WEBCommentary Editor

Author: Bob Webster
Date:  October 2, 2006

Topic category:  Other/General

Misusing Information
How "Global Warming" Alarmists View Information Selectively

Just because the planet may be going through a warming phase doesn't mean burning fossil fuels has anything to do with it.

The cadres of the "globally ignorant" when it comes to climate history will be quick to jump on any news that can be twisted to their purposes (which seem to be to center more control of our lives in the hands of the UN and US governments). Take, for example, how an article in The Wall Street Journal Online "How Melting Glaciers Alter Earth's Surface, Spur Quakes, Volcanoes" is twisted by those who merely assume that "global warming" is synonymous with human-caused global warming (aka "climate change" when they want to convince you that global warming is going to cause the next ice age!).

You've got to hand it to the global warming prophets of doom ... they have every base covered. If it warms, it's because humans are burning to much fossil fuel. If it's cooling, it's because humans are burning too much fossil fuel. If we have hurricanes and blizzards, it's because humans are burning too much fossil fuel. If volcanoes erupt and we experience earthquakes, it's because humans are burning too much fossil fuel. Famines, disease, crop failures, drought, floods ... you name it, any and every disaster or "bad" occurrence is caused by ... you guessed it ... humans burning too much fossil fuel!

Only problem is ... none of it is true. But, hey, if you repeat a lie often enough, there are bound to be multitudes who will believe it because they simply don't know any better.

Take, for example, how an article in The Wall Street Journal was abused. In a piece titled "Another effect of global warming: earthquakes and volcanic activity" writer (and one of the "consensus scientists" supporting human-caused - anthropogenic - global warming) Stephen Soldz (who identifies himself as "Psychoanalyst, Psychologist, Researcher, and Activist") uses the Journal article to take what he wants from it and post a misleading claim on a site devoted to the belief that CO2 from humans burning fossil fuels is causing global warming. By merely pointing out the truth of the Journal in the misleading context of a site supporting the theory of anthropogenic global warming, the author hopes the reader will connect the two when, in fact, nothing in the Journal article supports the theory that climate change is caused by human activity!

Ironically, both the Journal article and Mr. Stoldz's blog contain precisely the information needed to question any connection between today's "global warming" and anthropogenic causes! Specifically, Stoldz's quotes from the Journal article include the following:

Where to begin? Well, first, let's consider that when glaciers "melt and water runs off" the weight of the water running off is the same as the weight of the ice. So, in reality, the Earth's crust merely experiences a shift in the weight on it, not a lessening. While its true that the weight will lessen in one area, it will increase in another (spreading out in the form of distributed weight of melted glaciers over the vast area of oceans). Don't be confused into thinking ice weighs less than water because it floats on water. Ice floats on water because a given volume of ice weighs less than the water it displaces. This is true because as water freezes the volume of ice formed expands beyond what it was in the liquid state. Consequently, the expanded volume of ice contains a lesser quantity of water than the equivalent volume of water and will, therefore, float since it weighs less than the water it attempts to displace. Since ice traps air in the process of freezing, and, as we all know, air is lighter than water, the trapped air also contributes to ice's buoyancy. So the rebounding of crust is a highly local event and the net weight on the earth's total crust has not changed.

Perhaps the key to realizing why the claims of human-induced global warming are premature is contained in the very fact that the scientists who linked global warming with seismic activity used data from an 800,000 year period to prove this "link"! The question then becomes, if it happened repeatedly over 800,000 years, what caused the melting (and refreezing) of glaciers throughout that time span? Do we know whether the same causation is at work today? Well, to answer that question, we need to understand what caused the repeated melting and freezing of glaciers over the past 800,000 years. Problem is, the anthropogenic global warming believers have no interest in dealing with that question because it just might provide a cause other than fossil fuel burning that would explain today's glacier retreats (though it should be pointed out that not all glaciers are in retreat).

Ironically, the 800,000-year record of CO2 and temperature demonstrate that the temperature changes first by up to 800 years before CO2 will rise or fall in response to rising and falling temperature. So CO2 changes do not change temperature; temperature changes produce changes in the concentration of atmospheric CO2!

Then there is the obvious question: If a relationship can be established between seismic activity and global temperature increase, how do we know which is the cause and which is the effect? Seems to me that a considerable increase in magma present at Earth's surface will likely have the consequence of adding warmth to the air. Over a prolonged period, can anyone categorically state that global volcanic activity (both undersea where the water is warmed which, in turn, warms the air, and at surface where air is directly warmed) is not the cause of a global increase in climate and not the effect?

Consider this scenario: Seismic activity increases which begins to slowly warm global temperature, which, in turn, begins to melt glaciers, which in some places will cause local plate rebounding, which, in turn, will aid further seismic activity in that location.

So which is the "chicken" and which is the "egg"? And which came first?

Is limited data collected from evidence over 800,000 years - a relatively short period of time, about 1/5750th of the Earth's 4,600,000,000 year age, or the equivalent of less than five days in the lifespan of a 75-year-old human - sufficient to really understand the mechanisms of natural climate change? And if 800,000 years isn't adequate to explain climate change events that occur over millions of years, how can a few decades of modest climate warming be reasonably construed to portend such catastrophic devastation as the "true-believers" in anthropogenic global warming would have you believe?

Cause and effect confusion is a common mistake of those who use information to support preconceived conclusions rather than as evidence that needs to be objectively pursued.

This is simply another in a long list of examples of how those "scientists" devoted to the conclusion that humans are causing "catastrophic" (one of their favorite words) climate change will conveniently ignore the broader context of information and selectivly use data to support the conclusion they favor.

Until the proponents of anthropogenic global warming intelligently explain what caused the countless global warming episodes (always followed by global cooling) both long before humans breathed their first ounce of air as well as throughout the evolution of human activity, these false prophets of doom will continue to behave as "Chicken Littles" by shouting alarms and pleading for us to "do something" about something over which humans likely cannot control.

We'd do best to ignore these "Chicken Littles".

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.

Copyright 2006 by Bob Webster
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