The Chicken Little climate change alarmists like to spread the disinformation that their loony theory is subscribed to by the entire scientific community and that if you oppose that belief then you must be committing some sort of intellectual heresy.
However, that is not the case.
There is absolutely no consensus on the issue of global warming. The Petition Project has more than 31,000 scientists signing a petition, which states: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere.”
It is not the belief in climate change that I challenge here. I believe wholeheartedly in climate change. Indeed, the climate changes daily. That is natural. The climate has gone through cycles of warming and freezing during the entire 4.54 billion year history of this rock we call Earth.
So the idea that the climate is changing is not a scientific mystery.
The real debate is whether the climate change is caused by human activity and whether it is harmful.
Clearly the answer to both is “no.”
The gold standard among the Chicken Littles is the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (http://www.ipcc.ch/). This group has perfected the science of misinformation. It often makes grandiose statements that lack any scientific merit and phrases them in ways that make them seem authoritative and beyond dispute. That is not the way of science. You don't find the truth through hyperbole.
In response to the IPCC, another group was formed, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (http://j.mp/1fYNs5q). Unlike the IPCC, the NIPCC receives no government or corporate funding. In other words, it works for science, not politics, and was created to act as an independent auditor of the work of the IPCC. Unlike the IPCC, NIPCC's charter is to investigate the causes and consequences of climate change from all perspectives, rather than to search only for evidence of a human impact on climate.
The NIPCC, in a report — “Climate Change Reconsidered II,” — that lists a panel of some 50 scientists from 15 countries as authors, contributors, or reviewers, says the newest report on climate change from the United Nations, released Sept. 27, is filled with concessions that its past predictions were too extreme and contains “at least 13 misleading or untrue statements and 11 further statements that are phrased in such a way that they mislead readers or misrepresent important aspects of the science.”
While the IPCC reports growing confidence that climate change is man-made and likely to be harmful, NIPCC finds just the opposite: The human impact is likely to be very small, and a modest amount of warming would probably produce just as many benefits as costs.
The problem with the IPCC and, indeed, much of the anthropogenic climate change crowd, is that the reality does not match their claims.
For example global temperatures stopped rising 15 years ago despite rising levels of carbon dioxide, the invisible gas the IPCC claims is responsible for causing global warming.
Additionally, temperatures were warmer in many parts of the world a millennium ago, during the so-called Medieval Warm Period.
Then there is the fact that the Antarctic sea ice extent is increasing rather than shrinking and that climate computer models fail to reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the past 10 to 15 years.
The IPCC also likes to claim that the warming of the late 20th century was “unequivocal” when many temperature databases show no warming, and for saying changes since 1950 were “unprecedented” when the historical record contains many examples of changes more rapid or more extreme due to natural causes.
Finally, the IPCC is misleading by making the claim it is 95 percent confident that climate change is caused by human activity and will be harmful.
“This terminology is unscientific,” the NIPCC scientists wrote. “It has been used improperly to create a false impression of increasing statistical certainty. … IPCC's quasi-numeric confidence statements represent considered 'expert opinion,' reflecting a process not very different from a show of hands around a discussion table.”
Then again, “misleading” describes the entire anthropogenic climate change movement.