Have no doubt it — there’s a concocted climate of confusion regarding what many alarmists would like to have you think most scientists agree about.

No where is this more true than the mainstream media hype about a “settled climate debate.”

That “97% of all climate scientists believe in global warming” nonsense got a big boost from an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-question online survey sent to 10,257 Earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois.

That anything-but-scientific poll asked two questions.

The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” None should dispute that temperatures have risen since planet Earth began thawing out of the little ice age (not a true ice age) which ended in the mid-1850s.

The second: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” Assuming that “human activity” includes land-use influences such as agriculture and deforestation, and that “changing” includes cooling and warming (both for better and worse), most people I know would agree with that question also.

Of about 3,000 who responded to the inquiry, only a small subset — just 77 who had been successful in getting more than half of their papers recently accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals — were considered in their totally meaningless survey statistic.

That “97% of all climate scientists” referred to a laughably puny number of 75 of those 77 who answered yes.

As for present temperatures being abnormally warm, that’s hardly debatable, either. After all, we’re fortunate to be living during an interglacial temperature spike, about 10,000 years into a likely 12,000-15,000 year-long respite before the next in a sequential pattern of ice ages that last about 90,000 years or so.

And what about warming since the Industrial Revolution stoked up all those smoke stacks and SUVs? Yes, there has indeed been a warming pattern since even before then. This ongoing trend followed a not-so-great time when George Washington’s troops endured brutally cold conditions at Valley Forge during the winter of 1776-77, and soon after Napoleon’s suffered a bitterly frigid retreat from Moscow in 1812.

CO2aOK — but what about climate-ravaging influences of that dastardly carbon dioxide we are pumping into the atmosphere? Don’t scientists agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?

Sure. CO2 is a trace greenhouse gas (as is water vapor, which constitutes more than 90% of the atmosphere).  And while CO2 may very likely have some influence on climate . . . however miniscule . . . that impact has never, not ever, been measured. (Don’t even think about buying a used car from anyone who claims to have done so.)

Let’s also remember that significant global temperature fluctuations are normal. In fact the past century has witnessed two distinct periods of warming and cooling. The first warming period occurred between 1900 and 1945. Since that period accounted for about half of all estimated warming up until now, rising atmospheric CO2 levels can’t have been the cause.

The second warming — reported by surface thermometers, but not by satellites — began in 1975. It continued at a fairly constant rate until 1998, a strong Pacific Ocean El Niño year. Temperatures have been flat since then, despite a ballyhooed record high level of atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Finally, even the UN’s alarmist IPCC is admitting that climate sensitivity to CO2 appears to be far less than their theoretical error-plagued models predicted. Yet at the same time they are somehow even more certain than ever that we humans are responsible for more than half of all global warming.  Go figure.

Besides . . . let’s be fair! If we are being credited for influencing warming, isn’t it only logical that we are influencing periods of cooling too?

In any case, although no one can predict what turn climate will take next, let’s all hope that the present flat-line or resumed warming lasts a long time before the next really big chill arrives that lots of scientific “experts” predicted in the late 1970s.

Who knows? Maybe they had it right the first time.


This article was first published by NewsMax.com.


  • Larry Bell

    CFACT Advisor Larry Bell heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax."