Mike Klein Online

When Whales Fly and Other Climate Thoughts

Atlanta Mike Pix_Press_Club_189_-_Version_2There was a time when summer headlines from Washington and other places were more like a drawl than an outburst.  They never completely stopped, but summer headlines compared well with summer in the South before air conditioning:  Lots of nothing much.  There just wasn’t any reason to hurry up.  Lately, summer headlines have felt like a blast furnace.

Last week Washington featured the Senate confirmation hearing for President Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court Justice nominee.   There was a bitter Capitol Hearing hearing about Bush administration actions last December when Bank of America took over Merrill Lynch.   There also were health care legislation votes, cap-and-trade energy policy legislation arguments and the usual presidential daily videos.  Washington has been churning out headlines.

Another story likely did not cross your horizon because Georgia media largely ignored the visit to Atlanta by Lord Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, former policy adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and notably, a fiercely aggressive and loud critic of climate change advocates who suggest global warming will collapse the planet.

There are two primary camps in this bitter confrontation.

Former vice president and entrepreneur Al Gore won an Academy Award, a Nobel Prize and his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth” became the video Bible for global warming doomsday disciples.  In the Gore scenario the world’s northern and southern ice caps melt, a million species vanish, hurricanes become fiercer, drought spreads, and the World Trade Center site in New York City disappears under water.  You can fully research this point of view at www.climatechange.net.

Gore’s  film narration and his worldwide public events statements include: “Scientific consensus is that we are causing global warming” … “Temperatures are increasing all over the world and that is causing stronger storms” … “Sea level worldwide could go up by 20 feet” … “Within the decade there will be no more Snows of Kilimanjaro” … “Hundreds of millions of climate refugees” … “Our ability to live is what is at stake” …

The evil culprit, in Al Gore’s world, is carbon-based fuel.  We must, he says, choose new energy, anything except carbon fuels like oil.  As new energy sources become dominant, the overall price of energy will decline. We need wind.  We will drive plug-in electric cars.  It seems simple enough if you do not ask how all that electricity will be produced, at what cost and paid for by whom.

Al Gore is the biggest rock star on the worldwide energy tour. He fills rooms, the adoring media loves Gore and he has become an almost godlike mythical figure in the global climate change business.  Say this about Al Gore; the man reinvented himself after voters in his own home state, Tennessee, would not send him to the White House.

Monckton and his supporters cite different scientific data to contend earth is cooling, not warming, and this is earth’s natural evolution.  Monckton says the planet has been steadily cooling for at least eight years and that some analysis shows cooling curves over several 100-year long cycles.  You can fully research this point of view at www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org.

Here are a few lines from Monckton’s remarks to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation:   “We’re heading for a new Ice Age” … “The United Nations is not willing to listen to real science” …“Temperatures are not as high as the Medieval warm period going back to the year 1000 A.D.” … “Ice comes and goes in the Arctic.  So what?  You can’t read anything into it” … “The temporary loss of sea ice cannot be associated with global warming because there has not been any global warming” …

Several weeks ago I photographed Glacier Bay National Park in southeastern Alaska.  It is an absolutely breathtaking landscape. Glacier Bay’s ice packs reached their physical maximum size in the year 1750, well before anyone considered the idea, United States of America.  And since then, the ice pack has been steadily receding.  As National Park Service personnel told us, the Glacier Bay warming trend began almost 260 years ago.  That was certainly before developed nations depended largely on carbon-based fuels.

I am no scientist.  In high school, I made a mess dissecting my frog.  But I am intrigued by almost universal media acceptance of the highly leveraged Gore version. Gore has the ball and he owns the field. The biggest problem Monckton and supporters have is delivering their message.

Washington is racing toward energy policy change.  The House passed the White House backed climate change bill and now we wait for the Senate outcome.   America will move toward rejection of its own vast oil, coal and natural gas resources, along with nuclear power capabilities,  to gamble on unproven technologies.  Other countries including China, India and Russia have indicated they are not interested.  Energy change here will be marketed as patriotic energy independence and new jobs.

Unfortunately, not all science will be conveniently and truthfully considered.

That will only happen when whales fly.

Additional Resources:

National Snow and Ice Data Center:  www.nsidc.org

Glacier Bay National Park:  www.nps.gov/glba

July 19, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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