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The Incurious Media

The Incurious Media

By Jack Kelly - December 1, 2009

"Greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere reached record highs in 2008, with carbon dioxide levels increasing faster than previously," the AP reported Nov. 23.

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said if nothing is done to stop emissions, global temperatures could rise as much as 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, triggering droughts, floods and other disasters," concluded the AP dispatch.

Missing from the AP story were two facts some might regard as pertinent.

The first is that though the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased in the last decade, global temperatures have not. They've been declining since 1998.

This is not the first time this has happened. Between 1940 and 1970, the amount of carbon dioxide expelled into the atmosphere from industrial activities increased a lot. But global temperatures fell so much that some of the scientists (such as President Obama's science adviser, John Holdren) who are now warning about global warming were predicting a new ice age.

This casts doubt on the theory that the carbon dioxide we expel from our automobiles and factories is dangerously warming the planet.

The second missing fact is that the disclosure Nov. 20 of heretofore secret emails to and from leading climate scientists, and documents written by them, indicate the computer models on which the IPCC has relied have been manipulated to show a warming absent from the raw data.

The emails, from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Britain, indicate collusion to deny the data on which the computer models were constructed to other researchers, and to keep scientists skeptical of global warming from being published in peer reviewed journals.

"The now non-secret data prove...that most of the evidence of global warming was simply made up," said Frank Tripler, a physics professor at Tulane. "Not only are the global warming computer models unreliable, the experimental data on which these models are built are also unreliable."

But the AP writer evidently considered the scandal unworthy of mention.

Two other facts unmentioned by journalists also cast doubt on the theory of anthroprogenic (man-made) global warming.

"If you look carefully at these records, you find that first the temperature goes up, and then the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere goes up," Dr. William Happer, a physics professor at Princeton, told a U.S. Senate committee in April. "There is a delay between a temperature increase and a CO2 increase of about 800 years."

It's very difficult for something that happens after a phenomenon occurs to be the cause of that phenomenon.

The second, as noted by the Australian geologist Ian Plimer, is that "in the geologic past, there have been six major ice ages. During five of these six ice ages, the atmospheric carbon dioxide content was higher than at present."

As Dr. Plimer notes, throughout the Earth's geological history there has been little correlation between atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and global temperature. That correlation exists chiefly in computer models found to be flawed (they predicted a warming in the last decade that did not occur) and suspected of being fraudulent. Yet journalists write about the purported correlation as if it were settled science.

Nor should we take seriously -- as the AP did -- alarmist predictions based on those flawed and likely fraudulent computer models, Dr. Plimer said.

"In the 600-year long Roman warming (3rd Century BC-4th Century AD), it was 4 degrees C warmer than now," he said. "Sea levels did not rise and ice sheets did not disappear. The Medieval Warming (AD 800-1300) followed the Dark Ages and for 400 years it was 5 degrees C warmer. Sea levels did not rise and the ice sheets remained."

There is a saying among climate scientists: "No problem, no money."

The U.S. government has spent more than $79 billion since 1989 on global warming research and related policies, according to the Science and Public Policy Institute. Could keeping the megabucks flowing be a reason why some climate scientists have manufactured a crisis that doesn't exist?

If so, the AP and most other news organizations are incurious.

Jack Kelly is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio.

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