Thursday, February 13, 2003

Rolling Stone on Global Warming

After the furor over their story on "Bug Chasers" I awaited the next issue of Rolling Stone magazine with some anticipation, expecting some sort of follow up over the controversy surrounding that story. While I found no such thing, I was drawn to a story on "Global Warming." While no one should be surprised by what I found, it was rather reminiscent of the previous story. That is, they took a story where there is some dispute as to the factual basis, and covered it as settled fact, while grossly exaggerating the numbers involved.

(While I can't find the article in the online version. it is surely in the print version so, if you read further, there will be no links to follow.)

According to the magazine, issue dated February 20, 2003, in the "National Affairs" section, the 21st century shall see a rising of sea levels of several feet, at least, which will result in the loss of "more than 10,000 square miles of the United States." They also state that 2002 was the second hottest on record, and state that the next big rainstorm "such as the huge nor'easter that struck New York in 1992 could put JFK airport under twenty five feet of water and flood the Lincoln Tunnel." Summing up, they posit that "The scientific consensus is that if we don't act quickly to control climate change, the world will gradually heat up."

These are fringe beliefs, held by a minority of climatologists. The source often quoted in the piece is "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - the world's leading authority on the issue," which is seen by most of those who study the issue as the politically driven arm of the United Nations that it is. More sober analysis of the facts at hand tells a different story.

Until the last 15 years or so, these same "scientists" were warning of "global warming" as the trigger for a coming Ice Age! Today these same ideologues claim that we shall suffer from a steam bath, rather than a freezer. However, those with a less political agenda, such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the National Academies Press continue to remind us that, while climate change is a natural process, the change that may be coming, and the one we should prepare for, is a cooling, rather than a warming of the climate.

The real crux of the argument, however, is the call to action by humans. There is almost nothing in the public record that postulates an action plan that can be executed by humans that promises to have any effect of world climate. The Kyoto protocols, that were rejected in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 95 to 0 (!) promise a reduction of CO2 emissions that will top out at 10% in this century, at best. However, those who hate the wealth of this great nation, including many American self-haters, are willing to grasp at any straw that shows any promise, however slight, of humbling the beast of the American economy, as the Kyoto protocols would surely do. That's why they were rejected by a unanimous Senate. The cause of taking precipitous action to forestall climate change is dying a slow death. Rolling Stone is now in the forefront of the campaign to revive that cause. If my subscription to Rolling Stone were not free, I would cancel it.