More from Roy Spencer, worth saving.
May 29, 2008, 6:30 a.m.
Sacrifices to the Climate Gods Beware Lieberman-Warner.
By Roy Spencer
It is well-established that the ancient Mayan, Aztec, Incan, and Toltec peoples offered human sacrifices, probably in the belief that such rituals would placate the gods who were in charge of nature; for instance, to help bring life-giving rains to their crops. Although we shudder at the thought of such barbaric practices, I believe that we have unwittingly reinstituted human sacrifice in modern times. But while the list of justifications has grown immensely, our new rituals are still performed in the name of avoiding the wrath of the gods of nature.
Our environmental protection practices have already caused the deaths of millions of people, mainly in poor African countries. By far the most humans — mostly women and children — have been sacrificed in the mistaken belief that the use of any amount of the pesticide DDT would harm the environment. As a result, the preventable disease malaria has continued to decimate Africa. Only recently has this genocide disguised as environmentalism been partly reversed through the reinstituted practice of twice-yearly DDT treatments of the entryways to homes. While most environmentalists continue to insist that there is no connection between international bans on DDT and human deaths, such protestations really are like denying that the Holocaust ever happened.
Now, the Senate is preparing to debate the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which aims to limit carbon-dioxide emissions in the belief that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is disrupting the Earth’s climate and ecosystems. Since we now have the scientific method, we rely on computer models to predict these future catastrophes rather than on our fears and prejudices. While this gives the illusion of modern objective precision, the truth is that all we have done is enlisted one of our modern idols — the computer — to justify what we want to believe anyway. And that fundamental belief is that anything mankind does to nature is inherently evil. To be sure, the scientific method can help us understand the physical world… something the ancients could not do. But global-warming theory, unfortunately, is out of the realm of being a legitimate, testable scientific hypothesis.
For instance, to be a valid scientific hypothesis, there should be some kind of climate behavior observable in nature that would be inconsistent with the theory that mankind is responsible for global warming. But instead, everything we observe has now become consistent with the theory. Floods and droughts. Too much snow and too little snow. More hurricanes and fewer hurricanes. It is sometimes pointed out that a theory that explains everything really explains nothing.
Similarly, there is no experiment we can carry out in the laboratory to test the theory. Yes, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and yes we are adding more of it to the atmosphere. But since weather processes create and control over 90 percent of the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect through their continuous adjustments to water vapor and cloud amounts, it is not at all obvious that more CO2 will cause substantial warming. Indeed, it could well be that one of the functions of weather is to maintain a relatively constant greenhouse effect, no matter how much carbon dioxide is present.
Alarmists like Al Gore will use pseudo-scientific justifications and comparisons in their attempt to make a connection between carbon dioxide and global warming. Even though CO2 is necessary for life on Earth, the alarmists insist on calling it a pollutant, referring to our atmosphere as an “open sewer.” For instance, Gore likes to point out that Venus has far more CO2 in its atmosphere than the Earth does, and its surface is hot enough to melt lead. Therefore, more CO2 causes warming.
But we also know that the Martian atmosphere has 15 times as much CO2 as our own atmosphere, and its surface temperature averages about 70 deg. F below zero. So you see, in science a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Why do we love to believe that mankind is a plague upon the Earth? We view anything and everything that happens in nature, no matter how barbaric, bloody, or destructive, as good. Indeed, the word “natural” has no negative connotation at all. If a volcano like Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines dumps millions of tons of sulfur into the stratosphere, cooling the Earth for two or three years, this is simply Mother Nature at work. If humans did it, we would call it an environmental catastrophe.
And now we are teaching our children to perform their own acts of worship, again hoping to placate the gods of the natural world. Substituting compact fluorescent light bulbs for incandescent ones, and turning the light off when they leave the room, makes them feel good about themselves and their relationship to nature. These rituals being taught in the public schools will help define their still-developing worldviews and religious beliefs.
Lieberman-Warner will, in effect, punish the use of energy by making it more expensive. Yet, energy is necessary for all human activities. We are already causing a food crisis around the world by converting food, such as corn, into liquid fuels for transportation. Now, with the Climate Security Act, we will also be causing additional turmoil at home as the poor struggle to survive in a world where only the middle class and wealthy can afford to live relatively comfortably.
We will, in effect, be sacrificing even more humans at the altar of radical environmentalism in the vain hope that the gods in charge of weather and climate will look favorably upon us, and not destroy us.
— Dr. Roy W. Spencer is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is author of the new book, Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians, and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor.
Editor’s note: This piece has been corrected since posting.— Roy W. Spencer is principal research scientist at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Ala.