptune’s largest moon, Triton. Triton, whose surface was once made up of frozen nitrogen, is now turning into gas. The Associated Press has reported that satellites that measure the temperature of sunlight have been recording an increase in the sun’s temperature, meaning that the sun itself is warming up. Even the London Telegraph reported in 2004 that global warming was due to the sun being hotter than it has ever been in the past 1,000 years. They cited this information from research conducted by German and Swiss scientists who claim that it is increasing radiation from the sun that is resulting in our current climate change.
Claude Allegre, a leading French scientist, who was among the first scientists to try to warn people of the dangers of global warming 20 years ago, now believes that “increasing evidence indicates that most of the warming comes of natural phenomena”. Allegre said, “There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the "science is settled." He is convinced that global warming is a natural change and sees the threat of the ‘great dangers’ that it supposedly poses as being bloated and highly exaggerated. Also recently, the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus said, when discussing the recent ruling by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is man-made, “Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it's a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It's neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment.” And if you are about to ask why no politicians here seem to be saying this, Klaus offered up an answer, “Other top-level politicians do not express their global warming doubts because a whip of political correctness strangles their voice”. Nigel Calder, the former editor of New Scientist, wrote an article in the UK Sunday Times, in which he stated, “When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works.” He further stated that, “Twenty years ago, climate research became politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis”. And in reference to how the media is representing those who dissent from the man-made theory he stated, “they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies”, which is exactly what I believed up until I did my research. He also wrote, “Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages”.
For those who saw Al Gore’s “documentary”, it was very convincing of its hypothesis that global warming is a man-made phenomenon that has the potential to kill us all and end humanity. After all, the film was filled with graphs and charts, so it must be true. Let’s just get something straight here, Al Gore is not a climatologist, meteorologist, astronomer, or scientist of any kind; he is a politician. And as we all know, politicians always tell the truth. However, as Al Gore’s popularity grows and with his recent winning of an Academy Award for his movie, the issue has spiraled into massive push for quick action and stifled debate, forcing many scientists to speak out and challenge the political status quo. A group of scientists recently stated that the research behind Al Gore’s film and in fact, the concept of greenhouse gases causing global warming, is "a sham". They claim that in fact, there is very little evidence to prove that theory, and that the evidence actually points to an increase in solar activity being the cause of climate change. In Gore’s movie, he presented evidence that was found in the research done on ice core samples from Antarctica, which he claimed is proof for the theory of CO2 being the cause of rising temperatures. However, this group of scientists state that “warmer periods of the Earth's history came around 800 years before rises in carbon dioxide levels”, meaning that a rise in Carbon Dioxide follows a rise in temperature, rather than increasing temperature following rising CO2 emissions. And not only that, but it follows behind the rise in temperature by about 800 years. The group also mentions that, “after the Second World War, there was a huge surge in carbon dioxide emissions, yet global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.” They also claim that the report given by the UN, which said it was backed by over 2,000 of the worlds leading scientists, “was a ‘sham’ given that this list included the names of scientists who disagreed with its findings.”
Timothy Ball, one of the first Canadian doctors in climatology, recently wrote an article addressing the issue of why no one seems to be listening to scientists who claim that global warming is NOT man-made. He starts by writing, “Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science”. He continues, “We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification.” Then he mentions how Environment Canada is spending billions upon billions of dollars on “propaganda” which defends an “indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.” Then Dr. Ball brings up a very interesting point that everyone should take into consideration, citing that 30 years ago, in the 1970s everyone was talking about “global cooling” and how it was the defining issue of our lives, our species, that our very survival depended on what we did it about it. Interesting, sounds like every Canadian politician. Ball continues to explain that climate change is occurring, but that it is because it is always occurring, it is a natural change that is a result of the changes in the Sun’s temperature. He explains that we are currently leaving what was known as a Little Ice Age and that the history of Earth is riddles with changes in the climate. That’s what climate does and is always doing, changing. Dr. Ball claims that “there is nothing unusual going on,” and that he “was as opposed to the threats of impending doom global cooling engendered as [he was] to the threats made about Global Warming.”
Dr. Timothy Ball later wrote, in commenting on the problems that arise for scientists who speak out, that, “Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint.” He also mentions how he “was accused by Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki of being paid by oil companies.” He concludes in referencing others who have and continue to speak out against the prevailing myth of man-made global warming, such as author Michael Crichton, who’s book, ‘State of Fear’, explains the inaccurate science behind the man-made myth. Another prominent name is that of Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT, who often speaks out against the man-made theory, yet no one seems to be listening to him.
An article in the February 12th Washington Times discussed how skeptics of global warming are “treated like a pariah”. The article begins, “Scientists skeptical of climate-change theories say they are increasingly coming under attack -- treatment that may make other analysts less likely to present contrarian views about global warming.” He cites an example of this by mentioning how a climatologist in Oregon might be stripped of his position by the governor for speaking out against the origins of climate change. Most skeptics don’t claim that climate change is not occurring, they just disagree with what is causing it, and yet they are treated like traitors. A NASA funded study in 2003 found that, “Changes in the solar cycle -- and solar output -- are known to cause short-term climate change on Earth.”
In a storm of scientists speaking out against Al Gore’s movie, an Australian professor of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory has publicly stated, "Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention." In response to the use of images in Gore’s movie of glaciers breaking off, Dr. Boris Winterhalter, a professor on marine geology and former marine researcher at the Geological Survey of Finland, said that, “The breaking glacier wall is a normally occurring phenomenon which is due to the normal advance of a glacier.” Makes sense, especially since history tells us that glaciers move, after all, that’s what helped form our valleys and reshaped mountain ranges at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago. Maybe my memory isn’t very good, but I don’t think people were driving SUVs 10,000 years ago. Another clever use of images to manipulate facts that Gore has in his movie is that of a polar bear seemingly stranded on a piece of a broken off ice berg, stating that polar bears are becoming extinct because of global warming. However, there are a few things wrong with this assessment, first of all, that according to a paper published by University of Alaska professor Igor Polyakov, “the region of the Arctic where rising temperature is supposedly endangering polar bears showed fluctuations since 1940 but no overall temperature rise.” Secondly, if the polar bear is in such danger according to Al Gore, then why does a recent government survey in Canada show that they are not declining, but rather rising in numbers? Thirdly, the very idea of a polar bear “stranded” on a small block of ice is in itself misleading for Gore’s argument, as polar bears are excellent swimmers and according to Sea World, “They can swim for several hours at a time over long distances [and] they've been tracked swimming continuously for 100 km (62 mi.)” Professor Carter, speaking about Gore and his personal crusade, said, “The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science.” Even if Al Gore was telling the truth about the causes of global warming, or climate change, which most evidence points to the fact that he is not, but even if he was, he would still be a hypocrite. It was recently revealed that Al Gore doesn’t exactly practice what he preaches, such as what he said in his Academy Award acceptance speech, “People all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue; it's a moral issue.” Well, in that case, why is it that a recent study by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research found that one of Al Gore’s mansions uses 20 times the amount of electricity that the average American does. It was also reported that Al Gore consumes twice as much the electricity in one month that the average American consumes in one year.
In examining that there is more evidence to prove the basis for a conclusion that changes in climate are more related to an increase in the temperature of the Sun rather than influence of people, we must examine why efforts to expose this myth are stifled and those who speak out are attacked. In fact, there are reported cases of scientists who speak out against the man-made theory as having received death threats. There has even been talk of relating those who speak out against the currently held theory on global warming as being equal to those who deny the Holocaust. In a recent op-ed piece in the Boston Globe commenting on the report issued by the UN, Ellen Goodman wrote "Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.” This is a very disturbing comment, not only because there is reason to scientifically doubt the man-made theory, but also because this is a scathing attack on freedom of speech, the most vital and important of all rights and freedoms.
With the UN Panel’s judgment in, western politicians are quick to declare that the debate is over, and action must be taken immediately. What is this action that they are planning on taking? The Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK, Gordon Brown, soon expected to be the next Prime Minister after Tony Blair steps down, has publicly called for a “new world order” to combat the threat of climate change. So let’s have a look at this New World Order that’s being implemented to combat the threat of global warming. One major thing being pushed through with little, cancel that, NO debate, is a UN recommendation that we impose “a global tax on greenhouse gas emissions”. Most people will hear this and think, “Good, polluters need to be taxed”. Well, this means people who drive cars will be taxed, because according to Al Gore, when you drive your car, you’re causing global warming. This is no joke, as an article in the UK’s Guardian Newspaper reported that, “The government is throwing its weight behind a revolutionary plan that would force motorists to pay £1.30 a mile to drive on Britain's busiest roads". That is approximately $3.00 per mile. A study conducted by an expert in transportation and infrastructure found that, “a Birmingham commuter might end up paying about £1,500 a year for driving 19,000 miles.” That’s equal to about $3,000 per year. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many people who can afford that. In the European Union, plans are being made to impose an increase of taxes on diesel. The European Commission recently proposed to “raise the minimum tax on commercial diesel fuel by nearly 20% over the next seven years”. This, they claim, is to help protect the environment because it will act as a deterrent for people to drive. This is just excellent news, because as anyone who has driven in the past two years knows, gas prices are just too low. Another concern arising out of the concept of taxing people for how far they drive is how it is done. According to the Transport Secretary in the UK, “Every vehicle would have a black box to allow a satellite system to track their journey”. This has been raising concerns in the UK of an increase in Big Brother technology and government programs. Proposals currently being made in Canada recommend that, “Canadians would pay an extra 10 cents per litre at the gas pumps”, mirroring plans in the European Union. Another important recent news item is that Toronto “Mayor David Miller said yesterday he would support ‘region-wide’ road tolls”, to combat climate change.
The European Union is also imposing a ban on conventional light bulbs, replacing them with energy-saving bulbs. That ban would fully be in effect within two years, forcing all 490 million citizens of the EU’s member states to switch from the current conventional lights they now have. However, some problems of this plan have been raised considering that the supposed energy-efficient light bulbs “have to be left on all the time, they're made from banned toxins and they won't work in half your household fittings. Yet Europe (and Gordon Brown) says 'green' lightbulbs must replace all our old ones.” They also are “up to 20 times more expensive” than conventional light bulbs. They also give off a much harsher light and do not produce a steady stream of light but rather just flicker 50 times a second. These special “efficient” light bulbs also need more ventilation than conventional bulbs, which means that they cannot be in an enclosed light fitting. I’m sure that this won’t inconvenience any of the 490 million who are being forced to switch. In Canada, talk is taking place of having a ban on conventional light bulbs being included in Stephen Harper’s clean air act. This discussion was recently brought about by the act of Australia taking moves to ban conventional light bulbs by the year 2010. As well as that, a lawmaker in California has introduced a bill to ban the selling of conventional bulbs by 2012, with a similar bill also being introduced in New Jersey. Royal Phillips Electronics, one of the leading corporations in producing light fixtures announced that they would stop selling conventional bulbs by 2016. This will result in a massive cost to the consumer, who is losing their free will in where they spend their money and how they choose to help the environment. Hoping to get by without buying new bulbs and sneak it by the government? Good luck. As a recent report pointed out in the UK, the government has very intrusive plans to make the UK the world’s first green economy. Part of this plan is that every home in the UK is to be ‘carbon neutral’ within 10 years, making every house updated to “green” standards. The government said they would provide the renovators, which has led many to fear that it is a method of spying on homeowners to make sure they go green. Blair Gibbs, a member of the Taxpayer’s Alliance and critic of the plan stated, “It's bad enough that politicians want to take so much of our money away in tax. For them also to intrude into our homes in order to have the ability to penalise us even further is simply unacceptable.”
I am not saying that it isn’t a good idea to take action to help the environment, but I ask you to consider this:
if the majority of scientific data points to the fact that global warming is caused by the Sun, then how will a tax on carbon emissions help to stop it?
How does us driving cars cause climate change on Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Neptune and Triton? Can Al Gore please fill me in on this? If CO2 increases as a RESULT of temperature increases, then how can we hope to accomplish anything by taxing emissions? That’s like saying we will prevent the process of humans ageing by dying their grey hairs. It’s not grey hair that causes people to age; it’s ageing that causes grey hair. And nothing that you do to your hair will have any affect on how long you live. Especially since ageing is a natural process that cannot be stopped and has always occurred and will always occur. Just like climate change.
It seems worrisome that politicians are all too eager to grab onto this man-made myth of global warming in order to make us afraid and guilty. Guilty enough to want to change it, and afraid enough to give up our freedoms and undergo massive financial expenses in order to do so. So this lie, being pushed by big money and big governments, is a convenient lie for those who want to exert control and collect money. However, it’s inconvenient for the mass amount of people who are already experiencing the problems of a widening wage-gap and fading middle class.
If the problems we are being presented are based on lies, then how do we expect to find any true solution to helping the environment? A Global Tax won’t clean up the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez, which is still polluting waters in Alaska nearly 18 years after the spill occurred. A Global Tax won’t stop Shell from making the Niger Delta the most endangered Delta in the whole world. No, we have to first be realistic, mature, and have debate about the problems we are facing, and then, and only then, can we even hope to achieve any sort of solution.
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Andrew Marshall is a 19 year old political science student at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia (BC).
© 2007 Andrew G. Marshall